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. 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. 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. Wasabi is Japanese horseradish. It’s not only tasty, it’s also a digestive aid and antibacterial!
- 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. If you have leftover nori, the Japanese edible seaweed used in sushi rolls, keep it in a Ziplock bag in a dark, dry cupboard.