Anthony Bourdain’s 6 Punishable-by-Death Sushi Don’ts

© Anthony LaSala
By Kate Krader Posted October 29, 2015

Bourdain's six rules for how not to behave at the sushi bar. 

The bar at Sushi Yasuda in New York City is where Anthony Bourdain got his sushi education. “I would sit alone and watch Naomichi Yasuda, and we became friends. He taught me what I know,” says Bourdain, of the legendary sushi master who also trained in karate. “One day I was sitting at Yasuda and two meatheads came in. They put all of their wasabi into a cup of soy sauce, essentially made a wasabi slurry and started dunking in their fish. I saw the look on my friend’s face. I knew he could kill them with his bare hands. And I thought, in a perfect world, he would kill them. And in a perfect world, everyone would understand.” And so the concept for Bourdain’s awesome new brilliantly titled comic book Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi was born.
Bourdain has six rules for things not to do with regards to raw fish. Keep them in mind if you happen to see him at a sushi bar. Don’t forget, he’s now a trained martial artist himself.
1. Do Not: Make a slurry with all the wasabi and soy sauce you can get your hands on and then douse your fish with it. Make sure to taste your fish first.

2. Do Not: Dip your sushi rice down into the soy sauce—“unless you want to watch your rice crumble and disintegrate into an unholy mess in the wasabi slurry that you probably already made.” If you feel your sushi needs soy, lightly dip it fish side down.

3. Do Not: Say loudly, "This sushi is so fresh, dude." Unless you’re in a place where that concept would even be in question.

4. Do Not: Consider a sushi selection that includes mayonnaise. “Don’t get me wrong, I love mayo. Tuna salad on white bread is our version of Edo-style sushi. But it belongs nowhere near raw fish.”   

5. Do Not: Mistake a lame pan-Asian place for a sushi spot. “You know the ones; unst, unst, unst music is playing in the background, edamame comes with a cloud of dry ice. A great sushi bar is like the perfect Irish pub. You make decisions with your sushi chef, with your bartender, over the course of the night, and you leave feeling extremely well cared for.”

6. Do Not: Order a California Roll. No explanation necessary. 

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