Sushi is probably one of my all-time favorite meals. I love the combination of high-quality fish with the delicate touch of thinly sliced cucumber, seaweed, and rice.
After having been presented with gorgeous, mouth-watering trays of sushi from numerous restaurants or by friends in their homes, the only reasonable next step to take was to learn to do it myself. This is easier said than done in some ways as an appreciation of finely prepared and presented food does not automatically translate to an ability to create it.
The thing is, I’ve never really tried to make it. So, I decided to find out what I need to get started and discover the joy of making Sushi and Sashimi dishes at home.
The first step is to learn about it, the next step is to acquire the equipment needed, and the third to jump in and try it out. I like to go the whole nine yards and present food correctly with appropriate dishes and arrangements, which calls for a little research.
Some reading is required
Quite frankly, the best way to learn any new skill is to hit the books. There is a wide array of books available on making sushi or sashimi, and finding one that explains the process in ways any skill level can understand is crucial. I found The Complete Guide to Sushi and Sashimi on Amazon, though it’s probably available elsewhere as well, and it is perfect.
This fantastic book delivers what it promises. I found the instructions were easy, backed up by beautiful full-color photos. I loved using it. There was no confusion about what needs to be done and how to correctly use the ingredients. It even has a section explaining the various utensils you need and how they work.
It contains 625 step-by-step photographs, including detail on each recipe, equipment to use, and how to present the final products. Not only does it have beginner level recipes and the most common sushi rolls around, but it also contains some more exotic recipes like using clams and sea urchins.
Once I browsed through the book, I knew I needed to get myself the correct utensils. I found two great kits that were inexpensive.
Based on recommendations from reading the book and the suggestions it made for what kind of equipment I needed, I thought the easiest way to get everything at once would be to get a kit. There are two kits that I would recommend, the basic Sushi Making Kit from Delamu and the more expensive Original AYA Bazooka Kit .
Both kits come with rolling mats, chopsticks, and rice paddles. What it comes down it is the quality of the equipment. The Sushi Making Kit is all bamboo and is a little on the more utilitarian side, while the Original AYA Bazooka Kit is mostly bamboo as well but also includes a sushi knife and mold for the sushi roll. The quality is excellent, and creating the shapes is a breeze with the molding tool. The knife is extra sharp, so the fish slices are paper-thin, which makes assembling the Sushi a breeze.
Presentation is everything
One thing that I realized during my long-term love affair with Sushi is that it’s not only food but a beautiful art form. Presenting the pieces is just as important as creating the meal. Sushi is not just food for the body. It is food for the eye and the mind. When you read the book, you’ll notice it references how to arrange sushi properly, the importance of the colors from the ingredients and their placement within the roll, and how all of that combines to create a visual feast.
There are several presentation trays available that will properly display your creations. You can opt for the traditional bamboo serving tray like the TJ Global Sashimi Sushi Geta Plates ; this set has three different size trays to arrange your sushi rolls. For a slightly different look, the Asian Home Sashimi Sushi Curve Geta Plate is a great option to add a little flair to the presentation, with each end curved slightly upward. So even if the first attempt at Sushi isn’t perfect, the serving set will make it look a lot better and give a more authentic sushi experience.
Enjoying Sushi in Style : the dinner Party
My final step to becoming a Sushi master was to have the right serving dishes. I mean, who wants beautifully crafted Sushi on a boring dinner plate? Food always tastes best when it is shared with good friends and family. When you go to the effort of making a beautiful arrangement of sushi rolls, presented on a traditional bamboo tray, you also want to make sure your guests are eating off of dishes that suit the meal as well.
There is the simple black bamboo of the BambooMN Reusable Trays that provide a sleek minimalist background along with matching sauce dishes and chopsticks. The Japanese Sushi Tray has a lovely black on white brush design on the trays and sauce dishes and comes as a set for two. For a more modern take, the Contemporary Dinnerware Sushi Set is perfect, with a solid black brushed design with curved plates, matching sauce dishes, and chopsticks with holders.
Making sushi is a delight for the senses from start to finish. Ensuring you have the right tools and dishes is important to make the process as easy to master as possible. If you have ever wanted to try to learn, I highly recommend getting started right away.