Sashimi is a delicacy from Japan, consisting of thinly sliced fresh raw fish. The dish is not specific to any particular type of fish, but rather preparation of the dish. Nearly all sushi is based on seafood, though very rarely it can include meat from terrestrial animals. Sashimi is distinct from sushi in that it is not wrapped in rice and seaweed. The emphasis and definition of the dish is on thin slices, delicate, subtle flavors, artistic presentation, being served freshly raw. Sashimi is carefully eaten, usually with chopsticks, and savored for its taste. Sashimi is served by carefully trained chefs called itamae.
Admire the visual presentation of the sashimi. Most itamae, will prepare their sashimi to be visually appealing as well as delicious. Observe the cut of the sashimi and its arrangement.
Inhale the aroma of the sashimi. While some sashimi prepared of raw fish may be chilled and have sublte odor, some fish and seafood can have very distinct and strong aromas. This is the sashimi pure and simple.
Pick up your chopsticks and grasp the sashimi delicately between them. If you prefer, you may drizzle or dip the sashimi into soy sauce, wasabi or any other condiments, however most sashimi is prepared to be enjoyed on its own. If you are unfamiliar with how to use chopsticks, you can use a fork or your hands.
Put the sashimi in your mouth. Discover the texture of the meat. Some slices may seem to melt like butter, while others can be more substantial. Chew the sashimi carefully and savor the flavors.
Give your compliments to the itamae and order another piece if you haven't already.
There are good sushi bars and bad ones. The better ones should have specifically trained sushi chefs, serving you sushi and sashimi from a bar with pieces made to order from fresh, raw fish on display.
Sashimi is a delicate and tricky dish to prepare well. Try not to avoid altering the intended flavor too much by eating the sashimi as prepared.