What sushi beginners need to know before making sushi at home

9 things to watch when your making sushi

Sushi, looks great, is fun to eat and is good for you, which means it has grown quite popular as people try to eat healthier, and tastes diversify. But sushi isn't as straight forward to cook as it looks.

Did you know that it can take a sushi chef around 5-7 years training to run a kitchen? That's quite a long time to practice cooking, so before you go and buy your seaweed paper, here are a few tips for your first time cooking sushi.

Prepared FoodCredit: Christopher D Brown
  1. You need a very sharp knife to make sushi, it helps cutting up fish and vegetables and makes them (and you) look better. The best knives are long and have one flat side and one bevelled side. The bevelled side polishes the fish as it cuts leaving a more professional look.
  2. It is important to wash your rice before you use it for sushi because clean rice sticks better. You need to wash your rice at least three times so that the water running off it is clear.
  3. Sticky rice is important in cooking because it keeps everything together, if the rice isn't sticky the sushi can fall apart on the plate.
  4. Sushi chefs use short grain rice that they will typically import it from Japan or Korea. You can use a medium grain (typically found in western countries) with no issues, it can help to add a little more water to the mixture to keep the rice soft and sticky. 
  5. Sushi chefs season their rice and the ratio is 6 parts cooked rice to 1 part seasoning. The seasoning is a mixture of Vinegar, Sugar and Salt. Sushi chefs will use select ingredients like rice vinegar, white sugar, and rock salt. The vinegar and sugar can help keep the rice sticky, and give the rice more flavour. The sugar can also offset the bitterness of the seaweed sheet.
  6. Seaweed rolls of sushi are known as maki sushi. When your rolling sushi it is important for you to keep the seaweed sheet as dry as possible, and you will need to have something to help you roll. You can buy sushi mats made of bamboo, and they are quite cheap. 
  7. Rice's perfect sitting temperature is 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees farenheit.) Do not place hot rice in the fridge to cool, the temperature difference can stop the rice from sticking and turn it hard. Sushi chefs use fans to cool the rice down after it's cooked and lay it out flat on a bench so it gets exposed to more cool air. On the flip side, the rice can't be too cool because the warmth of the rice will aid the rolling of your sushi.
  8. Because sushi involves raw fish there are concerns about it being fresh and safe to eat. Some believe that pregnant women shouldn't eat sushi, this is because the high levels of mercury found in larger fish which can then make their way into sushi. 
  9. All fish used in sushi are salt water ocean fish. This is because there is more bacteria found in fresh water fish, as the salt in ocean water kills off the bacteria.
Sushi MatCredit: Christopher D BrownRolled sushiCredit: Christopher D Brown

Sushi is best eaten fresh but if you are going to keep your sushi for lunch, you can roll it up in cling wrap to help it keep, or store it in a Tupperware container.



Thanks for reading, and enjoy making your sushi!