How To Make Sushi

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Learning how to make sushi is easier than you think – Meta Description:and it’s a great way to entertain your friends and family! This guide will show you how it’s done.

Making sushi relies on two things; fresh ingredients and a big helping of patience. The first is a given – when fish is going to be eaten raw it has to be the best quality possible and the second is just a fact of life; making sushi can be fiddly and trying but with a little practice anyone can enjoy the best quality sushi in their own homes.

Choosing Fish for Sushi

Firstly you need to select your ingredients. As previously mentioned the best quality fish is a must and it’s worth making friends with your local fishmonger; they’re very helpful and usually willing to offer tips and advice so take advantage of their experience.

There are several little ways you can tell yourself if a fish is fresh enough for sushi.

 The eyes should be clear and not cloudy.
 Take a peek behind the gills - it should be bright red not dark and bloody.
 The flesh should feel firm and springy to the touch.
 Surprisingly, fresh fish doesn't smell overly "fishy", it should merely smell pleasantly of the sea.

If in doubt tell your fishmonger you are making sushi or sashimi and they will be able to help you choose fish that is suitable to be eaten raw.

Sushi Toolkit

Your basic sushi toolkit should consist of the following:

 A bamboo rolling mat
 Nori, that is dried sheets of seaweed
 Sushi rice, which also needs to be good quality and is cooked with less water than regular rice. Follow the instructions on the pack for the best results.
 Wasabi paste
 Your choice of filling, usually fish or vegetables.

All of these are relatively easy to get hold of in supermarkets these days, along with other staples of Japanese cuisine like mirin and sake, but if you are having trouble there are several websites you can order Asian food from.

There are several different kinds of sushi but here we’ll cover the basics – maki rolls.

Making Maki

  1. Place your bamboo mat onto a chopping board. Fold and tear a sheet of nori in half and lay it onto the mat shiny side down.
  2. Grab a handful of prepared sushi rice and squash it into a sausage shape, and then spread it evenly onto the nori, leaving a gap of about a centimetre at the top bare.
  3. Press a shallow trench into the middle of the rice and dab a little wasabi paste along it (wasabi has a strong flavour so go easy) and place your filling of choice, cut into lengths, along the trench.
  4. Lift the edge of the mat nearest to you and fold it over the filling to meet the top edge of the rice. Hold the filling in place with your fingertips.
  5. Remove your fingers and continue to roll until the two edges of the nori meet.
  6. Cover the roll with the mat and give it a squeeze to press it into a neat roll.
  7. Grab a knife and wet it with a little water or the rice will stick to it and make a mess, and slice the roll into six equal pieces.
  8. Enjoy!

Sushi rolls are like a sandwich – you can choose any filling you like, but popular choices are salmon, avocado, cucumber, tuna steak and Japanese rolled omelettes.

These are tricky to make first time but keep at it, you will get the hang of it with practise and these maki rolls are yummy enough to be worth the extra effort.