Jul 8, 2012

How to make Sushi

Interestingly, during my one-year stint in Japan, I had never tried making sushi, nor take up any sushi making classes. Nevertheless, armed with my farewell gift from my excolleague in Japan, the recipe book "Sachiko's Japanese Cooking Lessons in English", I tried sushi-making. :)

There are 6 types of sushi in all, of which maki sushi 巻寿司 (circular in shape, with filling in the middle), nigiri sushi 握り寿司 (cylindrical with toppings) and inari sushi 稲荷寿司 (rice in sweet beancurd skin) are the most common in Singapore. This time I made futomaki 太巻, a type of maki sushi. Futomaki is larger in circumference, with 2 or more fillings.

The toughest part about sushi making would probably be the sushi rice making part. I used to think it's just cooking shorter rice grains in the rice cooker, but nope, it is actually more complex than that.

Equipment needed

  • Rice cooker
  • Rolling mat(Available at Daiso)
  • Steaming cloth (Available at Daiso)
  • Hangiri (Wide wooden tub)
  • Spatula
  • Fan
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting mat

I did not have a hangiri, so I just used a wide porcelain bowl to substitute. This is used to mix the rice with sushi vinegar evenly. Do note has to be non-metal.

Ingredients needed

(Sushi Rice)

  • 2 cups of Short grain rice/ Japanese rice
  • 60ml Sushi vinegar (Available in Cold Storage)

(Sushi filling)

  • Omelette strips
  • Japanese cucumber strips
  • Crab meat strips
  • Pork floss
  • Fried ikan bilis
  • Seaweed (Large sheets)


1. Cook the short rice grains in the rice cooker.

Add a piece of kelp with the sides cut in the rice cooker, while cooking the short grain rice to add flavour.

2. While the rice is still hot, quickly transfer them to the hangiri. Mix it with sushi vinegar. Remember while mixing the rice, to fan the rice simultaneously. This is to remove the excess moisture and to give the rice a glossy look.

If you prefer homemade sushi vinegar, you can mix 50ml of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt to make sushi vinegar.

3. Cover the sushi rice with a damp steaming cloth once done.

4. Place the rolling mat, such that the flat side is facing downwards. Place a piece of seaweed on top, with the smooth side facing downwards.

5. Distribute sushi rice evenly on the seaweed, leaving about 1-2cm of circumference free.

6. Add the filling on the rice, leaving about 3cm free from the top and bottom of the rice area.

The filling ingredients above are just some suggestions. Be creative! I had fun mix-matching the ingredients.

7. Roll the sushi. Remember to tighten it, so that the roll will be firm.

8. Cut the maki sushi roll.

If you are a beginner like me, it helps to cut the sushi thicker. It is easier to manage :P

And there you go, sushi~

With my mum's help, we took 2 hours to complete our maki sushi project- 4 rolls in all. Lots of fun~ Have fun making sushi, too!

Other recipes of homemade Japanese food which you may like to try:

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