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Sushi-making Tips for Fans of Japanese Cuisine

Want to make authentic, Japanese sushi from home? Read our latest article here on the Made in Japan site and pick up all the tips and tricks you'll need to ensure it's a hit.

Sushi-making Tips for Fans of Japanese Cuisine

Sushi fan? If you’re keen to prepare your own, we’ve compiled some top tips to ensure it’s a big hit with your friends and family. From which ingredients to buy to the crockery to serve it from, this is the only guide to sushi-making you’ll need.

What makes authentic sushi?

Sure, you could make sushi - but is it authentically Japanese? If not, are you really making sushi? 

Above: Niji London displays its beautiful dishes on Made in Japan crockery


While styles of sushi and presentation vary widely, states Wikipedia, the dish is generally prepared with 'vinegared rice, usually with some sugar and salt, plus a variety of ingredients, such as vegetables, and any meat, but most commonly seafood (often raw but can be cooked).'

We've scoured the Internet so you don't have to - and here's an authentic sushi recipe we think you'll love, featuring nori (roasted seaweed), rice, sashimi-grade tuna, and more. 

What equipment do you need to make sushi?

To make the sushi linked above, you'll need:

  • A large pan
  • A bamboo sushi mat, for rolling the sushi
  • Plastic wrap/damp cloth, for covering the sushi once it's cooked
  • A selection of small bowls.

You'll also want a good knife, especially if you're slicing the tuna and meat yourself.

Sushi requires extremely thin strips of meat or fish; Japanese knives are typically made from high-quality steel, meaning they tend to have a much sharper edge than that of European knives - making them ideal for sushi-making. They're also lightweight, easy to grip and generally just a joy to use. 

If you're looking to add a new knife to your collection, how about this santoku knife from Kai? It's the perfect, multi-purpose Japanese knife, with 'santoku'  roughly translating to make three uses: perfect for chopping, peeling and dicing.

Oh, and if you want to ensure you never confuse your 'Tako octopus' for your 'Tamago egg', this sushi mug (pictured below) - which lays out the many (and yes, there are a lot!) different types of sushi - should save your bass. Pun very much intended! 

You might also like these Kajidonya prep bowls, ideal for measuring your ingredients. The bowls' spout, meanwhile, is perfect for pouring - and each bowl can fit in one hand, while their rimless edge makes them easy to clean, too.

We love the KAJI Donya Pouring Bowl and Strainer (pictured), which has a generous capacity and will make easy work of washing vegetables and rice during sushi prep.

How can I make better sushi?

When it comes to making wow-worthy sushi, it often isn't as simple as just following a recipe; there's a real knack to it.

So, how can you ensure your sushi is better than just 'okay'? Here are some top tips for preparing a winning Japanese feast...

Choose Quality Ingredients

Want to make the best-tasting sushi out there? Don't scrimp on ingredients; if you can afford it - and if there's one close by - head straight to an oriental supermarket to buy authentic ingredients found in equally authentic sushi.

Hone Your Rice-making Skills

Great sushi-making starts with great rice-making. So, hone your skills by ensuring your rice is the perfect texture. The School of Wok site says 'Sticky rice is made by using boiled rice tossed in sushi vinegar (made from rice vinegar, sugar and salt). Getting the balance just right is key.'

Think Small

Each piece of sushi, says School of Wok, needs to fit elegantly into your mouth. Cut yours into bitesize pieces, then, which also means there are many more mouthfuls to savour.

How should I serve homemade sushi?

You can serve sushi however you choose, but if you really want to go all-out, you should plate yours up the Japanese-way.

How about carefully placing your homemade delights on the stunning plates which feature in this four-piece blue plum sushi set (pictured below). Chosen at the Utsuwa workshop in Gifu, Japan, the Blue Plum range contains two sushi plates, two sauce dishes, and two pairs of wooden chopsticks.

The Japanese word 'Utsuwa' literally translates as ‘vessel’. Figuratively, it is also a symbol of generosity and humility.

If you'd like some more inspiration on the sushi-making front, can we also recommend Sushi at Home, a cookbook which comes complete with menu plans and recipes?

Alternatively, add The Little Book of Sushi to your wish list. In it, you'll discover all you need to know about the different kinds of sushi, from the traditional to the modern (and how to eat it). You'll also find food for thought with the history of sushi, and whet your appetite with delicate bites of trivia.

In the meantime, happy cooking!

Until next time...