Mixed sushi platter available from The Fish Restaurant and Bar. Midtown Houston.

Sushi for Beginners

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If you’ve never had sushi, then you’re in for a treat! Don’t worry about the foreign idea of eating raw fish, you have nothing to fear. Eating sushi for beginners is not so difficult either. There are some ways you can avoid feeling nervous about making mistakes. The key is to ease into this new cuisine and finding things that you like.

Now, grab your chopsticks and let’s dive in!

h2>Try Cooked Sushi
One common misconception about sushi is that its all raw fish and seafood. Actually, a lot of sushi rolls are cooked, fried, or contain no fish at all. There are a few popular sushi rolls that are great sushi for beginners.

  • California Rolls contain kanikama, cucumber, avocado
  • Eel-based rolls are sweet, savory, and always cooked
  • Shrimp rolls are usually cooked or fried in batter (tempura)
  • Grilled squid and octopus rolls are also worth trying

Vegetable Sushi, Too!

As you can see, you have plenty of options if you don’t want to eat raw fish. There are also plenty of great sushi options for those who don’t like fish or seafood. The “Yam Yam” or sweet potato roll is a big favorite among vegetarians.

Some restaurants will even accommodate vegetarians that want to try particular rolls that contain seafood and either substitute or eliminate the meat.

Keep it Simple

If you are looking for some beginner sushi starters, it’s good to start with fish and ingredients you are familiar with. Salmon, tuna, and whitefish are all very nice and mild fish that will keep you from being overwhelmed by the textures. Even when eaten raw, these fish will taste nearly identical as cooked, only a bit smoother.

It is a little hard to hard to answer “what does raw sushi taste like?” to someone who has never had it. It is safe to say that the experience is always better than expectations. The best sushi rolls are filled with flavor and delicate textures, but it’s best not to start with special rolls to avoid overwhelming the senses.

That might sound silly, but there is a lot of flavor and textures that can seem too intense for beginners. As you progress through the different rolls and experience new fish and ingredients, then you can try some of the special rolls.

Watch Out for Wasabi

Hopefully, you’ll be trying sushi for the first time with experienced friends or family. Don’t let them prank you with wasabi. This spicy paste is served with sushi, along with some ginger for pallet clearing (more on that below).

Wasabi looked like mashed avocado–bright green and scentless. You don’t need a lot of wasabi to give your sushi some spice. The good thing about wasabi is that it won’t burn your mouth like a hot pepper. It’s more like a peppercorn with a savory texture.

Ginger Between Bites

Served beside the wasabi you’ll see a bright pink shaving of pickled ginger. This is to “reset” your taste buds in between bites of packed sushi. This enhances your ability to experience new flavors and textures.

Not everyone loves ginger, so don’t feel like it’s required to enjoy sushi. On a similar note, try to limit your use of soy sauce for dipping. A quick dip with sushi that doesn’t have its own sauce is good. Mixing a little wasabi into your soy sauce is also a nice way to enhance flavor.

Learner’s Chopsticks
The use of chopsticks is another artificial barrier for people who want to try sushi. It’s understandable that you don’t want to make a fool of yourself with using chopsticks to pick up small pieces of sushi. You can use chopstick accessories that allow you to learn how to hold them.

These are just small plastic holders that flex to let you pick up your food without fumbling the sticks with your fingers. You can try practicing at home before you go out to eat.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask!

Look, everyone will know it’s your first time eating sushi anyways, so don’t worry about looking “dumb”. You should ask for advice from the server, chef, and whoever’s eating with you. Everyone has their favorites and recommendations.

Why are there different colored roe? What does eel taste like? Which seafood is in season? These are all great questions to start with.

Order as You Go
Some sushi restaurants are called “sushi buffets” where you can order whatever you want, however much you want, for one price. The catch is that you can’t just take home whatever you don’t eat. In fact, you’ll be charged per-roll if you happen to have a dozen or so leftover.

Even if you’re not eating a buffet, it is good practice to order only two sushi platters at a time. This helps to prevent ordering something you have no taste for and feel obligated to eat. A general rule for those unsure if sushi is good is to have a second bite of a roll before deciding you don’t like it.

Best Sushi for Beginners Restaurant
With these tips, you should be as prepared for how you should approach eating sushi. The benefits of trying sushi include new flavors and experiences, a very healthy cuisine, and some new self-discoveries. The wide variety of sushi almost guarantees that you’ll find something you’ll love.

If you’re looking for the best sushi for beginners with affordable prices and great selection: check out our blog for suggestions and deal alerts! You can also order sushi to eat in the comfort of your own home via Door Dash, UberEats, and Favor.

What are you waiting for? Make your first experience with sushi a good one! We’ll see you at TheFish.