Traditional recipes

Sushi Royalty: Eating at Japan’s Best Sushi Spots

Sushi Royalty: Eating at Japan’s Best Sushi Spots

Eating at Sukiyabashi Jiro Roppongi, Kanesaka, Mizutani, and Sawada and living to tell the story

Our contributor takes the sushi tour of a lifetime.

Japan’s insulated history has helped to create one of the world’s most intriguing food cultures. One would be hard-pressed to discover another place where the cultural ties to the food are so strong.

Click here to see the Sushi Royalty Slideshow!

The culinary center of Japan is undoubtedly Tokyo, and the vestibule of Tokyo, if not its epicenter, is sushi. While there are numerous, often underappreciated, forms of Japanese cookery, it is the "ancient" tradition (sushi began in Japan in the 700s) of slamming super-fresh fish onto some delicious vinegar rice that has become synonymous with Japanese cuisine.

While fine sushi is available worldwide, the sheer number of elite fishmongers in Tokyo is something to behold. Eating at any one of these pristine sushi bars is a privilege; to find yourself seated at four of them inside a week is an epic honor. Unlike so many honors, this one isn’t really earned… it’s just bought. Be that as it may, worshiping in a "Temple of Sushi" is an experience that will make you feel special.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a top five list of the best sushi bars that excluded Sawada, Mizutani, and Kanesaka. Sukiyabashi Jiro and Sushi Saito would fill out my top five. I’ll pause while some of you protest the omission of one of the dozen or so other spots that could be included…

We had hoped to visit all of them; however, scheduling conflicts arose and adjustments had to be made. In lieu of the Honten mother ship, we substituted Sukiyabashi Jiro’s Roppongi outpost. Meanwhile, snagging a seat at these joints isn’t a picnic and we were left to do our best Louis Winthorpe III impression with Saito.

Each establishment offers a unique experience within the framework of a high-end sushi-ya (sushi restaurant). Weaving them into the tapestry of a single week offered a wonderful opportunity to compare and contrast. Ultimately, these itamaes all offer something deeply personal. Even when you find yourself amid a gregarious single-serving friend (aka another customer), there’s something incredibly intimate in a visit to one of these hidden away gems. Sushi at its best is a peaceful, highly introspective occurrence.

8 Best Sushi Cookbooks for Beginners, Chefs and Sushi-Lovers

Sushi is Japan’s most famous dish which has spawned dozens of cookbooks showing you how to make sushi. For sure, you’ll find the best recipes in books by sushi chefs and Japanese sushi masters.

Whether you’re a beginner starting, an enthusiast who wants to develop further or a professional chef who wants to discover sushi’s soul, making sushi just got easier.

Here are my eight best sushi cookbooks.

Korean Sushi

Japanese sushi devotees might eschew Korean sushi because it is not considered as authentic as traditional sushi but this is also what makes it so fun and addictive.

One of the biggest differences between Korean sushi and its Japanese counterpart is the exclusion of wasabi. Instead, gochujang, a spicy, fermented Korean red pepper sauce is frequently substituted. It delivers a similar heat without the searing nose-tingling sensation of wasabi.

The staple of pickled ginger in Japanese sushi is often replaced by kimchi for a similar pickled flavor that is entirely Korea’s own. Lotus root is another popular ingredient in Korean sushi along with fatty fish such as salmon that is marinated in a combination of gochujang and sesame oil before it is prepared. Crunchy ingredients for texture such as fried fish roe are also Korean sushi staples.

“Gimbap” is the most straightforward Korean sushi recipe. “Gim” means seaweed and “bap” means rice. Kimchi, hard boiled eggs, carrots, spinach, and beef round out a classic gimbap.

On DoorDash, these S.F. sushi spots look like famous restaurants. The real owners say they're fakes

Jason Teplitsky stands outside of his restaurant, Blowfish Sushi to Die For, which permanently closed in December. Without Teplitsky’s knowledge, a new restaurant took its place, also called Blowfish Sushi.

Amy Osborne / Special to The Chronicle Show More Show Less

Jason Teplitsky says that without his knowledge, a new owner took the place of his closed Blowfish Sushi to Die For and used his logo.

Amy Osborne / Special to The Chronicle Show More Show Less

Things seemed normal when Blowfish Sushi opened for dinner Friday night in the Mission District, the familiar red spiky blowfish logo prominently displayed on a square sign above the door and a chalkboard sign advertising delivery.

