When the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" came out five years ago, it made every sushi-lover in the world flinch. Why? Because chef Jiro Ono's exquisite sushi creations are so gorgeous, so craveable—and so tragically far away for anyone who doesn't live there. And even if you do live in Japan, his 10-seat, triple-Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, can be damn near impossible to get into. (Unless of course you're Questlove, who found a way, because he always does.)
For anyone who hasn't been to Jiro, which includes nearly the entire human race, chef Ono is about to publish a pocket-size guide—co-authored by his son, the sushi chef Yoshikazu Ono—revealing the most essential sushi tips we need to know. No, the book, titled Jiro: Sushi Gastronomy, won't turn us into master sushi chefs; it took Ono 50 years to earn that title. But the book will, in between its spectacular photos of glistening jewel-like sushi, clarify the right way to eat the stuff.
Here's a hint of what's in store:
Never, ever dip your sushi rice into soy sauce. The rice will soak up too much of the salty condiment and ruin the flavor of the entire bite.
And don't be shy about using your hands to eat. Sushi is often best enjoyed with your fingers—and yes, that's the correct etiquette, even in the poshest sushi restaurants. But chopsticks have a role to play too, and Jiro will reveal how to use your hands and chopsticks properly.
How should you hold the sushi when you're eating it? "Gently lift it up so that it maintains its shape," says Ono, as quoted in Fine Dining Lovers—and as for your chopsticks, you'll want to put them "parallel to the tray as if they are the shrine's carrying poles, and lift up the sushi by grasping it along its sides."
Ono will also talk about how to eat sushi in season, because yes, even the various types of sushi have a right and wrong season. As for how to use wasabi, soy sauce, ginger and other condiments correctly? No, making a paste out of wasabi and soy sauce isn't the answer. For the full reveal, check out the book, available starting October 11 but you can pre-order it now.
And if you haven't yet seen the 2011 documentary about him, here's a tease:
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