During Lent, it’s all about the fish—fried, baked, cooked English style—we’ve had it all before. Why not try something different this week? Try Japanese cuisine, and have some sushi! Not only is it healthy, its popularity is sweeping the nation. Are you new to sushi and not sure what to eat? We’re here to help! Check out these tips for sushi beginners:

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Start with cooked sushi. People are often quick to characterize sushi as simply raw fish. With that common misperception, it’s understandable why many sushi beginners don’t realize that there are actually a wide variety of sushi dishes. Many rolls actually contain ingredients that can be cooked, like shrimp, octopus, clam and crabmeat. Trying sushi for the first time? Try the California roll—the main ingredients are sticky rice with cucumber, crabmeat and avocado.

Eat what you are familiar with. Try something that you’re familiar with in taste before indulging in something new like sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish). Order rolls with ingredients like scallops first or if you want to take baby steps, order vegetarian sushi! The taste of most ingredients, when eaten as sushi is the same if one were to eat them cooked.

Avoid ordering sushi with intense flavors. A lot of sushi eaters refuse to try it again because they tried something that they didn’t like. If you don’t like that ‘fishy’ taste, don’t order mackerel—it has an overwhelming taste. Instead, try a mild fish, like halibut or tuna, to get a good opinion of sushi.

Don’t overload on the wasabi. That green condiment that comes on the side? That’s wasabi—and it’s very, very hot. Beginners, use a little if you like a little kick to your food, but don’t eat too much—a small amount goes a long way.

Be open-minded to other types of sushi. Not all sushi tastes the same, so don’t be discouraged if your first experience doesn’t go as planned. There are many different varieties of sushi, each with a different taste and texture. Try a wide variety of sushi—you’ll find the ones that are right for you!

And don’t forget to stop by your local Sparkle Market for all of your fish and other Lenten meal needs!

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