Becoming a sushi master is a breeze .... provided you have the proper equipment. To help you in your quest, we have listed the 7 tools you will need turn yourself into a sushi making king when it comes to home made maki, sashimi and temaki.
1. The Knife
The essential accessory to achieving beautiful sushi is undoubtedly the knife. Or even better, a set of knives! Japanese knives are only honed on one side for precision cutting. The best sashimi knives have a rounded wooden handle that is either D- or hexagon-shaped. Chefsteps have a great line-up of the best Japanese knives, or if you are looking for a simple starter option try this one:
A high quality waterstone or whetstone is an indispensable companion to your sushi knives in order to ensure maximum sharpness at all times. The stones usually come in various grit sizes – the higher the number, the finer the grit, the sharper the knife. Again, if you want to go all out to match a professional knife set try this $184 option recommended by Chefsteps, or as a simple starter try the one below:
Another essential element of achieving good sushi is perfectly cooked rice. Most Japanese restaurants use a 'suihanki', i.e., a rice cooker. This staple of Asian homes all over the continent will help you get the best and most consistent results. Again, there's a huge range to find one that will suit your budget and requirements.
Once the rice is cooked, you must leave it to rest as well as adding in the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. The most appropriate vessel for the mixing process is a traditional wooden container, called a 'hangiri'. A hangiri can cost two or three times more than a steel cooking pot, but cheaper options are also easy to find.
Once the rice is cooked it must be mixed with a rice paddle or large flat spoon to let excess moisture escape. There are a number of choices from plastic to wood when it comes to selecting you paddle, a true sushi master performs this step using a 'shamoji' ideal for working the rice in a 'hangiri'. Traditional shamoji are usually made from bamboo.
The 'makisu' is probably the best-known utensil by fans of Japanese cuisine. This bamboo mat will help you roll beautiful maki and California rolls. They can also be used to squeeze moisture out of other foods, such as Japanese omelettes.
Bamboo Rice Mat: $8.95
7. The presentation
Now that you have all the necessary utensils for preparing home made sushi, it's just a case of serving it authentically. Presentation is a vital step in all Japanese cuisine. For this, nothing beats a traditional Japanese service, like this one: