In intermediate level Sushi class, you will learn how to make a nigiri using the basic side hand flip method (yokotegaeshi), a thin roll (hosomaki), and the ship roll (gunkanmaki).
It is assumed that you have become used to cooking rice, and preparing the sushi rice to a satisfactory level. We will add some extra details to the basic preparations, so you can taste the differences by just adding these little details.
You will be using the sashimi knife to cut rolls. Always make a habit of weting the knife each time before cutting the roll, and then wiping it immediately afterwards.
Keep a bowl of ice water nearby. Your hands must always be cold when making a nigiri. Cool your hands frequently and dry your hands and apply diluted rice vinegar (tezu). Give them a clap to get rid of excess moisture. This way sushi rice will not stick to your hands.
Things to prepare:
Sashimi Knife (substitutes:long, extra sharp knife)
Rice Cooker (If you don’t have one, you can perfectly cook rice with a pot)
Japanese Short Grain Rice (substitutes: Japanese Medium Grain Rice)
Premixed Sushi Rice Vinegar(Awasezu)
Sushi Bucket (SushiOke, Hangiri)
Rice Paddle (Shamoji)
Hand Fan (substitutes:magazine or a cardboard)
Extra details for intermediate level
Make sushi rice with a sushi bucket (sushi oke,hangiri) and a rice paddle (shamoji). The extra moisture absorbed will make the sushi rice come out better.
Use real wasabi
When you choose your sashimi, you have to be sure to get a loin with a good shape to make a nigiri. Learn how to slice fish for sushi, and then you can determine if a sashimi loin is suitable for you before you buy it. Also check for freshness, and good texture.
Common Mistakes and Remedies:
Rice sticks on my hands even if I wet them:
You are grabbing the rice too hard. This is bad for the sushi rice. In the beginning, you should lightly grab it with your fingers, and ball it by lightly shaking it in a loose fist. Give it a light squeeze and you should get a roughly shaped sushi rice ball that you can start working on. Once you start merging it with the fish, the fish oil will act as an extra lubricant to your hands, and you can use more strength to squeeze(but never too hard) to finalize your nigiri without the sushi rice sticking on your hands. One or two grains of rice that stick to your hands should be of no concern.
It is difficult to cut the roll without breaking the nori.
Always wet the knife.It should be slightly dripping of water. Also, the knife may not be sharp enough. It should be razor sharp, so it can “cut” dry nori cleanly as scissor cuts paper Also, the roll should be cut in one long stroke. Don’t“saw” the roll.