A tiny trick turns one sushi fan’s world upside-down.

It took some time to really catch on outside of Japan, but foodies around the world now know how delicious sushi is. But are sushi fans really experiencing the full flavor of Japanese cuisine’s most iconic dish?

Thanks to a chance conversation with an acquaintance, Japanese illustrator Eiko Oki (@oki_soroe on Twitter) recently learned a tiny trick that’s made a big difference in deliciousness when eating sushi, and she’s now shared her newfound knowledge with the rest of us in manga form (panels read from left to right).

How do you eat sushi?
I’m not talking about if you use chopsticks or eat it with your fingers.
I’m talking about whether you eat it with the fish on top, of the fish on the bottom.

I used to be in the “fish on top” camp, but the other day someone told me “Sushi taste totally different if you eat it with the fish directly touching your tongue.”

In other words, he was saying that since your sense of taste comes from your tongue, eating sushi with your tongue touching the fish first makes it taste better.

I thought that sounded like a bunch of stupid nonsense, but I tried it and…

It tastes soooooo good!

Sushi connoisseurs have always been quick to point out that when dipping a piece in soy sauce, you should turn it over so that the soy gets on the fish, not the rice. However, Oki has learned that after you do that, you shouldn’t flip the piece back over, but instead keep it in the fish-on-bottom position as you pop it into your mouth, letting your taste buds bask in the flavor of the fish first before chewing and mixing the seafood elements with the vinegared rice and wasabi.

The improvement in flavor was so dramatic that it wasn’t long before Oki figured out other ways to apply this principal.

I was disappointed in myself for never realizing how such a simple trick could make sushi so much better. ‘I’ve wasted the souls of the fish I’ve eaten until now,’ I thought.

I started thinking of other ways to apply this.

For example, the bread I’d always just eaten without putting any thought into. ‘I’ve always eaten it with the jam facing up, but…’

So I started eating bread with the butter or jam facing down instead.

It’s a little hard to eat, but it tastes great, and I don’t have to use as much butter or jam as I used to! I really recommend it to people looking to save money or cut calories.

P.S. But even though I’ve been using less jam and butter, I still haven’t lost weight. It’s one of life’s great mysteries.

As we’ve demonstrated multiple times, we’re not exactly experts on stretching food budgets or limiting calorie intakes. That said, Oki’s sushi-eating technique makes a lot of sense, and we’ll be trying it for ourselves at the soonest opportunity. Meanwhile, if you’re also convinced to start eating your sushi like this and, like Oki, you feel bad about wasting the souls of the fish you’ve eaten until now, maybe a visit to Tokyo’s sushi shrine to offer a prayer of apology is in order.

Source: Twitter/@oki_soroe
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Twitter/@oki_soroe
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[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he doesn’t regret any of the sushi meals he’s ever had.

[ Read in Japanese ]