To Make Nigirizushi

The key to good nigiri-zushi is balance between the topping and the rice. It is hand-formed by gently squeezing the ingredients together. (Nigiri means "squeezing.") For one finger of sushi the topping weighs from 12 to 14 grams and the vinegared rice about 2g grams.

Before beginning the actual process, arrange on a buffet or serving table: a chopping board; a sharp knife (sashimi-bocho); a clean, damp, folded cloth; a small bowl of wasabi horseradish; and a bowl of vinegared water in which to rinse the fingers. It is best to slice the topping from the fillets offish as you go along, as is done in a sushi shop. The fish in the following example is tuna. 1. First pick up the topping between the left thumb and index and middle

Place wasabi in center of topping.

Remove head and shell but leave tail.

Remove head and shell but leave tail.

fingers of your left hand. Lay it along the base of the fingers of the left hand (not on the palm).

2. With your right hand, take the appropriate amount of rice from the container at your right side, hold it lightly and round it by tapping it gently and quickly two or three times on the inside of the container. The rice should be about the size and. shape ol a Ping-pong ball.

3. Holding the rice in your right palm, use the tip of your right index finger to place a dab of wasabi in the center of the topping.

4. Put the rice on top of this.

5". Lightly press the top of the rice with your left thumb, leaving a small depression on the upper surface. Keep the fingers of the left hand, and the topping, flat.

6. Press the upper end of the rice with your left thumb while simultaneously pressing the bottom end with your right thumb.

7. With your right index and middle fingers, press the top of the rice, making the depression in the top more shallow.

8. Gently push the left upper corner of the sushi forward with your left thumb to turn the piece over. Slide the piece back to the base of the fingers.

9. Press the sides of the rice with your right thumb and middle finger. Then press the upper end with your left thumb, the lower end with your right thumb and the topping with your right index and middle fingers.

Turn finger of sushi over.

Turn finger of sushi over.

Press sides of rice with right thumb and middle finger.

Taking the sushi between your right thumb, middle and index fingers, turn the piece of sushi around to the right.

1 1. Again press the top end with your left thumb, the bottom with your right thumb and the topping with your right index and middle fingers. After the topping is right side up, too much pressing will pack the rice too closely. One pressing, one turn and a second pressing arc adequate.

Though the explanation sounds complicated in writing, once you go through the motions several times, you will become accustomed to and adept at them.

Turn finger of sushi end for end.

Press sides of rice with right thumb and middle finger.

To Make Gunkan-maki

As mentioned previously, certain ingredients, like sea urchin or salmon row, will not stay in place on an ordinary finger of rice. But the taste is too good to be missed, so the (junkan-maki was devised to hold such delicacies. It is made in the following way. 1. The same amount of rice as for

Press with right index and middle fingers.

nigiri-zushi (about the size of a Ping-pong ball) is formed into a mound. 2. A strip of nori seaweed long enough to encircle the mound of rice and wide enough to project 1 to 2 cm. (about 3/8 to 3/4 in.) above the top is wrapped around the rice. The rice is molded into an oval shape. The nori is held in place by crushing a grain of rice and using it like paste to fasten the ends together.

3- With the fingers (not a metal nori. Place wasabi on top. A piece of spoon), place salmon roe in the bowllike cucumber cut in a fancy shape may be receptacle formed by the rice and the added lor decoration.

Paste ends together.

Wrap nori around rice.

Paste ends together.

Add topping.

Wrap nori around rice.

Nigiri-zushi Shapes

The fingers of rice for nigiri-zushi may have different shapes according to the

Add topping.

Kushi-gata

Kushi-gata

Tawara-gata with the middle and index fingers. The name derives from its resemblance lo the ornamental combs worn in formal Japanese female hairdos. This form is amount of pressure applied when forming the one most often used today. It is also them and the way the fingers and thumbs called Rikyii-gata. are used. The following are the principal types, though the first two are not often seen at the present time.

Hako-gata : box shape. This is almost perfectly rectangular and requires considerable pressure from the fingers and thumbs. It cannot be successfully made if the rice is hard.

Tawara-gata : rice bale shape. Very little pressure is applied and the ends are not pressed with the thumbs. The shape is like that of the bales in which rice grain is stored.

huna-gata : boat shape. This is lona and rectangular, like the blunt-bowed Japanese boat.

Ogi-gata: fan shape. This requires more pressure from the thumbs and less pressure from the fingers. It is rounded into the shape a folding fan takes when fully opened and is widely used today.

Kushi-gata : Comb shape. This is formed by pressing with the thumbs and

Hako-gata

Tawara-gata

Hako-gata

Funa-gata

Funa-gata

Ogi-gata

Ogi-gata

Nigiri-zusbi

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