How to eat sushi

I came across an interesting page: How to eat sushi. I knew quite a bit of this etiquette and information already, but there were a few surprises for me.

Hat tip to John at Uneasy Rhetoric for pointing this out!

Update 2006-02-03 19:09 Yuji-san (Eugene Ciurana), author of the Sushi Eating HOWTO, dropped by and gave us the scoop on the origin of walmartdotcomaki. Thanks, Eugene!

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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5 Responses to How to eat sushi

  1. Nicholas says:

    You know, most of that page sounds about right to me (admittedly, there were parts I just skimmed), but … “walmartdotcomaki”? I’m assuming this is a joke — true, I’ve heard some pretty strange names for house special maki, but the only references I find for this one appear to be references back to this article. Stuff like that always makes me suspicious — especially when the purpose of a page is to give me tips and phrases to use in an environment that’s basically foreign to me.

  2. jim says:

    Yeah, I remember seeing “walmartdotcomaki” and thinking, WTF?

  3. Eugene says:


    Yes, I would be suspicious if I saw something like that. The walmartdotcomaki is a close relative of the nikemaki, the mitsubishimaki, and the microsoftmaki: a joke.

    Bentonville AR is one of the strangest places to find excellent sushi. It happens to be the home of Wal-Mart’s home office. I was visiting there a while ago and some folks I know, who are familiar with the Sushi Eating HOWTO, insisted that I just had to try a restaurant called Sushi King. They insisted, over my objections that we might find catfish and raccoon sushi there, and I was gladly surprised.

    John (like many Asians, he Americanized his name; I believe he might be Korean. He isn’t Japanese, as far as I know), the itamae who owns Sushi King, used to own a very popular and authentic bar in San Francisco. One day, sensing opportunity, he closed the shop and headed to Bentonville. Now he makes his money by providing the only sushi worth eating in hundreds of miles, and possibly by investing in real estate (BV is seeing explosive growth). So we went to Sushi King, started ordering, and he realized that my friends and I were a bit beyond the usual Philly Roll and California Roll normally ordered there.

    “Where are you from?” John asked us, opening and readying a fresh slab of hamachi just for us.

    “We’re all from San Francisco,” one of my friends replied. “We all work for”

    “Ah! Excellent. I used to live there…” and we get the story I just gave you earlier.

    Next thing we know, he’s making all this special sushi and digging things like katsuo from under the counter. Big party atmosphere. Patrons at tables (nobody seems to want to sit at the bar over there) are giving us baffled and jealous looks since we have such a good party going. At some point, John comes up with this very delicate, well-presented maki that’s wrapped in very thin daikon radish and has some of the tenderest fish we can think of.

    “That’s a special roll for you,” John said, “the roll.”

    We agreed that it was delicious, and wound up ordering a couple more. We asked John if it’d be OK to call it walmartdotcomaki instead, he agreed, and the rest is history. So now you know how this authentic-but-oddly-named sushimaki came to be.

    If you look at the Sushi Eating HOWTO Companion photos, there’s a photo of Sushi King’s menu; he has items like Sam’s Sashimi and Wal-Mart Roll. Very non-Japanese both. The walmartdocomaki, however, is pretty authentic, not on the menu, and, as far as we know, only served when folks from swing by John’s place and say “we’re from the Bay Area and work in Brisbane, CA…”

    Cheers and thanks for stopping by the Sushi Eating HOWTO!

    Eugene “Yuji” Ciurana

  4. jim says:

    What a great story! Wish I could have been there, sounds like it was a helluva party…

  5. Eli says:

    Hey just googled Sushi King and found your post. I work in Bentonville, and this really is a fantastic sushi restaurant. I have never been dissapointed, and I have been eating there for about 3 years. I am going to see about this walmartdotcommaki…

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