But then Jason Teplitsky showed up, ready to fulfill his nickname, &ldquoThe Monster.&rdquo He owns Blowfish &mdash or at least the trademark rights to its logo and its name. And as far as he knew, he&rsquod shut the business down in December after more than 20 years.

He demanded to speak to whoever was claiming to own this new Blowfish Sushi, with the same name, same logo and in the same location as his closed restaurant. The confrontation heated up fast. The staff said they didn&rsquot know where the owner was, nor the owner&rsquos name. Teplitsky didn&rsquot buy it. A big Russian guy with a booming voice, Teplitsky threatened to have a group of people stand outside the restaurant&rsquos door to prevent anyone from going in and out &mdash to shut it down by any means necessary. He warned of &ldquoa world of serious lawyership.&rdquo

The squabble ended with the police arriving. Teplitsky went home, and the business calling itself Blowfish Sushi kept fulfilling delivery orders.

What at first might seem like a simple trademark dispute is one part of a bigger mystery, about how a business location appears to be impersonating a pair of other Japanese restaurants: Blowfish Sushi to Die For, Teplitsky&rsquos eclectic but shuttered sushi restaurant, and Wagyumafia, a Tokyo spot famous for its $180 Wagyu sandwich. Some diners have publicly thought they were ordering from the originals one woman posted a Yelp review in February for the closed Blowfish saying it&rsquos actually still open.

Yet it&rsquos not clear who&rsquos behind these alleged fakes: City records show that Anna Zhao filed permits for the business, but employees have said they don&rsquot know who that is. Since Friday&rsquos confrontation, the staffers have painted over the Blowfish logo, yet the new eateries continue to advertise on food delivery apps. Teplitsky and Wagyumafia say they are considering legal action.

At a time when most diners aren&rsquot going to restaurants in person, the confusion highlights what can happen with the proliferation of delivery apps and ghost kitchens: Businesses making your food aren&rsquot necessarily who they say they are.

The new operators at 2193 Mission St. first gained media attention at the end of March, when San Francisco food writer Tamara Palmer was hunting for new restaurants on food app Seamless and discovered a listing for SF Wagyu Mafia. Palmer, who has written for The Chronicle, assumed this was a new, little known San Francisco branch of the famous restaurant in Japan, which had been plotting an outpost here a few years ago. She ordered one of its cheapest items, four pieces of Wagyu sushi, for $35.

&ldquoIt wasn&rsquot even a well-constructed piece of sushi,&rdquo Palmer said. &ldquoBut it did taste good.&rdquo

The wagyu sushi San Francisco food writer Tamara Palmer ordered from SF Wagyu Mafia for $35 in March.

She didn&rsquot think much more of it, posting a photo of her meal online and writing an item for her 48 Hills food column. But the next morning, she woke up embroiled in what she called &ldquointernational meat drama.&rdquo

&ldquoI&rsquom getting in touch on behalf of WAGYUMAFIA to let you know that the WAGYUMAFIA in San Francisco is a fake,&rdquo read an email from a representative of the Japan business.

Palmer was chagrined that she&rsquod apparently fallen for a fake restaurant. She also wanted her money back, stunned a business would tout a &ldquofamous wagyu sandwich&rdquo for $180 with apparently no connection to the real thing.

&ldquoI know people love stunt food and I know people will splash out for crazy items, but right now? My god,&rdquo she said.

The SF Wagyu Mafia location was the same as that advertised for the business calling itself Blowfish. Delivery apps list both operating out of 2193 Mission St., where Teplitsky&rsquos Blowfish Sushi to Die For had been. He was crushed when he permanently closed it in December, unable to make takeout and delivery work during the pandemic.

Then, he was shocked when he learned there were active delivery listings for Blowfish Sushi on DoorDash, Grubhub and Postmates. The new business used the original Blowfish&rsquos logo, and its Yelp page describes it as a &ldquolegendary sushi spot&rdquo established in 1998.

&ldquoI don&rsquot know what to think,&rdquo he said. &ldquoHow does someone decide to do something like this? Did they think we all got COVID and died?&rdquo

The new Blowfish started serving customers in February, according to online reviews. Its menu is far more extensive than the old Blowfish, with more than 200 items, at least four times as much as Blowfish Sushi to Die For&rsquos menu out of the same, small space.

It would be one thing, Teplitsky said, if new owners came into his former space and couldn&rsquot change signage right away. But in January, the new operation registered with the city of San Francisco as Mission Blowfish Inc., doing business as Blowfish Sushi on Mission, just a few weeks after the original Blowfish moved out.

