Do you know sushi? It is more than a piece of raw fish on top of vinegar Japanese sticky rice.
Sushi is basically a kind of Japanese food preparation method where vinegar rice is topped with delicious toppings. The toppings can be raw, cooked, meats, fish, vegetables or even fruit! Sushi does not only come in a bite-size ball form. Sushi can be in rolls, in a bowl, in a tub for sharing, in cone-shape or even pressed. Let your imagination run wild and create many types of sushi.
Let us introduce to you to 4 popular forms of Sushi!
- Nigiri-zushi 握り寿司
This is the type of sushi everyone is most familiar with. Nigiri 握り means hand-pressed. This type of sushi is made without any other tools but the sushi chef’s hand to grab and press the vinegar rice into shape, topped with some wasabi (spicy Japanese horseradish) and a slice of usually raw fish. Nigiri-zushi has a history of almost 200 years. It is one of the most popular sushi!
A further development of the hand-pressed Nigiri-zushi is the rolled sushi or Maki-zushi 巻き寿司.
As you can see in the photo above, there are many types of “rolled sushi” – different sizes, fillings, with or without seaweed on the outside etc. There are thin rolls with seaweed rolled on the outside, also known as
There are thin rolls with seaweed rolled on the outside, also known as Hoso-maki 細巻き. (bottom left corner from photo) There are thicker rolls or medium-sized rolls called Chu-maki 中巻き. (top right corner) There are even thick, fat rolls stuffed full of tasty fillings called Futomaki 太巻き.(not in photo but imagine double the size of Chu-maki 中巻き)
There are also rolls wihout seaweed on the outside called Ura-maki 裏巻き like the popular California Roll. (bottom right section)
There are also Gunkan-maki 軍艦巻き which are like “battleship” shaped sushi similar to Nigiri-zushi but with a wall of seaweed around the rice to hold the fillings on top. (shown above Ura-maki 裏巻き in the above photo) Gunkan-zushi is more suitable for toppings which are more fluid or hard to hold the shape such as creamy custard-like Uni (sea urchin) or jelly-fish strips.
Roll sushi also include Temaki 手巻き which is literally “handroll”.
Temaki is in a conical shape and can be filled with any tasty fillings you like. It is also a popular party food as guests can hand-roll these delicious sushi by themselves at the table. Just place a party sized tub of sushi vinegar rice, a rice paddle, various toppings, Nori seaweed sheets on the table and let your guests be creative!
3. Chirashi-zushi ちらし寿司
This type of sushi is basically any kind of your favourite toppings such as: meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, seaweed, egg even fruit topped over a bed of sushi vinegar rice. It may be served in individual bowls, lacquer ware or commonly in sushi rice tub itself (as shown in the photo).
This method of cooking and serving is very common in Japan as mothers can prepare the chirashi-zushi, leave it in the sushi rice tub and serve. There’s no extra cleaning up or mess with such a simple serving method. Also, chirashi-zushi is easy to prepare in advance and serve to hungry family members during meal times.
The natural cypress wood absorbs excess moisture. Not only is it a good tool for cooling sushi rice, it is a great container for keeping chirashi-zushi fresh. This special wooden tub made of selected natural wood makes delicious sushi rice.
4. Oshi-zushi 押し寿司
Oshi-zushi is a type of pressed sushi. For such sushi, prepared sushi vinegar rice is placed into a rectangular mold, usually made of cypress wood, topped with desired ingredients such as raw or cooked fish or seafood, and pressed with the lid.
The cypress wood box mold comes in various sizes, so you can make extra large, large, medium, or small pressed sushi blocks small pressed sushi blocks as you require. Why is cypress wood used? It has a subtle fragrance which imparts a delicious scent onto the sushi during preparation. Also, cypress as anti-bacterial properties, keeping the food safe and fresh.
The cypress wood mold is designed to be pulled apart, so not only is it easy to remove the prepared sushi, it is also easy to wash and clean. There are also slits at the side of the box to guide your knife to cut perfect size sushi for serving. Such a helpful design for the home chef!
Now that you know all about sushi, why don’t you make some at home?
Firstly, arm yourself with a good rice paddle that can help you loosen up sushi rice and also scoop well. There are many innovative designs of rice paddle which can keep your work space clean and food remain hygienic such as the design shown below. Mini rice paddle makes it easy to scoop rice into bento boxes or sushi rice molds. It avoids the trouble of rice spilling out of the box or mold when you try to fill them with rice.
Next, with some simple tools such as sushi roll maker, fresh ingredients such as egg omelette, cucumber, carrot, some meat, fish or seafood, Japanese sushi rice and you are ready to go! Making sushi is easy as 1-2-3!
Get creative with different flavors, toppings and fillings! You can even mix in different ingredients directly into the rice to create colorful rice balls for your sushi bento box! Add some cute “faces” cut out from Nori seaweed sheets for an extra cute & tasty look! Their faces are so cute and happy! Don’t you feel that meal times are more cheerful?
Interesting designs can also be created using decorative knives to carve out images from foods. Try creating your own special designs with this decorative knife set. Design beautiful bento boxes for yourself, your kids or loved ones.
If you have no time, just make simple triangle-shaped onigiri rice balls. Just put rice into the mold, fill them with your favourite fillings, press and you are ready!
Wrap with anti-bacterial onigiri wrapper to keep them fresh through the day! Kids will also enjoy the cute colorful animal cartoons printed on the children’s style anti-bacterial onigiri wrapper. Easy to make, delicious taste & healthy food for everyone!
We hope you enjoy making sushi at home!