Sushi is a representative Japanese food.
Sushi is an art of food created by skilled professionals. It is believed it takes so many years to learn how to make sushi - For example, 3 years for cooking rice, 5 years for making vinegared rice and through lifetime for shaping sushi. Putting ingredients on rice is actually simple, but that is also why making sushi is complicated and requires skills.
However, it doesn’t mean only professionals can make sushi. As the recipe is actually simple, it can be enjoyed/cooked by anyone in different ways, and this is the biggest attraction of sushi.
Today we are going to introduce basics of making sushi.
Although making sushi seems simple (just put raw fish on rice), you need several processes.
Make Vinegared Rice
Rice for sushi is called “Shari”, which is made by mixing sushi vinegar (consisting of vinegar, sugar and salt in certain proportions) with rice. When cooking rice, a piece of dried kelp and a little Japanese sake, etc. are added.
For making sushi vinegar, you can refer to the following, but adjust the amount as needed. It is recommended to make it one day prior to cooking sushi and stir it sometimes so that sugar and salt are fully dissolved.
- For rice of 1 Go (*1 Go = approx. 180 mL): 1+2/3 tbsp of vinegar, 1 tsp of salt, 1+2/3 tbsp of sugar
- For rice of 2 Go: 2+2/3 tbsp of vinegar, 1+1/2 tsp of salt, 2+2/3 tbsp of sugar
- For rice of 3 Go: 4 tbsp of vinegar, 1+2/3 tsp of salt, 4 tbsp of sugar
- For rice of 5 Go: 7 tbsp of vinegar, 1+1/3 tbsp of salt, 7 tbsp of sugar
Mix cooked rice and sushi vinegar in a Handai. It is important to mix in cutting motion without squeezing rice; otherwise, the rice will be sticky. Handai can absorb heat and steam from rice appropriately.
Also, serving sushi on a specific plate called Sushi Geta will provide authentic atmosphere.
Wasabi is an essential condiment for sushi. Fine graters can maintain good flavor of wasabi. Also, they can suppress unwanted pungent taste.
You can use various toppings such as fish, shellfish, meat and vegetables. Slice toppings depending on size of Shari rice.
If you move the knife as if sawing, food cells get damaged and watery. It is important to pull the knife in one stroke only from backward to forward. Japanese Yanagiba knives are appropriate for slicing fish.
Before shaping sushi, get a little vinegar diluted with water on your hands. This prevents rice sticking to hands.
When the toppings are prepared, it's time to shape sushi. First, get an appropriate amount of rice from Handai as if scratching the surface in your dominant hand (approx. 15 to 20 g). The amount will vary depending on size of toppings.
Round the rice in the hand. Do not hold it too tight but gently.
Hold the topping in the other hand and apply wasabi.
Put the rounded rice onto the topping. Then, dimple the middle of Shari rice with thumb of the hand you are holding the topping in.
Flatten the rice and topping gently.
Turn it upside down and shape it. This is a process of “Nigiri”. Shape the rice with your non-dominant hand and use index finger and middle finger to support.
Turn the sushi around and shape both sides the same. It’s ready to eat!
Can we make sushi more easily?
The skill of “Nigiri” is not something you can learn in a day. However, you don’t need to do it perfectly from the beginning. Follow your curiosity or learn hard if you’d like, and find your own way.
Those who want to make beautiful sushi without a lot of practice, you can get Nigiri Sushi Mold. By using this, even kids can make well-shaped beautiful sushi easily and quickly. It would be useful when having home parties.