The complete beginners guide to making sushi

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People all over the world now love the taste of raw fish. Sushi is now a very popular dish in the world. It has secured its place in Western fusion cuisine also. Sushi is now as common as tacos or pizza.The ingredients needed to make sushi are now found everywhere. So, you can make sushi easily at home even. Here is the complete beginner’s guide to making sushi.

Before you learn how to make sushi, you should be familiar with some terms. ‘Sashimi’ is the raw fish part of the sushi. The fish must be handled properly and stored the right way so that it is appropriate for cooking. Not all fishes are safe to eat raw. Only seafood that is labeled ‘Sashimi Grade’ are safe to eat raw. ‘Sushi’ is the final product which includes rice, vegetables and sashimi.

The ingredients that you need to make sushi are:

  • “Sashimi Grade” fish which includes Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel or Yellowtail.
  • Vegetables which include carrot, cucumer, asparagus, avocado, steamed spinach, pickled radish, etc.
  • Sushi Rice which is actually short-grain Asian white rice. It is the starch content of this rice that makes it sticky. You will need about 2 cups of this rice.
  • White sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt to taste
  • Japanese rice vinegar (3 tablespoons)
  • ‘Nori’ — a type of seaweed which are paper-thin sheets used to roll the sushi.
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Ginger

You will need some tools to make sushi. First of all you need a very sharp knife for slicing the sashimi. Then you need Shamoji, which is a rice spatula used to prepare the rice. You will also need a bamboo mat to roll the sushi.

Now, here’s the step by step guide to make sushi:

#1 Marinade, soak and slice

You have to marinade the sashimi. So, place the fillets on a flat plate, sprinkle and rub some salts on both sides. Marinade for 1 hour. Then place it under cold running water. Pat it dry and place in into a deeper dish. Add rice vinegar and keep it covered for 45 minutes. Then remove it from the dish and pat it dry. If you find any bones along the fillet, take it out. Slice the sashimi into thin slices. The length of the slice will be the same as that of nori and the width will be 1 cm.

#2 Wash and cook the rice

You should first wash the rice a number of times in a sieve and let the water drain. Then soak the rice in cold water for a couple of hours. Put the rice on a pan and add equal amount of water. Bring it to boil. Simmer it in low heat for about 10 minutes with the lid on. Make sure all the water is absorbed. Place the rice on a flat bowl and add rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Then cool down the rice. You can use a hairdryer for this.

#3 Work on the bamboo mat

Cover the bamboo mat with a clingfilm so that the rice doesn’t stick to the mat. Take out a noir sheet and cut it in half. Wet your fingers and take out half handful of rice. Place a thin layer of rice on the nori sheet. You should leave out the bottom 1 cm of the nori sheet. Sprinkle some white seasame seeds on the rice. You must now hold the left side of nori and flip over on the mat. Now place the mackerel and a few slices of vegetables.

#4 Rolling time

You should start rolling with the mat from the bottom edge slowly. Roll for 3 to 4 times, each time open the mat to see that there is no gap between the rice and the filling. Now take out the sushi from the mat and place it on a chopping board. Cut it into 6 pieces.

#5 Serve

Serve the sushi in a nice dish along with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi.

Now, your sushi is ready! While preparing sushi you must be very careful about every step of the process. A slight deviation will spoil the taste of your sushi.

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