Whatever the occasion, sushi is a great choice to satisfy your hunger, whether that be for a working lunch, a corporate function, or an office party. But did you know that there is a rigid set of guidelines on how to eat sushi properly? Let's dive into the art of sushi-eating and explore the different types of sushi to help you enhance your experience and ensure that you don't make any sushi faux pas!

Your ultimate guide on how to eat sushi the right way

The different types of sushi

Nigiri: A simple type of sushi comprised of fresh raw fish on top of sushi rice

Sashimi: Slices of fresh raw fish. Sashimi is technically not sushi, but is frequently mistaken for it.

Maki: The one you probably picture when you think of sushi - rice and fillings wrapped in seaweed.

Uramaki: Similar to maki, but reversed. The rice is on the outside of the roll.

Temaki: Sushi that has been hand-rolled into a cone shape.

Inari: A fried tofu bean pouch filled with sushi rice. Can be eaten plain or with toppings.

Sushi 101

The first rule of enjoying sushi is to indulge in it with a single, satisfying bite. Each piece is a work of art, meticulously crafted by the chef, so biting into it is considered a faux pas. But fear not, my friend! If a piece of sushi is too big or you're feeling a tad self-conscious, don't be shy about asking the chef to create smaller, more manageable pieces. They're happy to adapt and cater to your needs. However, if you're diving into a handroll or temaki, feel free to gobble it up in its entirety.

When you take a bite, place the sushi on your tongue facing down. This way, you'll experience the full flavor and freshness of the fish dance across your taste buds. Savor each morsel as you appreciate the symphony of flavors, the texture that tickles your palate, and the presentation that's almost too beautiful to disrupt. Trust me, my friend, a mindful approach to sushi-eating will elevate your experience to new heights.

It’s OK to eat with your fingers

Here's a delightful revelation: you can enjoy sushi with either your fingers or chopsticks. If you're not a chopstick virtuoso, don't fret! Sushi is the ultimate finger food, and you're encouraged to relish these delectable, bite-sized wonders with your digits. In fact, dining with your fingers is considered more polite than resorting to stabbing the sushi with chopsticks!

eating sushi with chopsticks

Chopstick etiquette

Now, let's talk chopstick etiquette. When you sit down for a sushi feast, you won't find a knife and fork by your side. That's because sushi is traditionally consumed not just with your fingers, but with those trusty wooden utensils. Remember, never rub the chopsticks together to remove any potential splinters. It's a serious disrespect to the chef, suggesting that you think they've provided subpar chopsticks. And please, let's avoid the one-chopstick stabbing tactic altogether. It's best to either pick up the sushi with your fingers or follow our instructions on the art of chopsticking.

Mastering the art of chopsticks

Use our easy steps below to help you handle chopsticks like a pro.

Step 1: Hold your dominant hand loosely. Apply just the right amount of pressure, or else you might send your food flying. Place the first chopstick between the nook of your pointer finger and thumb, balancing it on your ring finger.

Step 2: Slide the second chopstick into the same cozy nook as the first one, but this time resting it on your middle finger.

Step 3: Now, use your thumb and pointer finger to grip the second chopstick a bit tighter.

Step 4: The first chopstick (the bottom one) remains mostly still, while the thumb and pointer finger of the second chopstick do the heavy lifting.

Dip and enjoy with ease, using your nimble fingers to manipulate the top chopstick. You'll be a true chopstick maestro in no time!

Know your condiments

Whether you're a fan of the classic soy sauce or opt for the gluten-free tamari version, this condiment adds a salty kick to your sushi experience. But here's the secret: use it sparingly. You don't want to drown your sushi in a sea of soy sauce, as the rice will soak it up and overpower the delicate flavors. Instead, let the soy sauce complement the sushi, not steal the show.

Pour a small amount of soy sauce into the little dish as needed. Don’t overfill it. Tilt the sushi, lightly brush the fish in the soy sauce and enjoy it in one bite. Dipping your sushi fish-side down is mainly to prevent the rice from falling apart and you’ll agree that it tastes better than soy sauce soaked rice!

You could even try the sushi soy sauce free to really experience the pure flavours of the fresh fish.

Ginger - used to cleanse your palette

One common mistake people make when eating ginger is eating it together with the sushi! The pickled ginger is to be eaten between bites of different sushi to cleanse the palate so you can truly appreciate the flavours of each piece of sushi.

Wasabi - add a little on top of the fish

The way to eat wasabi is to take your chopsticks and put a small amount on top of the fish. You shouldn't mix the wasabi into the soy sauce because this will mask the nice aroma of the wasabi, as it becomes dissolved in the soy sauce.

Some restaurants will even offer fresh wasabi freshly grated on top when requested.

sushi catering

Best dishes to eat alongside sushi


If you're a fan of pairing miso with your sushi, here's a little tip: you can sip it straight from the bowl. No need for fancy manoeuvres here, just grab that bowl and enjoy the warm, umami goodness.


Crispy, golden, and downright delicious, tempura is a delightful dish of battered and deep-fried seafood and veggies. And guess what? It's the perfect companion to your sushi! You can enjoy tempura either alongside your sushi or even nestled inside a roll itself. Talk about a tasty tag team.


Crack open those pods and let the snacking begin! Edamame are pre-ripe soybeans steamed and salted to perfection, are a classic snack in Japanese cuisine and make for a tasty pairing with sushi. They add a satisfying crunch and a touch of saltiness to your sushi experience. Yum!

Seaweed salad

Why not add a refreshing twist to your sushi meal with some seaweed salad? This vibrant salad can accompany vegetarian rolls, sit atop inari pockets, or simply grace your plate as a side dish. With its sesame seeds, a hint of chili, and a refreshing oceanic flavor, it's the perfect addition to your sushi feast.

Ordering sushi

While there are no hard and fast rules, some suggest starting with lighter fish, like snapper, and moving towards the richer, oilier options like salmon. But no matter where you dive in, remember to cleanse your palate between different fish. Grab a slice of pickled ginger or sip some tea to reset those taste buds for the next flavourful bite.

If you’ve ordered a sushi platter, we suggest starting with the sashimi first and eating the maki rolls next. They have multiple ingredients and tend to have more complicated flavour profiles.

Next time ordering a working lunch or looking to impress clients or guests, why not consider some sushi catering?

How to eat sushi properly

Check out our handy infographic for an overview of the dos and don'ts of sushi etiquette.

Looking for catering for your next business lunch meeting or corporate event? Then speak to the corporate catering experts at Feedr on 020 3890 2200 or email us at [email protected] We have a range of corporate caterers who offer fresh and delicious sushi catering and other Japanese catering menu options that are perfect for working lunches and corporate functions.

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