&ldquoIt&rsquos not some sort of accident,&rdquo Teplitsky believes.

Jason Teplitsky was stunned to learn someone opened a restaurant called Blowfish Sushi in the same location as his shuttered restaurant, Blowfish Sushi to Die For, in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Amy Osborne / Special to The Chronicle

Last Thursday night, Teplitsky decided to place a delivery order, just to see what it was like. He was not impressed.

&ldquoIt&rsquos similar to sushi buffet &mdash all you can eat,&rdquo he said. &ldquoIt&rsquos not worthy of the name.&rdquo

He decided to wait for Blowfish Sushi to open for dinner Friday night to pay a visit. His colleague had already tried to get the restaurant to stop using the Blowfish name multiple times without success Teplitsky didn&rsquot have much patience when an employee told him she didn&rsquot know who the owner was or when they&rsquod be back. He blew up, he said. He yelled. He swore. Some employees at Blowfish Sushi said he&rsquod scared them.

How to eat sushi: the dining etiquette

  • You may be offered a hot, wet towel (called an oshibori) at the beginning of your meal. Use it to wash you hands and try to fold it back neatly the way it was offered to you before returning it.
  • Do not rub your chopsticks together. When not in use they should be placed parallel to yourself on the holder (if there is one) or on the shoyu dish. They should also be placed there when finished with your meal.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for an item not on the menu as the sushi-ya may have special or seasonal items that are not listed. It is perfectly acceptable to ask, and often the itamae will appreciate your interest.
  • Don’t put wasabi directly in the shoyu dish. Nigiri-zushi (fingers of rice topped with fish or another topping) comes with wasabi placed under the neta (fish) by the itamae, and reflects what he feels is the proper balance of wasabi to fish. Some of us like a little more, and you can always sneak some separately on the fish or with it.
  • It is OK to eat nigiri-zushi (sushi) with your hands. Sashimi is only to be eaten with your chopsticks.
  • Pick up the nigiri-zushi and dip the fish (neta) into your shoyu, not the rice (which will soak up too much shoyu). The rice is like a sponge, and too much shoyu will overpower the taste of the food and could also lead to the rice falling into your shoyu dish and making soup, which is not a good thing.
  • Do not pick up a piece of food from another person’s plate with the end of the chopsticks you put in your mouth. When moving food like this use the end you hold, which is considered the polite way.
  • Eat nigiri style sushi in one bite. This is not always easy (or possible) in North America where some sushi-ya make huge pieces, but traditional itamae in Japanese sushi-ya will make the pieces the proper size for this. In North America, try your best and don’t worry if there’s possible way to fit the entire thing in your mouth! It’s not up to you to have proper sushi etiquette if it’s physically impossible.
  • Gari (ginger) is considered a palate cleanser and eaten between bites or different types of sushi. It is not meant to be eaten in the same bite as a piece of sushi.
  • Slurping noodles is OK, less so for soup, but a bit is fine, at least by Japanese standards.
  • In more traditional sushi-ya, if you are not given a spoon for your soup, do not ask for one. You are expected to pick up your bowl to drink the soup, using your chopsticks to direct the solid pieces to your mouth.
  • It’s nice to offer a beer or sake to the itamae (but of course not required). He may remember you and treat you well upon subsequent visits.
  • Never pass food to another person using chopsticks as this is too close symbolically to the passing of a deceased relative’s bones at a traditional Japanese funeral. Pass a plate instead allowing an individual to take food themselves.
  • Also, never stick your chopsticks in your rice and leave them sticking up. This resembles incense sticks and again brings to mind the symbolism of the Japanese funeral and prayers to one’s ancestors.
  • Technically one doesn’t drink sake with sushi (or rice in general) only with sashimi or before or after the meal. It is felt that since they are both rice based, they do not complement each other and therefore should not be consumed together. Green tea is a great option with sushi or sashimi.
  • With alcoholic beverages, it is considered customary to serve each other (if not alone) instead of pouring one’s own drink. Be attentive of your fellow diner’s glasses and refill them. If you need a refill, drink the remainder of the beverage and hold the glass slightly and politely towards a dining partner.
  • It is customary for the most “prestigious” person at the table to pour the drinks. Serving of drinks is very hierarchical in nature. Example: a professor who dines with his students would pour the drinks. Seniors would serve the freshman. If not by prestige, it would be the host of the evening or who made the invite. If you invited someone to dine with you, you become the automatic host.
  • Sake is available both chilled and hot, depending the quality and style. Experiment to learn what you like, but generally, higher quality sake is served cold. And some is quite good as well as sophisticated.
  • Belching is considered impolite at the Japanese table, unlike some other Asian cultures. This is a no-no for sushi etiquette.
  • “Kanpai!” (“empty your cup”) is the traditional Japanese toast you may hear. Do not say “chin chin” as to the Japanese, this is a reference to a certain male body part best left out of proper conversation.

