How to Eat Sushi with Wasabi – Steps and Tips

If you’ve been served sushi at a restaurant, then you know wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce are served with your sushi rolls. But how do you eat wasabi with sushi? Yes, there is a technique to it. If done correctly, the wasabi will bring out the rich flavor of the fish. 

Before we begin, a quick note

Before we go into the process, it’s important to note that real wasabi root is very hard to find, and if you do find it, it’s very expensive — about $160 per kilogram. Restaurants usually serve wasabi, horseradish, and mustard mixture with their sushi rolls because of the scarcity and price. This mixture is delicately crafted to bring out the flavor of your raw fish in your sushi. Now, here’s how to eat sushi with wasabi:

Why eat wasabi with sushi?

Traditionally, wasabi was used to make the fish taste better and to fight bacteria from raw fish. Today, wasabi is still used for this reason. Its flavor is designed to bring out the taste of the raw fish, not cover it. Too much wasabi, however, may overpower the fish taste. Use in moderation for the best experience.

Taste the wasabi

If you’ve never tasted wasabi, give it a try! It will smack you with hard-hitting heat but will lessen within a few seconds. Wasabi is bright green and usually styled on your plate for visual appeal. 

DON’T mix with soy sauce

Wasabi is not meant to be mixed with soy sauce because it hinders the flavor of both the soy sauce and wasabi. For the best taste, keep these two separate.

DO put a dab on the piece of sushi

It’s a delicate moment because too much heat may overpower the sushi bite, while too little heat may not bring out the fish flavor. The best strategy is to dip one side in soy sauce and place a pea-sized wasabi dab on the other. Using chopsticks or your fingers, place the sushi in your mouth. Here different types of traditional sushi you may eat:

1. Sashimi

Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of fresh raw fish or meat sliced into thin pieces. Most often it’s eaten with soy sauce and a small amount of wasabi.

2. Nigiri

Nigiri is thin slices of raw fish served atop rice. Dip the fish in soy sauce and place wasabi on the rice for a balanced flavor. 

3. Roll

The most commonly clarified as “sushi” is the roll. Most often contents such as vegetables, raw fish, and/or a filling are inside a seaweed or rice roll and cut into six to ten pieces. 

What to do if you don’t like wasabi?

Although the traditional way of eating sushi is with wasabi, you don’t need to use extra. Many sushi rolls already have a small amount of wasabi n them so extra is not needed. If you don’t like soy sauce, now, that’s a different story. 

Try sushi at Cobo in Boone, NC

CoBo Sushi Bistro and Bar is a one-of-a-kind dining experience that not only includes the Japanese art of sushi, but also has plenty of non-traditional and contemporary menu items. Try our wasabi at our location in Boone, NC, on the other side of King Street on W Howard St.