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Sip & Savor

June 17th, 2020

Tyson Cole's Sushi Tips

In celebration of National Sushi Day on June 18, chef Tyson Cole offers tips so you can become a sushi connoisseur.

It's been so long since you've been out for a caterpillar roll you've forgotten how to use chopsticks. In celebration of National Sushi Day on Thurs, June 18, we checked in with our friend, James Beard award winning chef Tyson Cole, co-founder of Uchi, to give us his top 6 tips you wanted to know about sushi but were afraid to ask...

Soy Sauce - a little (or none) goes a long way
Don’t put your sushi in the soy sauce. You don’t sit rice in soy sauce, if you even use soy sauce. You should wipe only a small amount of soy and try to use as little soy sauce as possible. Especially if the restaurant serves your sushi with other yakumi, or sauces and accents that are meant to go with your order. The Japanese never serve soy sauce with sushi. You have to ask for it. There’s a reason for that.

Wasabi - it's not like butter
Don’t make a paste. You’re not supposed to make a paste, mortar, putty, or anything gloppy with wasabi and soy sauce. I’ve seen so many people take their wasabi “paste” and spread it on their sushi like they’re buttering toast. Then they line up the pickled ginger on top like roof shingles. You can’t even see the fish! And when they eat it and the wasabi knocks their eyes back into their head. 

Order one at a time
Sushi is a delicacy. If you eat it one bite at a time, right when it’s made, you’re eating it when it’s at its best. That long paper list they give you at many sushi places makes people think they have to order everything right then and there. 

Then - eat your sushi immediately when you get it
With fresh French fries, you have only a few minutes to eat them before they’re soggyand gross. Same with sushi. It’s supposed to be cold fish and warm rice. Eat it when it’s served. Otherwise it’s just dying on your plate.

Skip the Spicy Tuna Roll
The two most popular sushi rolls in America are the California roll and the spicy tuna roll. California because it’s delicious. It’s the perfect combination of cucumber for texture, avocado for creaminess and a little fat, and crab for sweetness. On the other hand, spicy tuna rolls come from sushi chefs in America trying to get rid of their older tuna with spicy mayonnaise. I would eat 1,001 things at a sushi bar other than a spicy tuna roll.

Cheap sushi is an oxymoron
Half-price appetizer sushi …cheap sushi … that’s a bad idea. Sushi should not be used to save money. It means you’re eating bad fish. Period.

Photo: Brandy Leyva

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