4. Sushi by Yuji

For a more casual scene, dine with Chef Yuji Nagaya at this small restaurant that seats around 20 people. The hole-in-the-wall place eschews fancy décor but still celebrates high-quality ingredients you’d expect from an authentic Japanese restaurant in Vancouver. It is known for sashimi, nigiri and traditional gunkan (rice and nori seaweed with salmon, fish roe or sea urchin) types of sushi, but, as with many sushi restaurants in Vancouver, check out the specials board for the freshest options.

The toro nigiri and Yuji roll are crowd pleasers, as are the negitoro, tobiko and ikura with quail egg (you can also order without quail egg).

2252 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC Canada, V5N2T7

The 6 Best Countries to Eat Real Sushi Outside of Japan

Japanese people have been emigrating all over the world for more than 800 years. Many of the descendants of these immigrants have maintained their Japanese language, culture, and of course their sushi traditions. Sushi enthusiasts like us are lucky to have access to authentic Japanese restaurants when we are traveling all over the world. As an avid traveler I love to try local food, but I can never say no to sushi…

A lot of people aren’t aware that Brazil actually has the highest ethnic Japanese population in the world outside of Japan. Naturally, there are countless sushi restaurants in the country, particularly in the largest city São Paolo.

Where to get real Sushi in Brazil? Restaurante Sushi Isao in São Paolo was opened by an Okinawa native in 1987. They serve an upscale authentic sushi buffet. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday.

2. Singapore

Among travelers Singapore is known as one of the best culinary destinations in the world. People from all over the world live in Singapore, so there is a huge variety of choices. With a Japanese Expatriate population of more than 35 000 people, Singapore is definitely a great country for authentic Sushi.

Where to get real Sushi in Singapore? Many people consider Hashida Sushi to be the best sushi restaurant in Singapore. With gourmet Japanese fare, Hashida Sushi is known for its Omakase (Chef’s Special). Open every day for lunch and dinner, but reservations are recommended.

3. The Philippines

Being a fellow island nation in East Asia it is no surprise that the Philippines has a substantial amount of ethnic Japanese people. In fact, the earliest known Japanese immigrants moved to the Philippines in the 12th century. Many Filipino people love sushi and it can be found all over the country. Interesting note: Halo-Halo, a very popular shaved ice Filipino dessert, likely originated from a Japanese dish called mitsumame.

Where to get real Sushi in the Philippines? Check out Seryna Japanese Restaurant located in Little Tokyo in Manila. The sashimi is from Japan and so is the chef, also this restaurant is very popular with Japanese people living in Manila. Open every day for lunch and dinner.

4. The United States of America

Sushi has become extremely popular in North America over the past 50 years, nowadays there are numerous Japanese restaurants in almost every single city. Sushi chefs have created their own versions of more traditional Japanese dishes, most notably the California Roll. However, it is still possible to find authentic Japanese sushi all over the country.

Where to get real sushi in the United States? There are countless excellent options so it is difficult to choose just one. I decided on Sushi Tsujita in Los Angeles, the city where North American sushi was born. Tsujita is an upscale old fashioned Japanese restaurant, try their Omakase (Chef’s Special). Tsujita is open for lunch and dinner every day.

Japanese people have been moving to Thailand since the 16th century and there still is a huge Japanese influence in the country, particularly in Bangkok and Chonburi. I was in Thailand 2 years ago and I will admit that Thai food is amazing, but most people prefer to have some variety throughout their trip.

Where to find real sushi in Thailand? Sushi Masato is a classy traditional Japanese restaurant in Bangkok. They only serve the Omakase (Chef’s Special), but it is fantastic. Sushi Masato is open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday and closed on Monday.

As a Canadian native I have been eating sushi since I was in elementary school. I developed a taste for sushi from a very young age, the sushi bar at the Marina Restaurant in Victoria BC was actually my favorite restaurant. I wouldn’t say that this was the most “authentic” sushi ever, especially after I turned it into a soy sauce soup, but I am lucky to have expanded my palate so early in my life.

