Sushi is one of the most popular Japanese foods. It is made of rice seasoned with vinegar and garnished with raw fish, shrimp, seaweed, or vegetables. For beginners, sushi can be confusing because of the different types available. They vary in terms of the way they are prepared and their ingredients.
If you want to know the best sushi for beginners and how to cut sushi like a pro, we got you covered in the rest of this short guide. You do not need to be an expert Japanese chef to make sushi at home. Equipped with the knowledge of the fundamental techniques, it will be a breeze to make high-quality sushi, similar to what you can enjoy in Japanese restaurants.
Best Sushi for Beginners
Eating and making sushi for beginners can be overwhelming. We are here to make things easy for you. Below, we’ll talk about the best sushi for beginners, and give you insights on how to make them like an experienced chef.
If you only have time to learn one recipe for sushi, then nigiri is one of the best options. It is the most popular sushi consumed in Japan. Nigiri is a Japanese word that means hand-pressed, which speaks about how this food is prepared. It has a mound of rice with fish on the top. Often, this fish is salmon.
To make this kind of sushi, the first thing that you need to do is to shape seasoned rice. Remember, it must already be seasoned for fuller flavor. You also need to wet your hands so that rice will not stick. Once the rice is ready, put a bit of wasabi on the salmon and place it on the top of the rice. Press gently to shape the rice. Serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce.
This is a type of maki sushi or rolled sushi. Crab, avocado, seasoned rice, and nori are the main ingredients that are used. One of the most notable characteristics of this product is that it does come with raw ingredients. It is said to have originated in Los Angeles, California, and not in Japan.
To make California maki, you will need a bamboo mat. Place a plastic wrap on the top of the mat. Lay a sheet of nori on the top of the plastic then arrange rice. Add sesame seeds, cucumber, avocado, and crab stocks. Roll the mat, make sure to press with enough force but not too much to avoid breaking the ingredients. Release the roll from the mat and cut accordingly.
Even vegetarians can eat sushi. Some people instantly think of fish or crab when someone mentions sushi. Truth is, you can have the freedom to choose the ingredients that you want, and you can stick to vegetables if you are a vegetarian.
Preparing a vegetable roll is similar to the way to prepare a California Roll mentioned above. You will need a bamboo mat with a plastic sheet on the top. Arrange the rice and spread evenly. Add the vegetables that you like. Roll the mat firmly and cut the sushi.
This kind of sushi is different from those mentioned above because it does not need to be cut. This is also called a hand roll sushi, which speaks of the way it is made. It is rolled like a cone and filled with your ingredients of choice. This kind of sushi is not meant to be eaten using chopsticks. Rather, it is best enjoyed when you hold it in your hand.
Gather all the ingredients that you will need. You can be as creative as you want, but two of the most important are rice and nori. Cut the nori sheet in half. Lay the sheet with the rough side up. Add rice on the left portion of the sheet. Wet your fingers and spread rice evenly. If your hands are dry, the rice will end up sticking. Add your ingredients of choice on the top of rice. Grab the bottom left corner of the nori sheet and roll gradually to form a cone. Press gently to be sure that the rice will be firm but do not apply too much pressure to avoid breaking the ingredients.
How to Cut Sushi
One of the most important procedures in making sushi is cutting. You have to be as careful as possible so as not to ruin the outcome. Otherwise, your sushi won’t be as presentable and appetizing.
Use a Sushi Knife
If you want to cut sushi rolls with a knife, then make sure that it has a sharp blade. If the budget is not a concern, then it will be a good idea to invest in a sushi knife. It has a sharp blade and designed specifically for cutting sushi. If the knife is not sharp, then you will end up cutting the roll back and forth, which will crush the ingredients and ruin the sushi’s appearance.
Before cutting the sushi roll, place it on the top of a wooden chopping board. Aside from being flat and sturdy, it should be large enough to accommodate the entire roll. If the chopping board is not made of wood, it can cause the knife to go dull quickly.
Now that everything is ready, slice the roll in half. Find the center of the roll and cut it from the top to the bottom. It should only take one slice to do this, so your knife needs to be sharp. Dip the knife in a bowl with water. You only have to wet the edge of the blade. Tap the knife to get rid of excess water and cut. This will prevent the rice and other ingredients from sticking on the edge of the knife.
Use a Sushi Roll Cutter
If using a knife seems like too much work for you, then a sushi cutter is a great alternative. This machine is especially good for commercial purposes or large-scale cutting. This is a tabletop device that will ensure clean cuts and accurate sizes, although, this will depend on the quality of the specific product that you will be using.
Position the sushi roll in the cutting tray. Depending on the cutter that you are using, you can pull down the lever or turn the power button on to start cutting. Once it is done, hold the rolls from both ends, lift it off the tray, and serve.
Sushi Secrets Beginners Need to Know
To make delicious sushi at home, below are some of the most important things you need to know.
- The quality of rice you are using is one of the most important considerations. Mix 1.5 cups of rice with 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and cover. Stir every 5 minutes and simmer up to 20 minutes.
- Aside from cooking rice properly, making good sushi is also possible by seasoning the rice to impart subtle flavors. Adding rice vinegar will improve its taste. A bit of sugar and salt will also be good.
- Get the best fish, making sure that it is fresh. Along with the rice, the fish will have a huge impact on the overall flavor of your sushi. When buying fish, pay attention to its color and texture to guarantee freshness. Also, use the right knife to slice it the right way.
- Always have a cold bowl of water next to you when making sushi. You will need this for dipping your knife when slicing. It is also for your hand. This will prevent the rice and other ingredients from sticking. It also makes sure that you can cut the sushi in one go instead of creating a sawing motion.
- Use the best knife that you can get. Sushi and sashimi knives are expensive, but they will be worth every dollar. They are meant to have thin and sharp blades, which will make it easy to have the cleanest cuts.
From the things mentioned above, we hope that you were able to learn a thing or two about the best sushi for beginners and how to cut sushi. It can be quite intimidating, but when you are armed with the right knowledge, making sushi is a snap!