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Lesson 4: Recipes For Nigiri Sushi

For sushi basics I’ve recommended seafood and ingredients that are easy to find. You will need some knowledge of raw seafood so read the “About Fish” section before beginning Nigiri preparation. Review the Nigiri Sushi Maker operating instructions. After preparing your seafood, always wrap it in cling film and place as soon as possible in the refrigerator. Serve Nigiri with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Ahi Tuna

This classic simple sushi is very popular with Nigiri eaters. Good Nigiri is mostly about very fresh or flash frozen seafood. Loins cut from the mid section of the tuna fish and the belly area are the best cuts for sushi.

Tuna is a very soft and flaky fish, so must be cut with a very sharp knife. Cut regular size strips as shown in the Fish Preparation section, and place them in the sushi mould. Add Wasabi and continue as directed in the Nigiri Sushi Maker operating instructions. Tuna does not need a garnish; however, chives are used in this photo to ad color contrast on the pink ginger. Chives are very useful and easy for decorating sushi. Cut the chives in various sizes depending on your garnishing needs.

Albacore Nigiri With Garlic, Scallion And Ponzu Sauce

Albacore is soft and flaky. Carefully slice with a very sharp knife (see the fish slicing section). Prepare some finely chopped garlic and place 4-5 grains on top of the finished Nigiri. Sprinkle with chopped green onion. Serve with Ponzu dipping sauce. Ponzu sauce can be found at the store or there is a recipe in the Sushi Sauces section.

Shrimp Sushi

Use the shrimp I recommend in the “About Fish” section. To prepare, start with whole shrimp. You will need to skewer shrimp so it does not curl when cooked. To do this, straighten out a shrimp by gripping it in the palm of your hand. Pass an 8-inch long wood skewer lengthwise all the way through the shrimp. Pass the skewer inside the shell, but close to the legs. Fit two shrimp on each skewer.




Put about one inch of water in a large frying pan, and season with salt. Bring to boil and then lay skewered shrimp in the pan. Do not cover. Cook for 2 minutes, turn the shrimp over and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl of iced water. This quick cooling process helps retain good texture and color. When cold remove skewers using a twist and pull motion so as not to break the shrimp. Remove shell and legs. Leave the tail on.

You will need to butterfly cut the shrimp for Nigiri, but when making shrimp for rolls there is no need to butterfly. To butterfly use a paring knife on the underside. Cut the shrimp lengthwise, as straight as possible down the middle. Do not cut all the way through! You will need to open the shrimp with your fingers without splitting it in half. Flatten the shrimp cut side facing up. If there is a vein, remove it. Lay cut side down on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Crab Stick

Make rice balls without topping in the Nigiri sushi maker (see operating instructions page 14). Imitation Crabstick is good for this. Split the crabstick lengthwise with a paring knife and use the top pink half to place on the rice ball. Optional: place a slice of avocado on top of crab. Cut a band of nori about ¼ inch wide by 4 inches long and wrap the band around the Nigiri. Wet the end of the nori strip or use a rice grain to glue the two ends together as you form a nori ring around the sushi.


Always use ocean Salmon. Slice the salmon and follow operating instructions for Nigiri. After you have made the basic Nigiri, a more advanced finish is to top it with a slice of avocado and some dried Bonita shreds. Wrap it with a Nori band to hold it all together. More explanation of this finish will be in the intermediate sushi class.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is delicious for Nigiri sushi. It usually comes pre-sliced, needs little preparation, and will keep in the refrigerator longer than fresh fish. Just cut the slices to fit the mould cavities and use the Nigiri maker to mould salmon, rice and wasabi together.

White Fish Varieties: Sea bass, Halibut, Grouper, Red Snapper

I placed these white fish together as they can be prepared in the same way for sushi basics. These fish are not difficult to find in your local store. Slice the fish in the normal way. Make up in the Nigiri in the sushi maker. I like these fish garnished with a few drops of hot chili oil.

This photo shows imported sushi grade Tilapia, which is milder than local California Tilapia. I found it in my local Asian food store. To garnish, I grated some Daikon (Japanese white radish) and mixed in a little chili sauce for color.

<Lesson 3(Best recipes for making sushi rolls lesson)    | Sushi Lessons Index |   Lesson 5>(Making vegetable sushi lesson)
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