You have enjoyed your sushi in a sushi shoop and now you may want to make your own sushi at home. Here are some basic ingredients and the utensils that are required for making nigiri-zushi and maki-zushi.
One factor spelling success or failure for your sushi is the rice you’ll use. Many people like to eat newly harvested rice, but for sushi, grain that has aged awhuile is to be preferred. Sushi rice dealers mix grains of different stages of maturity and from various regions to meet their specific requirement.
02. Su – Rice vinegar
Only vinegar of the highest quality is suitable for sushi, and only rice vinegar is used, since it has a gentle tartness and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. In the United State, Mitsukan Vinegar, a product of Japan’s largest manufacturer of his condiment, is readily available. The ways certain sushi shops make their own vinegar are, of course, professional secrets.
03. Nori – Seaweed
Nori is specifically Porphyra, a genus of red marine algae. After harvesting, it is dried, toasted and sold packaged in standard size sheets (19 x 21cm, 7 1/2 by 8 1/4 inch), often folded in half lengthwise with the smoother side out. Once the sealed cellophane or plastic bag has been opened, nori should be eaten at once. If not, it should be stored in a sealed container in a dark, cool, dry place to preserve its crispness.
Toasting lightly enhances the flavor. If only untoasted nori is available or opened nori becomes damp, pass one side over an open flame. Applying heat to both sides reduces aroma and flavor. In selecting nori aroma, color and luster are major considerations.
04. Hangiri – Rice-Cooling Tub
Made of sawara cypress bound with copper hoops, the low-sided, broad hangiri is perfect for cooling vinegared sushi rice and giving it the proper texture and gloss. Any suitable wooden, plastic or enameled vessel of te right size may be substituted.
05. Manaita – Chopping Board
This used always to be made of wood, but today for various reasons, such as hygiene, chopping boards of rubber or resin are common. The wooden manaita is still convenient, especially for pinning and holding eels in place while skinning them.
Serrated stainless-steel knives cannot be used in making sushi. They tear instead of cutting clean, leaving rough edges and spoiling the appearance of the finished food. The only way to be sure of ending up with nicely cut surfaces is to have steel knives of good quality and whetstones, and sharpen the blades yourself. An electric knife sharpener will not do the job properly. Good Japanese knives are on outgrowth of forging the world-famous Japanese sword. Cooks in Japan care tenderly for their knives, which they count among their most prized possessions.
07. Makisu – Bamboo Mat
This simple mat, made of slender strips of bamboo woven together with cotton string, is essential for the preparation of many kinds of rolled sushi.