Sushi originated in Japan and it is now a global culinary phenomenon that can be enjoyed around the world.
Since sushi is a broad dish, some restaurants that serve it have massive menus with plenty of options – and it can sometimes be tough to know what to get.
And so, Insider spoke with chefs to learn what’s always worth ordering at a sushi restaurant and which menu items you may want to steer clear of.
Sung Park, master sushi chef at Sake Rok in Las Vegas, told Insider that ordering a bowl of this umami, soy-based soup from is actually a good way to judge the caliber of a sushi restaurant.
“If the restaurant has good miso soup it is usually a good indicator that the sushi will be good. A lot of times miso soup gets overlooked” said Park.
Park also mentioned that because miso soup is a lighter dish, it may be a good way to start a meal if you’re looking to avoid overindulging in heavier fare later on.
Park explained that seaweed is a great menu pick and diners at sushi-centric restaurants are often better off ordering that instead of a regular, leafy salad.
“Seaweed is another staple in Asian cuisine. If you’re fully exploring the culture, I advise ordering seaweed salad over mixed greens because it is nutritious and delicious,“ said Park.
Some sushi restaurants may also offer strips of dried seaweed topped with salt and sugar, which can be perfect for snacking on as an appetizer.
Tempura-fried foods are made by coating ingredients in a special batter and frying them in oil – but these dishes aren’t always fresh or light.
“You never truly know when the oil has been changed in a restaurant that serves fried food,“ said Park, adding that you should especially avoid fried, tempura dishes if you’re trying to follow a lighter diet.