Where to find real sushi in Canada? I lived in Vancouver for 4 years and I can assure you that we have countless excellent sushi options in the city. I will recommend the very authentic Tetsu Sushi Bar in downtown Vancouver. Come here in the summertime, they actually fly in fresh sea urchins from Hokkaido, Japan. Reservations are suggested, Tetsu Sushi Bar is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday – Sunday, only dinner on Tuesday, and closed on Monday.

Evan has been traveling and living out of a backpack for the last four years. He runs a blog on independent travel, giving people the skills and confidence they need to travel the world without a tour company.

Sushi Shokunin: Japan’s Culinary Masters

Tokyo-based New Yorker Andrea Fazzari has experienced an incredible photography career spanning 16 years. The James Beard Award-winning photographer and writer has illuminated the arts scene with her dazzling and bewitching work with a particular focus on cuisine. Fazzari, who also holds a position as Starwood Hotel Group’s Luxury Collection Global Explorer, exploded into Japanese culinary consciousness in 2018 with “Tokyo New Wave: 31 Chefs Defining Japan’s Next Generation, with Recipes.” “ Tokyo New Wave ” was a cultural and photographic tour de force and shed light into the world of some of Japan’s top chefs.

Her latest book “Sushi Shokunin,” to be published in fall 2020 by Assouline, explores the enigma and craftsmanship behind sushi artisans in Tokyo. Fazzari explains the reasoning and processes behind her latest work in a recent email interview with Metropolis .

Metropolis: The sushi scene in Japan, it could be claimed, is very much a man’s world. Did you encounter any female sushi chefs during your journey through your new book “Sushi Shokunin?”

Andrea Fazzari: You’re correct, the sushi scene historically has been, and still is, substantively a man’s world. At the highest tier of masters in the Edomae (Edo or Tokyo style) sushi world — which is what I am focusing on in “Sushi Shokunin: Japan’s Culinary Masters” — female shokunin [artisans] are not yet present.

In my last book, “Tokyo New Wave,” I featured an outlier female sushi shokunin, someone who achieved her success and opened her own sushiya [sushi restaurant] in Ginza after years of traditional, demanding training under a well-known master. Today, top shokunin are continuing to evolve in their thinking and are more open to mentoring female apprentices.

M: In your last book, “Tokyo New Wave,” you interviewed and photographed 31 chefs in a kind of anthropological study of food and chefs. How is your new book different from this?

AF: “Sushi Shokunin: Japan’s Culinary Masters” is different in a few ways: The world that I am capturing here — through both my photography and writing — is solely the sushi world, not the eclectic Tokyo gastronomic scene in “Tokyo New Wave.”

I focus exclusively on shokunin, not chefs, which is different [and] I write about the meaning of shokunin as part of my introduction and throughout the book.

I selected shokunin all over Japan, not solely in Tokyo. The shokunin I feature have already achieved the highest level of skill and are established, while a percentage of the chefs in “Tokyo New Wave” are up-and-coming. “Sushi Shokunin” features 20 shokunin, not 31 chefs, and is quite different in look and feel.

M: A lot of cultural, gastronomic and social importance is placed upon sushi and its role in Japanese society. As an Italian/American how did you approach the culture behind sushi and the shokunin who create it every day?

AF: I have visited just about 90 countries by now, and have lived in seven. Food culture has long fascinated me, no matter the country, perhaps in part due to growing up exposed to exceptional food and meaningful life interactions around it. However, upon my first visit to Japan 20 years ago I literally fell in love with the country and its singular, stunning approach to aesthetics and gastronomy. I would eventually move here because of this: In the last five years as a Tokyo resident I have learned about Japan’s culinary world as it reflects Japanese culture — Edomae sushi is arguably the strongest example of this. To learn about sushi is to learn about Japanese history, agriculture, politics, art , science, design and more. All of these elements are inherent in sushi. Living in Tokyo, where I feel at home, I keenly appreciate the skill and devotion of all shokunin no matter the type, but especially within the culinary world. They move me, and I don’t hesitate to express my appreciation.

A sushiya featured in the book.

M: I wanted to know how you managed to forge relationships with these shokunin? What was the process behind it?

AF: My relationships have grown organically over time, like any friendship. One led to another and led to another one shokunin — recognizing my heartfelt joy every time I experienced his craft — would introduce me to another. No special process.

M: In the press release for “Sushi Shokunin,” it says, “this title is reserved for those who approach their work with an artistic eye and seemingly spiritual sense of purpose, or ikigai.” Could you expand more on this?

