How Often Japanese Eat Sushi

Japanese people seldom eat sushi.

In various surveys, you might be stunned to know that less than 10% of Japanese have sushi as a meal or even a snack weekly, compared to the waves of tourists or non-Japanese who eat sushi more often than Japanese who have been labeled as eating sushi almost every day.

One of the largest sources of pride and identity for the Japanese is sushi. Currently, it is the most popular prepared food ingredient, based on Tastewise statistics. Despite the international embrace of these pockets of vinegar-flavored rice and garnishes, sushi is not commonly eaten where it originated from.

A few Japanese Redditer also shared when asked:-

barelyalivepremed: Depends on the age/preference/where you're living/season/etc. Since it's summer, I would like to eat it once a week, but a person older than me would probably like to eat it more often because it's light and healthy.

Another Redditor Kaito said eating 2-3 times per week is more than the typical Japanese:- 

It depends, but I think people eat more sashimi rather than sushi because of the price. I try to eat sashimi or sushi as often as possible for my health and I like them, probably 2-3 times per week, but I think it's definitely more than other people.

Another Redditor, runtijmu, shared that sushi if eaten is usually taken away instead of dine-in (probably due to price):

Around 2-3 times a month for sushi, and since we have a couple of youngsters in the house it's usually a visit to a 100 yen sushi restaurant, rolls from the supermarket, or wrapping sashimi ourselves in seaweed and rice (temaki-sushi).

Alex, Redditor shared it was only for a special occasion:-

It depends on where I live in Japan. I’m from the town where fish is cheap and fresh and I had Sushi and Sashimi every once in a while. Now I tend to avoid them unless I have bigger budget. Sushi is a bit of special meal for me so it also depends on if I have such occasions. (That is to say that its been uneventful for me these days so that’s also a factor.)

I eat Sashimi maybe once or more per month but I haven’t had Sushi for a few months.

A packed conveyor belt sushi restaurant (Credits: A Year in Dinners)

 Australian-Japanese nutrition coach and chef Yoshiko Takeuchi even observed that Australians like to eat a lot more sushi than the Japanese. People from several other countries consume sushi more often than the Japanese.

A sushi spread at Sushi Hub, a sushi eatery in Melbourne, Australia (Credits: Hidden City Secrets)

Reason 1: Sushi is often reserved for social settings or as a luxury

Not only do the Japanese eat numerous other dishes, but they often consider sushi as a premium item meant only for special occasions or family gatherings. This is particularly so because of how Japanese culture regards the feasting on sushi as a social event and the slightly higher price tag attached.

Credits: Roka Akor

Reason 2: Japanese people have simpler, healthier diets

As a whole, calorie-laden foods such as sushi (sadly, sushi has more calories than we think they do) are mostly scarce in the Japanese diet, which is instead more balanced with meals that have most or all of the essential nutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and whatnot. Even ramen is eaten more often in Japan compared to sushi since ramen can be easily prepared with less unhealthy ingredients, such as a lighter broth, eggs, some steamed fish, and plenty of vegetables.

Credits: Elizabeth Van Lierde

Reason 3: Pregnant Japanese mothers typically do not eat sushi

In addition, pregnant mothers in Japan avoid eating sushi, which could be a significant contributing factor to the high number of Japanese individuals who seldom consume sushi.

Indeed, the Japanese believe one should abstain from raw foods while pregnant to avoid parasites that could find their way into the raw fish. And we know that using raw fish is almost second nature to sushi chefs, especially with options such as nigiri dominating the popularity charts.

Credits: Top Sushi Machine


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