Ignorance is bliss. I personally agree with this statement 99% of the time, but not when it comes to food. Working at a sushi restaurant taught me a lot of things that Google did not tell me. After all, you are what you eat and it is time for me to show what I've experienced and learnt.
1. It is fast food
Whenever I visit a sushi restaurant on the end of the street and order my favorite sushi, I get my dish within five minutes. I love it when the food is served quickly.
2. It did not start from Japan
Contrary to popular belief, sushi did not originally come from Japan. I learned this when the chef from the restaurant I was working at told me it is not Japanese food—to be precise. Although the Japanese contributed to the promotion and development of modern sushi, the roots of it lay somewhere in China and South East Asia.
3. Yes, it is bad for your health
Surprise! My friend once claimed that sushi is a healthy food, and I told him to think twice. The secret to sushi is that as far as I know, a large amount of vinegar, sugar, and other essential condiment are added to rice and mixed together—and this is only the rice.
4. There are certain seasons of sushi
Sea animals follow the cycle of life. Meaning, they are not available 24/7. I once made an order of Uni when it is summer, and they were not available.
FYI, the best season for Uni is from September-December.
5. Think twice before ordering sushi with tempura inside
Not talking about calories here, but I learned that a tempura typically stays out in the open air for around an hour before being placed in a sushi (which is not ideal).
6. Choose salmon over wild salmon
I once thought since it is from the wild, it will be more exotic than a normal, perfectly fine farmed salmon—but I've realized normal salmon may be better than a wild one. At least they are cared for by humans and slightly safer from pests and diseases.
7. It is not real wasabi
Real wasabi is made from the root of a certain type of plant, and it is more expensive than your typical meal at a sushi restaurant. Since budget is always an issue, many restaurants use powdered wasabi and mixes it with water.
8. Try not to dip your rice into soy sauce
People get this wrong all the time, and even I get it wrong for the sake of convenience. The proper way to eat is to dip the fish part of the nigiri into the soy sauce.
With all of this amalgamation of facts bombarding you, I still love eating sushi. The whole idea behind this article is not to stop you from going out on a Thursday night for your favorite sushi. Instead, it is to inform you about some information you have missed out on.
So put away any worries, shout itadakimasu (いただきます) and enjoy your delicious meal.