10 sushi tips from Kimiko Barber

Sushi class with Kimiko Barber

Kimiko Barber was recently here at Cookery School, teaching a chef training course in sushi making. Kimiko is fantastic – amazingly talented and a terrific teacher. We learned a bunch from her and she kindly gave us permission to share some of top sushi-making tips.

The secrets of sushi

  1. 1. Good sushi begins with good rice. There are two types of rice – indica and japonica – no prizes for guessing which one must be used!
  2. 2. Rice vinegar is the best vinegar to use with sushi rice. Cider vinegar is the best substitute if you can’t find rice vinegar.
  3. 3. Wasabi is Japanese horseradish. It’s not only tasty, it’s also a digestive aid and antibacterial!
  4. 4. The ginger that you get with sushi is meant to be a palate cleanser – it is not meant to be consumed with the sushi itself!
  5. 5. Before cooking rice, you should wash your rice 2-3 times, ideally an hour before cooking, to remove excess starch and prevent your rice from become a gloopy mess.
  6. 6. It is best to prepare sushi rice in a hangiri, a round flat wooden bowl that helps the rice cool faster. If not a specific sushi bowl, then a large wooden salad bowl would also do the trick.
  7. 7. If you’re short on time, use a good pre-made sushi vinegar (a mix of rice vinegar, sugar and salt in the correct ratios) for making sushi rice – a nifty time-saver so you can focus on the rolling!
  8. 8. Invest in a sushi rolling mat, and cover your mat with Clingfilm to avoid spending hours picking out the grains of rice after your sushi making session!
  9. 9. A fantastic knife is a sushi chef’s best friend – to get the most out of it, wet the knife tip and let the water run down the blade just before slicing.
  10. 10. If you have leftover nori, the Japanese edible seaweed used in sushi rolls, keep it in a Ziplock bag in a dark, dry cupboard.


Kimiko Barber