Japanese Sushi Chain Apologizes for Serving Foreigners ‘Excessive’ Wasabi

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A dab’ll do ya. Photo: Rick Gayle Studio/Getty Images

A sushi chain in Japan discovered its chefs were in the habit of adding sinus-searing globs of wasabi to foreigners’ food. The trouble had reportedly been going on for at least a year at Ichibazushi’s Osaka location, but the Japan Times says the stunt became apparent once tourists started posting pics to a Korean travel site of orders with “often twice the normal amount” of the pungent condiment, leading them to accuse Ichibazushi of racist “wasabi attacks” and even “wasabi terrorism.”

The chain posted an apology to its website (which has since crashed), swearing there was “no discriminatory intent involved” whatsoever. It didn’t deny that non-Japanese clientele got wasabi-bombed, just that this was malicious: Supposedly, the reason was chefs were trying to cater to foreigners who “were seeking more excitement in their raw fish” by offering them a complimentary heaping (then presumably snickering, Tee-hee-hee). Shockingly, their thoughtful gesture didn’t go over so well with angry patrons with a lower wasabi tolerance. “That much ‘complimentary wasabi’ would set people’s tongues on fire,” one tweeted. The company promises staff at the location will be forced to undergo employee retraining.

Sushi Chain Sorry for Serving Foreigners ‘Excessive’ Wasabi