How to Order Sushi Like a Pro


Recently I’m having the unique experience of working with some very talented Chefs from different parts of Asia , at the O Sake Restaurant at 21 West Main Street in Downtown Middletown.  They’ve taught me a little about their culture and food, including sushi, and I’d like to pass on some of what  I’ve learned to you.

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  1. If you want to look like a pro don’t order the California Roll — it’s a dead giveaway that you’re new at this.

  2. What the heck is a California Roll ?   Whoa you really are a beginner, let’s get the basics out of the way.

  3. Sushi does not in fact mean raw fish–here are some definitions for you

  • Su- Shi – a Japanese dish consisting of small balls or rolls of vinegar-flavored cold cooked rice served with a garnish of raw fish, vegetables, or egg.  (See raw fish not a requirement)
  • Sash-imi- a Japanese dish of bite-sized pieces of raw fish eaten with soy sauce and wasabi paste.
  • Sushi Rolls – is a cylindrical piece, formed with the help of a bamboo mat, called a makisu (巻簾). Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori (seaweed), but is occasionally wrapped in soy paper, or cucumber. Makizushi is usually cut into six or eight pieces, which constitutes a single roll order.

Now you know the types:

  • Sushi single piece with rice
  • sashimi single piece with no rice
  • Sushi roll sliced into pieces with infinite combinations

How do you order it?

What’s Raw What’s Cooked?

Traditionally shellfish like shrimp, crab and lobster are all cooked.

Eel yes Eel actually the first time I ate it somebody lied to me and then I felt totally weird about it but eventually I got over it and realized it’s very tasty baked in a teriyaki like sauce.

Fish is generally raw tuna, salmon (except smoked salmon), and others, a sushi chef will always tell you that his favorite fish is yellow tail it’s a delicacy but it’s also on the over fished list if you are concerned about that.

  1. Raw fish really?  It’s like eating velvet, soft not slimy just tender and delicious, clean and simple.I highly recommend it even if you’re not a huge fish fan.  Unlike its cooked counterpart raw fish isn’t fishy at all.   A sashimi appetizer is cheap and a good way to sample it under $10.
  2. Rolls ahhh the textured jazzed up sushi that gets you hooked.   Again please try order anything other than a Cali roll.   It would be similar to ordering Coors Light at a craft beer festival, sure its OK but there are new flavors out there for you to try.
  3. There are lots of basic yummy rolls, spicy crunchy anything, eel & avocado, Hawaii roll, and my favorite sweet potato (its fish free). For a big treat that’s not raw, can be found at OSAKE in Middletown at 21 West Main Street.  It’s their most popular roll, The Angry Bird, a layered masterpiece of fried shrimp, steamed asparagus, rice, toasted crunchy crab with mango and spicy mayo sauce, its soooo good totally cooked and way more delicious than the cali roll.
  4. Proper way to eat the sushi is important.  Chopstick skills help getting the integrity of the flavor in. If you’re eating a piece of a sushi roll you want to put the entire piece in your mouth at once.  It is not meant to be cut or divided you want to experience the chefs creation as a whole letting each element add to the whole experience it really does make a difference.
  5. Warning that green stuff is not guacamole!   It is in fact wasabi, a hot as heck horseradish paste that will clear out your sinuses in 0.2 seconds.  Every day in some Asian establishment somewhere some unsuspecting person pops that whole glob of green in their mouth.  As entertaining as it is (and wrong yes it’s wrong to laugh it is however hilarious) it is not a good thing, so if you’re the pro at your sushi meal inform your friends to stop at the green, a little goes along way.
  6. Don’t over order each roll has 8-10 pieces so 3 rolls will have a minimum of 24 pieces. Sushi is great in courses have a roll. Review the menu order more.  It gives you time to enjoy. Order several different rolls at once for the table is a great idea everybody gets a try.
  7. Be adventurous.  You can’t possibly know if you hate something before you try it.   Trust me.   I’ve had people tell me 1,000s of times I don’t eat sushi because they are just unaware of what it is.   Low and behold they tried it and got hooked.  Vegans, veggies, meatheads, plain and simple folks there is an option for you.   If you need real advice you can find me most weekend evenings at OSAKE in Middletown ready to make a pro out of you too.

By Jennifer Brenner


845-342-3208, 21 West Main St., Middletown, NY



About Jennifer Livesey

Hyper local Middletown Expert. Award winning real estate agent closing the the largest deal my company has ever had since it started in 1938. Given prestigious recognition by the NYS association of commercial brokers for the "Most Creative Deal" of 2015 for bringing the highest rated medicinal cannabis company to Orange County in an 8.9 million dollar land deal. Recently awarded the 2015 Chairman's Circle Award for outstanding sales.
If you need to know where to find the best slice, how to sign up for soccer club, or when trivia night is I can help, because selling you a home or a business here is only a portion of my job. I'm here to help you fall in love with my cities.


  1. Awesome info. thank you!!!

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