Before we make nigiri sushi, we need to prepare the sushi rice that will be used. You can follow our online rice recipe to find out how to make perfect sticky Japanese rice and then how to add sushi vinegar to turn that into sushi rice. If you’re a Japanese food fan, you may also have a useful rice cooker that makes cooking perfect rice for sushi much quicker and easier.
If you really don’t want to spend too much time with rice preparation, you can try our microwavable rice. Just mix 250g cooked rice with 1 tablespoon of sushi rice vinegar.
While the rice is cooking, you can prepare the slices of fish, vegetables or any other toppings you want to use. You can also check our fabulous recipe for tamagoyaki, a delicious Japanese style omelette that is a popular sushi topping. If you don’t want raw fish, why not try smoked salmon, parma ham, deep-fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms, pickles, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado… No need to be be too precise with the size of the slice, just make it big enough to cover most of the rice pod and thick enough to get the full flavour.
Now we can make the rice pods. Sushi masters usually rinse their hands in a mix of water and sushi vinegar which keeps them clean and helps to stop the rice sticking. If you want the easy way to make perfect rice pods every time, try using a nigiri sushi mould. Put the rice evenly inside, press down the lid, flip the mould over and press the rice out.
If you like the fiery taste of wasabi, add a little to the underside of the topping. Then, while keeping your hands moist with water and sushi vinegar, press the topping onto a pod of sushi rice firmly. Some ingredients like the tamagoyaki usually have a very thin strip of nori seaweed to keep the topping from falling off the rice pod.
The traditional way to serve sushi is with a little wasabi paste and a dish of soy sauce. Mix some wasabi with the soy sauce and then dip the sushi in it before eating. Pickled sushi ginger is eaten in between bites to cleanse the palate so you can appreciate the delicate flavours of different toppings.
• For raw fish toppings, make sure that you buy only from reputable shops that sell sashimi grade fish. We don’t recommend that you use normal salmon from a supermarket that is designed to be cooked.
• Use a very sharp knife to slice raw fish at an angle of 45°.
• Experiment with different toppings and flavours until you find your favourites.