Making sushi yourself is easy and also successful at home. With our tips and recipes, the production of small rice rolls with algae, vegetables and fish will also work for you. Here you will find all the important tips, information and recipes for the Japanese specialty.
What is Sushi?
Sushi is probably the most famous Japanese dish. The small rolls or balls are made from mildly acidified rice, raw or cooked fish and various vegetables as well as Nori algae leaves. And Sushi can also be made at home.
In our country the varieties “Maki Sushi” and “Nigiri Sushi” are best known, they come from the “Edo-mae-zushi”, which has its origin and a long tradition in Tokyo.
Make your own Sushi: this is how it works
Make Maki Sushi yourself
With the right sushi ingredients and the right tools (you can also buy a sushi making kit), you can easily enjoy homemade sushi at home. In addition to the prepared sushi rice, you will also need various fillings.
Vegetables and fish should be cut as thinly as possible with a sharp knife, so that they can be easily placed in the rice rolls. To make maki sushi or California rolls you also need a bamboo mat (makisu). It is available in Asian grocery stores.
Tip: Put a layer of cling film between the rice and the bamboo mat so that no rice sticks to the mat.
Cut the Norialge in half or leave it whole and place it on the bamboo mat with the shiny side down.
Spread the rice about 1 cm high on the algae leaf, leave 2 cm free at the upper edge and 1 cm free at the other edges.
Tip: Put some vinegar water on your hands so that the rice sticks less.
Now you can fill the roll: Place your filling crosswise in the lower third, for example strips of salmon or cucumber. If you like, you can also spread some Wasabi on the rice.
Caution: It is very hot!
Using light pressure, roll the nori leaf around the filling using the bamboo mat. Press the roll again and cut into even pieces with a large, very sharp knife. To make the pieces the same size, first cut the roll in half, place the two halves next to each other and cut them in half again. Continue until you have cut the roll into eight small or four larger sushi pieces.
Tip: Moisten the knife slightly so that the rolls can be cut more easily. Arrange the sushi on a platter or board and serve.
Making California Rolls yourself
California Rolls are also among the Maki rolls, but differ in their rolling technology:
The rice is spread on the bamboo mat, the algae leaf is placed on top and the filling is then placed on top. Very popular fillings are avocado, cucumber, surimi or salmon
They are spread in the middle and seasoned with wasabi to taste.
Then roll up the roll with the bamboo mat. Now the rice is outside and can still be rolled in sesame or fish roe. They are then also cut into even pieces.
Make Nigiri yourself
For the preparation of Nigiri Sushi you need Sushi rice, fish and Wasabi.
Simply form small, elongated oval balls out of the rice with moistened hands.
Depending on your taste, place a pinch of Wasabi on the middle of the rice ball, place the fish on top and press down.
Tip: When making sushi yourself, be sure to pay attention to hygiene: clean working is very important with raw fish. Work surfaces and chopping boards must be absolutely clean and hot washed after preparation. The knives should also be cleaned after each work step.
Preparing sushi rice
Put the rice in a bowl.
Cover with cold water and wash thoroughly. Drain the water and repeat until the water remains clear. Drain the rice in a sieve, place in a pot with water and soak for 30 minutes.
Bring the rice to the boil with the lid half open at medium heat and cook for 4 minutes. Cover and cook for 15 minutes at a low heat.
Remove from heat and let simmer for 18 minutes.
Put the rice in a wooden or porcelain bowl. Using a spoon, carefully mix in the vinegar bit by bit. Process the rice while it is still warm.
Ingredients and tools
What does it take to make sushi yourself?
To make sushi yourself, you need various ingredients, which you can get in the supermarket, at the weekly market, in the Asian supermarket and at the fishmonger.
Round grain rice: Take round grain rice from Japan. It is acidified after cooking.
Rice vinegar: Important for the sushi rice preparation. The vinegar is always mixed with a little sugar.
Soy sauce: One of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine.
Mirin: Sweet rice wine that is only used for cooking and seasoning. It has around 10% alcohol by volume and should only be boiled for a very short time.
Wasabi: The root is grated into a paste. The mustard-like pungency complements the slightly sweet sushi rice. In Germany the Wasabi paste is offered.
Nori: For maki sushi rolls and temaki sushi, these paper-thin sheets of dried seaweed are indispensable.
Ebi: Japanese for shrimp.
Gari: Thinly sliced and sweet-sour pickled ginger slices that are eaten between the individual sushi to neutralize the taste.
Maguro: Japanese for tuna.
Sake: Japanese rice wine with a higher alcohol content than wine (15 % by volume). Can be drunk cold or hot.
Shake: Japanese for salmon.
Sushi-zu: A mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt that gives sushi rice its typical taste.
Tamagoyaki: Japanese omelette
Other types of fish as fillings or toppings: The most common types of fish used in sushi preparation are salmon, tuna, mackerel, redfish, char or squid. Salmon trout or plaice are also excellent. Short-cooked prawns, surimi (cooked, chopped and pressed fish), smoked eel and salmon, cooked crab meat or caviar and other fish roe can also be used. The fish should be fresh and hygienically processed. If you want to make sushi yourself, ask the fish dealer for fish in “sushi quality”. Fish that smells fishy and has lost its shine and colour should not be used to prepare sushi.
Vegetables for stuffing: The classic vegetable for sushi is cucumber. Avocado, spring onions, sugar peas, pickled radish (Daikon), pickled pumpkin or shiitake mushrooms are also very popular.
Rice spoon (Shamoji) made of bamboo, for gentle and careful stirring and decanting. A large wooden or plastic spoon does the trick.
Hangiri: A cedar wood vat in which the rice is seasoned with vinegar after cooking and cooled.
Uchiwa: Round Japanese fan, used to cool sushi rice after cooking. Or if using a sushi rice cooker this may have a cooling element to it.
Makisu: Sushi mat consisting of several bamboo sticks tied together, with which Maki, i.e. rolled sushi, is prepared.
Sushi Oke: A traditional wooden bowl for rice. After cooking it is filled into the bowl soaked with water and sprinkled with rice vinegar mixture. Then, a spoon (Shamoji) is used to make furrows in the rice so that the vinegar is evenly distributed. The wooden bowl absorbs excess liquid. This prevents the rice from becoming muddy. A large plastic or stainless steel bowl is a good alternative.
Tamago pan: Rectangular pan for the preparation of Tamagoyaki, the egg rolls. Of course you can also use round coated pan.
Wasabi grater: Has very sharp blades and grinds the root very finely.
Sushi rice is a special round grain rice. In Germany, USA, UK and worldwide it can be found in Asian grocery stores. Besides there are also rarer and more expensive Sushi rice varieties: For example “Sasanishiki”, “Koshihikari” or the more and more popular “Hitomebore”. Its taste goes very well with sushi and it is particularly easy to cultivate.