Making

Nigirisushi

Nigiri sushi (sometimes nigirizushi) are just one part of a large selection of foods. Sushi is the sticky, short grained rice, that is seasoned with sushisu (usually rice vinegar, sugar but sometimes mirin, and salt). It can be rolled in a seaweed wrapper, nori. to make a sushi roll, a makizushi. Sushi rice can be served as a small dollop of rice with seafood or any number of other toppings and is called nigiri sushi.

The first time you make a selection of sushi, it will seem all too complicated, work intensive and time consuming. Thats just the learning process. The second time you make your sushi you will be amazed at how much easier it was than you remembered. By the third or fourth time, you will be able to make sushi without giving it a second thought.

There are traditional sushi selections but the choice of ingredients to complete your nigiri sushi is up to you and your individual taste.

Preparation: 2 or 3 hours over the day Life Experience Recipe
Makes about 30 - 35 sushi rice balls
Sushi Rice Ingredients:
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
Making the Sushi Rice
  1. Mix the vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir well and set aside and allow solids to dissolve completely
  2. Add the dry rice to a medium-sized bowl. Add water to cover. Gently massage the rice between the fingers to wash starch off the surface of the rice grains. Carefully pour off water or use colander to strain the rice. Repeat as needed until rinse water returns clear.
  3. Cover the rice with water and set aside until rice turns milky white, about 20 minutes. Drain rice well.
  4. If using an electric rice cooker, follow the manufacturers instructions for washing, draining and cooking the rice
  5. Place rice in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot with a close fitting lid. Add 2 cups of water and heat over medium heat until boiling using a rice paddle to stir and scrape down rice grains. When boiling, cover pot and reduce heat to medium low and simmer until liquid water just disappears, about 5 to 8 minutes. Turn heat to very low and continue heating to steam the rce until completely cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the still covered pot to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. After the rice has cooled for awhile but still warm, we need to season the rice with sushi-su, the vinegar, sugar and salt mixture. To season the rice, carefully turn out the rice into a large flat glass or other non-reactive container (no metal containers). Discard any overcooked rice grains on the pot bottom. Use the rice paddle to spread the rice grains. Slowly add the sushi-su while mixing the rice in a folding motion. Use a fan or even a folded newspaper to fan and cool the rice to near room temperature. Cover to keep from drying, and set aside but do not refrigerate. Rice made in the morning is just about right to make sushi in the afternoon.
Ingredients:
  • 1 recipe of sushi rice, as above
  • Prepared wasabi paste
  • Ahi tuna
  • Other toppings, as desired
Procedure
  1. The ingredients and instructions given here are for nigiri sushi with ahi tuna, a traditional sushi selection. Professional sushi chefs hand roll the sushi rice in to the desired shape and with practice, so can you. However, for the beginning sushi preparer, small molds, available at most Asian food markets or on-line stores, are quick and easy to use and make nice, neat, identical rice balls for your sushi treats. Ahi tuna, frozen in pieces small enough to make 20 or so nigiri sushi, are usually available on request from larger supermarket meat counters with a seafood section.
  2. After thawing, cut the ahi tuna across the grain into thin strips of the proper size - large enough to cover the top of the formed rice ball. Wet the two parts of the sushi mold and lightly tap off the excess water. To each piece of tuna, place a small dab of the prepared wasabi. Place the tuna in the mold, wasabi side up, covering the opening in the bottom of the mold.
  3. You will need a bowl of water with a bit of rice vinegar to wet your fingers and rice paddle so the rice wont stick. Fill the mold with rice, lightly packing with your finger tips. When the mold is slightly overfull, use the mold lid to compress the rice into the individual mold cavities. Judging proper amount of rice to put in the mold will come quickly with experience.
  4. Carefully remove the cover and then turn the mold upside down. With your finger tips through the openings in the mold, carefully push the completed sushi balls out of the mold.
  5. Serve the nigirisushi with a dollop of wasabi paste and soy sauce for dipping. Many people like a bit of beni shoga (also called gari, it is pickled ginger root and usually dyed a bright red) on the side and take a small bit of the gari between samples to cleanse and refresh the pallet.
A platter of assortd nagiri sushi Click to enlarge - The table set with sushi, egg rolls, tempura, green tea and wine for a delightful sushi party.
Nigirisushi with tamago, an egg omelet. Nigirisushi some with ahi tuna, some with cooked shrimp.
Nigirisushi with cooked shrimp. Non-traditional nigirisushi with crispy bacon and mushrooms. You saw it here first!

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