AF: Ikigai is the Japanese term for “one’s purpose in life,” “one’s reason for being,” what motivates you to get up in the morning. All of these sushi shokunin are guided by their ikigai, and live in the disciplined and passionate pursuit of their craft. As artisans with acute attention to detail and tremendous skill, they never stop striving for further improvement. Within this daily “doing,” creating what they love, they attain a level of synchronicity that can be equated to a kind of spirituality where the meaning of life can be found.

To learn about sushi is to learn about Japanese history, agriculture, politics, art , science, design and more.

M: New York has its fair share of top-level sushi restaurants such as Masa, Sushi Ishikawa and Sushi Inoue. How do they compare (in process, taste and philosophy) with the restaurants you include in “Sushi Shokunin?”

AF: I’m sorry, I have not dined at these three particular sushiya. However, there is a bit of a surprise in “Sushi Shokunin!”

M: Japanese cuisine places a lot of emphasis on aesthetics, seasons and history. Is this something other cultures and countries could learn from?

AF: Absolutely. Japanese culinary aesthetics exude a harmony, balance and peacefulness that are — to me — unparalleled anywhere. Their beauty is transcendent, and, even if in a modern form, often pay homage to or echo tradition. This is reflected in the physical spaces as well as the food itself. Seasonality is one hundred percent at the heart of Japanese gastronomy the seasons dictate the quality of ingredients, well-being and an understanding of the rhythm of life. This understanding is conveyed in the most memorable dining experiences.

M: What draws you to photograph food and the artisans behind it? Why is the culinary world so fascinating to you?

AF: The culinary world is exceptionally rich, imbued with just about every aspect of life. Food is central to our lives. The culinary world and the shokunin who work within it awe me with their drive, dedication, knowledge and sense of beauty. They and their creations constantly move me, so it is in turn rewarding to explore that which induces such strong feelings in me — photographically and through my writing. In so doing I am a constant student of anthropology whose education, happily, never ends.

M: It’s a simple question but what kind of sushi is your favorite and why?

AF: Edomae (Edo or Tokyo style) sushi. Within this style, my favorite type of nigiri changes a bit over time, but right now I’m particularly enamored by the humble but glorious iwashi, or sardine.

M: Do you have any of your favorite sushi restaurants that you would like to recommend to Metropolisreaders?

AF: I would recommend any of the 20 shokunin and their sushiya which I have included in “Sushi Shokunin.” I tell personal stories about each, so I hope your readers will discover restaurants that they would like to try.

Don't touch the geisha

What many travelers call "geisha," are referred to as "maiko" or "geiko" in Kyoto, which is considered one of the best places in Japan to see the decorated female entertainers.

If one is spotted, the travel website for the Kyoto City Tourism Association (KCTA) advises travelers against stopping or asking maiko to pose for photographs.

"Do not bother them or grab them by their kimono sleeves," states the website.

This is one of Kyoto's Manners Akimahen, a list of 18 tips, recommendations and warnings for those traveling in Japan's cultural capital.

The list of "akimahen" (which means "don't" in the local dialect) ranges from tips about automatic taxi doors ("make sure to stand far enough away that the door can open without bumping into you") to littering, which can lead to a fine of 30,000 Japanese yen ($280).

Emoticon ratings indicate the seriousness of each offense. Tipping, which is frowned upon throughout Japan, rather than saying thank you in the local dialect ("okini") is given one sad face. Bicycling while intoxicated earns three angry faces — the worst rating — not to mention a possible prison sentence of up to five years.

Vegetarian, Vegan, And Gluten-free Options

I know many people who think sushi is an exclusive food for those who eat fish and I really pity them! Yes, you don’t have to be a seafood eater to be able to enjoy the rich flavor of seasoned sushi rice, nori, and the fillings. There are more veggie sushi options on this planet than you can count on your fingers.

In fact, the traditional maki roll contains only strips of Japanese cucumbers rolled inside sushi rice and seaweed. The vegetables can be used as it is or they may be steamed, boiled, marinated, pickled or baked to enhance the taste.

If you like making sushi at home, there are countless vegetarian sushi recipes you can try at home. Besides vegetables, you can also use fruits such as avocado, mango, strawberry, and many more for fillings.

If you are vegan, ask the server for some pure vegan options and they will be happy to help. Some common fillings include guacamole, spinach, shitake mushrooms, grated carrots, and seasoned tofu. Once you get a taste of vegan sushi rolls, you will be amazed at how appetizing this dish can taste even without fish or seafood.

Watch the video: 100 Sushi Challenge Sushi Bar Conveyor Belt Buffet MUKBANG (January 2022).