Mr. Food: Beginner's Guide to Sushi

Sushi is perhaps one of the most popular Japanese foods in the U.S. right now, and with sushi bars popping up all over the place and even available at many of our supermarkets, it is time to take away the mystery for those of you who haven't experienced it yet.

First, the most important rule when eating it is to have fun! The best way to do that is to actually sit at the counter where we can watch the skilled chefs in action and learn while watching.

It is truly an art form to see them so expertly create each piece! And in case we are a bit hesitant, it is good to know that not all sushi is raw. Many items like shrimp and crabmeat, and some of the fish, are cooked, and some varieties contain just veggies, so we have plenty of choices, and to help us select what to order, there are often menu cards with colorful pictures like this.

And if you still have questions, your server will be more than willing to help you out.
Now, what to expect? After we order, we will be handed a hot towel to cleanse our hands as part of the custom.

We will also discover every place setting has a set of chopsticks (oh sure, we can use our fingers or a fork). When your order arrives, mix a dab of wasabi (which is just Japanese horseradish) in a small amount of soy that will be your dipping sauce. And this? Pickled ginger. It is to cleanse our palates throughout the meal.

Last, to wash it all down, you could order the traditional green tea or rice wine known as sake, but if you want something else, fine. Just don't be intimidated because you now know the basics. Give it a try, with a little at first if you want. You just may find yourself saying "OOH IT'S SO GOOD!!®"