Hot dogs need mustard and ketchup, sandwiches need mayonnaise, and wings should always be dipped in ranch dressing. But what about your sushi? When it comes to finding the perfect flavor, even sushi rolls can benefit from some added sauces. However, the condiments you’re likely to find at a sushi restaurant look and taste very different from the ketchup bottles you’ll find at a burger joint. Knowing what to expect and what sauces pair best with the flavors of your roll will enhance your dining experience and make sure your taste buds are satisfied!
Why Add Sauces to Your Sushi?
Sushi is a fan favorite because of its diversity and endless options for customization. Do you want something fresh and healthy like salmon and cucumber? There’s a roll for that. What about a combination of sweet and spicy like mango and jalapeño? That’s a roll, too! Sauces work to further enhance the customization and help you create the exact flavor you’re looking for.
This can be especially helpful when you’re trying sushi for the first time because you can easily adjust the flavor of your food and eat sushi like a pro.
Popular Sauces and Pastes
When your server brings your sushi rolls to the table, you can almost always expect to find three things: soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger. You can think of these as the salt and pepper of the sushi world, although they serve a very different purpose. First and foremost comes the soy sauce, which has a salty and sweet flavor that helps to balance out any roll. Make sure you dip the fish and vegetables into the soy sauce instead of the rice to avoid oversaturating your roll on accident. Next comes the wasabi. If you like a little kick with your food, this green paste is sure to hit the spot with its spicy horseradish and mustard taste. If you order more than one roll, you’ll want to hit up the thin slices of pickled ginger. The strips act as a palate cleanser, helping you to taste the unique flavor of each individual roll. Give each sushi sauce a try to decide which ones work for you and which ones might be a little too powerful.
Sushi Sauces for Adventurous Eaters
Once you’ve gotten comfortable with the basics like soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger, you might be intrigued to experience more of the delicious world that sushi has to offer. For diners looking for a little more punch to their rolls or a summery treat, ponzu sauce is a delightful citrus-based topping to use along with soy sauce. A little drizzle of this will add a tart, tangy flavor to any roll and will pair especially well with raw fish, also known as sashimi. For something a little more sweet and savory, try some unagi sauce. Often referred to as eel sauce, unagi is a thick, sweet sauce that’s best served heated up on top of nigiri. Although sushi rolls have a long history and many tried and true favorites, there are always new creations being made and each area has its own unique specialties. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and try an unexpected sauce with your roll. You just might create the next big food trend!
Still unsure about which sauces will help you find your sushi bliss? Our knowledgeable servers at RB Sushi are always happy to help with unfamiliar menu items to ensure you have the best dining experience!