Why You Should Never Eat A Sushi Roll Before Sashimi

There are two kinds of sushi eaters in the world: Those who tend to go for supermarket sushi that can be gulped down in a few quick bites and others who prefer the kind of sushi that takes chefs years to master. For those who like their sushi made by chefs who know their rice-to-fish ratio and the importance of well-seasoned rice, there's a whole world of sushi-eating etiquette to follow.

Mixing wasabi and soy sauce is a huge faux pas — one that even the late, great Anthony Bourdain frowned upon — and dipping the rice side of sushi in soy sauce is the sign of a novice (via SBS). Chefs put great effort in balancing the flavor of seasoned rice with fish and dunking the sushi in too much soy sauce can throw the delicate harmony off-balance. This is why it's best to go easy on the dipping sauce.

In fact, diners must also consider the correct order of eating sushi. As Umami Insider explains, a punchy fish can leave a lingering aftertaste that may affect the flavor of the next piece of sushi. To eat sushi in the most optimum order, it's best to begin with more delicately flavored fish and work your way toward stronger flavors with bites of gari (pickled ginger) in between to cleanse the palate. Besides keeping in mind the type of fish while ordering sushi, it's also important to note the type of sushi that you're ordering — true sushi pros would never eat a sushi roll before sashimi after all (via PureWow)!

You should eat sushi in this order

According to PureWow, the raw slices of fresh fish or shellfish known as sashimi are typically eaten before sushi rolls and sushi. The Food Channel goes on to explain that this may be so because the nuanced flavors of the sashimi — which come without rice —may be best appreciated when the belly isn't already full from the rice that comes with sushi and sushi rolls. Because sashimi is all about appreciating the fish, it's also best to leave the chopsticks for later as picking the sashimi up by hand allows you to appreciate the texture of the fish much better (via Tripsavvy). In most cases, sushi should be eaten in one bite with the fish side down so that you get to truly savor the delicate flavors of the fish itself.

When in doubt, however, consider ordering omakase (via Live Japan). A system that was initially designed to save diners the embarrassment of getting the intricacies of sushi-eating wrong, ordering omakase means that you leave things entirely up to the chef. Simply eat what's served to you and in the order that is served because the chef knows best!