5 Tips for a better Japanese meal

A few ways to enjoy your next meal to the max.

How to eat Tempura

Tempura always comes with a sauce or something to dip it in (flavoured salt for example). If you've been given some dashi sauce there’ll be a small pyramid of grated fresh ginger and diakon (radish) on the plate. Use your chopsticks to mix this into the sauce, then dip each piece of tempura in before you eat. This will coat and soften the batter, giving a great fresh flavour to each piece. Don’t be tempted to dip it in the soy sauce though!!

How to eat shisho

Shisho leafs are served with sashimi. They are not a garnish but an edible part of the dish, in fact a leaf related to the mint family. These are best enjoyed as an accompaniment to sashimi, adding a herby, zingy taste to the fish. Try combining the two in one mouthful, delicious.

How to eat soy sauce

Soy sauce should be used sparingly. With a reasonable amount of salt, soy sauce should be used to give a slight seasoning to sushi and sashimi. Never pour it directly onto rice but dip the corner of a piece of fish into it. Dropping pieces into the soy dish will only ruin delicate flavours and everything will taste of salt.

How to eat wasabi

While we are on soy sauce....... keep your wasabi and soy separate. Wasabi should be added onto items and not mixed like a weird green soup into the soy. Sushi already has wasabi on it and shouldn’t require any more. Sashimi should have some smeared onto the flesh and then dipped into the soy dish.

How to eat noodles

There is only one thing to say about noodles and that’s SLURP. It's the done-thing in Japan and the best way to enjoy nearly all noodle dishes. Some say it increases the flavour, others that it allows you get the whole noodle and not just a bite. We say slurp away, your mother isn’t watching!

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