food

Do you mix wasabi and soy sauce? Some people say you shouldn’t

16 Comments
By RocketNews24

When it comes to Japanese food, the first thing many people tend to think of is sushi - and with good reason. It’s certainly very popular, and it has fans the world over. However, despite the popularity of sushi, sashimi, which is raw, thinly sliced fish, might be even more loved.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to eat sashimi, but it seems that the most common way is to mix some wasabi in a dish of soy sauce and then dip the fish in the soy sauce. A relatively straightforward but delicious process, right? Yes, but apparently that’s completely wrong.

Now, when we say that you’re eating your sashimi wrong, we don’t really mean you’re doing it wrong. As far as we’re concerned, there’s not really a wrong way to eat, as long as you’re getting food in your mouth and then down into your stomach. But with that said, if you want to follow the proper rules of sashimi, that would be wrong.

It turns out that you’re not supposed to mix wasabi into the soy sauce.

Naturally, we’re sure that many of our readers have seen even Japanese friends and family members doing this, so you may be thinking that we’re off our rockers. But no, we are firmly attached to our rockers.

According to a number of Japanese sites, such as Josei Bigaku, Ameba News, and Happy Life Style, you’re not supposed to mix wasabi into the soy sauce. There are a number of reasons for this, but the first and biggest is that it completely destroys the taste of the soy sauce. At the same time, it will apparently diminish the aroma of the wasabi, giving you a mixture that lacks the joy of both of its ingredients.

This also means that you can’t modulate the taste very well. Certainly, you could add more wasabi or more soy sauce, but it’s still going to just be a slightly disappointing mixture.

Another problem is that it just doesn’t look very pretty, at least according to the rules. Now you may or may not agree with this, but we have to say that soy sauce mixed with wasabi isn’t really the prettiest food we’ve ever seen.

So, now that we’ve rained all over your wasabi-and-soy-sauce parade, you’re probably wondering how you to eat your food properly. Fortunately, it’s not too hard. Just put a dab of wasabi on one side of the piece of sashimi you’re about to eat, and then dip the other side in the soy sauce. This should allow you to get the full flavor of both condiments, while spreading them out a bit so you can enjoy them and get a little balance.

Now, you have to get the raw fish into your mouth without dribbling soy sauce everywhere. And there are a few suggestions for how to do this. The first would be to use a "futokorogami," which is a piece of paper that is used in place of a handkerchief – especially in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

Or, if you don’t have a "futokorogami," you can just use the soy sauce dish. Though we suppose that you’d want to be careful not to dribble any wasabi in it.

A final note on sashimi that we came across is the recommendation to eat your fish from lightest to darkest. The thinking is that the darker the fish meat, the stronger the taste, so if you eat in the order from light to dark, you won’t have to worry about the tastes overpowering each other.

Of course, you can eat your sashimi in whatever order you want and mix whatever you want into your soy sauce. As long as you’re happy with what’s going into your mouth, we’re happy for you, but you can keep these “rules” in mind if you want to eat sashimi the “right” way.

Sources: Naver Matome, Nari Nari, Ameba News, Happy Life Style, Josei Bigaku

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- You’re not seeing things, that’s a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes -- Sorry, studs, you’re just too handsome for your own good! -- You’re probably not as genki as this old lady!

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16 Comments
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What a lame article. The deliciousness / quality of the "raw fish itself" will ultimately determine its main flavor. The rice & however YOU like to arrange the wasabi-soyu is up to You & You alone. So screw how "you're supposed to do it."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As Pandabelle indicated - most wasabi bought & consumed in Japan (and elswhere) is not wasabi.

Usually it is a concoction of horseradish, mustard & food coloring. When I heard this a few years back - my sister in Australia told me - I said to her that may well be the case in plebby Oz, but in Japan we(most people here) only use the real mcoy. Shock / Horror to discover on my return that we the people have been misled.

I'm sure many of the self titled Nihon Ryori aficionados are also unaware, that the subtle/not-so-subtle volatilities of wasabi they so longingly love - are not that.

As for mixing soy-sauce (I'm a ponzu snob - esp yuzupon) and wasabi, fake or real, each to their own.

Of course high-end sashimi should be treated as the delicacy it is and care taken with condiments - meaning using real wasabi sparingly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Besides not mixing wasabi and soy, if you follow good journalistic standards, you are also not suppose to mix news story formats with advertisement genre.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well I. Like it both ways it depends on what Kind of Fish I am eating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

all my Japanese friends and girlfriends I've ever had have mixed. even a lot of older work colleagues tended to do so as well. and to be honest it doesn't really harm anything unless you're eating at a really fine, expensive establishment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Use ponzu for a lighter less salty taste.

But rule one is its about taste not looks.

Rule two is sushi is finger food.

Rule three is enjoy what you eat - so mix and enjoy.

There will always be haters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Never mix!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I've never tried to see how people eat their sashimi. I just take one with my chopsticks and get it in my mouth and then I eat it. The only thing I'm really looking to is how I use my chopsticks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article doesn't report the most obvious reason why not to mix wasabi into soy sauce which is it ruins the fresh fragrance sting of wasabi as it exits the nose. Basically wasabi's strong sting is released as it mixes with air. If you drown it with soy sauce it inhibits this chemical bonding.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As long as you are happy eating do as you please.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I love sushi, but not sashimi, thank you. As for mixing wasabi into the soy sauce, it tastes great, so why not? I ate the wasabi separate from the soy sauce for almost 50 years, when one of our kids suggested mixing them. I'll still do it both ways, but have to admit that they taste very good mixed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The thinking is that the darker the fish meat (sic), the stronger the tastes so if you eat in the order from light to dark, you won't have to worry about the tastes overpowering each other."

No. The tastes will certainly overpower each other. Which is presumably what you want to happen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

1) Don't put wasabi on sashimi in the first place

2) The vast majority of the wasabi you get even in Japan is not real wasabi, so you're not really diminishing anything important by mixing with soy sauce.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

oh please someone is going to tell us about some magazine telling us we are drinking water incorrectly.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

OK, I agree that a large majority of Japanese including myself eat sashimi the wrong way, but as the Romans have pointed out, the proper way to do something is do as the local people actually do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Either there is a correct way or a grotesque crucifixion of the delicate flavors of sashimi. Those who have used fork and knife to destroy pizza's ephemeral majesty know these sins too well. Those who put mayonnaise on frites have similar enemies.

Yes, yes, the sins of food. How these plagues continue to ravage our taste buds is unknown. Once, a man was served and ate a rib-eye steak, well-done. And another, cracked a lobster claw the size of and apple, and poured the juice into the sea by his waterfront table. The horror, the horror.

Sashimi, the food of the gods, has one condiment, a touch of soy sauce. But, if intoxicated, and a trust fund baby, three large Ichiban, a progression from delicate to hard smacks of wasabi and a variety of transparent auburn to pond green dips in a soy wasabi slurry hidden from the host.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

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