Why Does Nigiri Always Come in Pairs?

Most of the time, you’re likely to find that your nigiri sushi is served in a set of two. This is a commonly accepted practice with sushi boats, conveyer belt sushi, and the nigiri at our Japanese restaurant in Seattle. Have you ever wondered why sushi restaurants serve their nigiri like this?

This is a tradition that dates back to the nineteenth century. This was the time of edomae-zushi, which was the predecessor of the nigiri sushi we know today. Edomae-zushi came in a single large, square piece. For diners, this was often too big to comfortably eat. These diners developed the habit of cutting the square down the middle into two more bite-sized pieces. Over time, restaurants decided to serve their sushi this way, and the nigiri sushi as we know it was born.