The guide to becoming
a sushi master

How to use Chopsticks (Hashi)





Open your hand

The left one or the right one; chopsticks work fine in either, so it doesn't matter if you're left-handed or right-handed.

Did you know?

Japan is the only country in the world where they eat exclusively with chopsticks.

Grab the stick

Position the upper chopstick in your hand as if holding a pencil, and try to move it as if you were drawing a number 1.

Did you know?

Everyone has their own personal chopsticks, so if you're invited to dinner make sure you don't pick up your host's!

Getting to grips

Position the lower chopstick in between your thumb and your index finger, and hold it in place with your ring finger.

Did you know?

Legend has it, that in ancient times if you ate on a mountain you would have to break the chopsticks at the end of the meal. If not, the mountain's spirit would enter into your body through the chopsticks!

Combine the two

Now that you know the technique, combine the two sticks at once and get eating.

Did you know?

Chopstick etiquette is extremely important in Japan. When in Japan, try not to place your chopsticks upright in your rice, spear food with them or pass food from chopstick to chopstick, as it can be considered bad manners.


Uramaki Sushi

"Ura" means reversed or inside out. This type of maki sushi is inverted, with the rice on the outside.

The ingredients are wrapped inside with dried seaweed, which is then covered in a thin layer of rice and usually seasoned with sesame seeds or small fish eggs.

Did you know?

Uramaki sushi originated in North America, in an area of Los Angeles called Little Tokyo. In Japan most people wouldn't know what a California roll is!

Temaki Sushi

"Te" means hand. This type of hand-rolled sushi can be recognised by its cone shape. It is a great family option as you can lay the ingredients out and each make your own. You just put your ingredients onto the Nori seaweed and roll it yourself.

Did you know?

The word sushi comes from the word "shu" meaning vinegar, and the word "meshi" meaning rice.

Vinegar was used to conserve food before refrigerators.


Although a central element of Japanese cuisine, sashimi is not technically sushi, as it lacks the most important ingredient, rice!

Instead, sashimi is made up of finely cut slices of fresh, raw fish. It is served as a main course together with wasabi, soy sauce and grated daikon radish.

In the past, Japanese fisherman ate it just with vinegar and wasabi as soy sauce was too expensive.

Did you know?

Sushi is actually rice seasoned with sugar, salt and vinegar, and doesn’t necessarily contain fish. Raw fish served by itself is referred to as Sashimi.

Maki Sushi

This basically means "roll." It is prepared by spreading rice onto sheets of dried sushi, before adding fish or vegetables and rolling them into a tube. These are then cut into 6 to 8 pieces.

Depending on the filling, these can also be called Futomaki, Hosomaki, Uramaki or Temaki.

Did you know?

According to the KARABASHI protocol, if you touch a piece of sushi with your chopsticks, you have to eat it.

Nigiri Sushi

This is a ball of rice (a mouthful), often flavoured with wasabi and covered with a topping, or “neta.” The neta can sometimes be cooked octopus or sweet egg, but is often a slice of raw fish, such as tuna or salmon. The fish is seasonal and can vary a lot.

Nigiri sushi is considered in many areas of Japan to be THE definitive sushi variety.

Did you know?

According to MAYOIBASHI protocol, you're not allowed to move your chopsticks over the sushi until you have decided which one you are going to eat.

How to wet the sushi
in the soy sauce

Soy sauce is used to enhance the natural flavour of the sushi, so you’re not supposed to bathe the rice in soy sauce. It can be seen as disrespectful, as it implies the flavours are not strong enough without that extra soy sauce!

With Nigiri, wet the side with the fish on and then put the whole thing in your mouth with the fish against your tongue.

With Maki, lower the base onto the soy sauce, but don't let it soak up too much.

Did you know?

Good quality sushi often has wasabi - a spicy green paste - already lightly spread on the rice by the chef. Use wasabi sparingly to avoid overpowering the delicate flavour of the sushi.’

How to use the ginger

The ginger is served in thin slices, and you eat it in between sushi pieces to cleanse the palate, enabling you to appreciate the taste of each individual piece without mixing the flavours of different fish.

You aren’t meant eat it with the sushi, only separately.

Did you know?

According to NEBURIBASHI protocol, it is improper to clean your chopsticks while you are eating.

Where to place the chopsticks?

When you arrive at the table, the chopsticks will be resting on a ceramic holder called a Hashioki, that is designed especially for this purpose. When you have finished eating, in order to make it clear that you don't want anymore, rest your chopsticks parallel, across the soy sauce dish - never on the table or on the plate.

Did you know?

Hashioki are usually used for formal dinners and in restaurants. In more casual eateries, disposable wooden chopsticks (waribashi) are used instead. Why not try fashioning the paper that the waribashi come in to make an origami-style hashioki!

Now you are a sushi master!


Ready to show off your sushi skills? All this month we’re collecting your classiest sushi photos on Instagram. Enter your photo to win a super sleek iPad Mini!

In collaboration with'Cocina Japonesa'

& Emily Loves Japan, with special thanks to She Who Eats.

How to enter:

1. Log in or to your instagram account, or sign up if you have yet to experience the wonder and enjoyment that is instagramming.

2. Next, give us a follow at @hungryhouseUK because it’s the most important thing you’ll do all day today.

3. Now the fun part: take some delicious pictures of sushi, showing off your new sushi skills and upload the sushi pics with the tag #HowToSushi. Now sit back to win an iPad Mini!

Competition closes on 31 August 2014