Sushi is probably the best known element of Japanese cooking outside Japan. For the Japanese it's a culinary art learned over time from masters, but we can make simplified and easier sushi which are still pretty and delicious.

The most common types of sushi are nigiri: a little oval-shaped mouthfuls of rice topped with raw fish, and maki: a nori seaweed roll filled with rice and other delicious ingredients.
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Last modified on: October 13th 2010

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For 6 people, you will need:
  • 1 rice 400 g rice
  • 2 rice vinegar 150 ml rice vinegar
  • 3 salt 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 caster sugar 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 5 sesame seeds 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
  • 6 fish 100 g fish
  • 7 wasabi ½ teaspoon wasabi
  • 8 nori sheet 6 noris sheet
  • 9 cucumber 1 cucumber
  • 10 raw beetroot 1 raw beetroot
  • 11 egg 1 egg
  • 12 avocado 1 avocado
  • 13 Preserved tomatoes 4 Preserved tomatoes
  • 14 basil basil
  • 15 soy sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 16 vinegar 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 17 water 2 tablespoons water
  • 18 Tabasco 5 drops Tabasco
  • Total weight: 1,670 grams

Change to the quantities for: 2 people 3 people 6 people 12 people 18 people
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
1 hour 23 min.15 min.1 hour 38 min.
At what time:
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at ... ?
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
Cook 400 g rice (a rice-cooker is useful). Normally you should use Japanese round rice, but for this adapted recipe, it's not absolutely necessary.

Meanwhile, pour 150 ml rice vinegar into a pan, bring to the boil and add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon caster sugar, stir to mix and remove from heat.

Equally, if you don't have rice wine vinegar, use normal vinegar instead, white or wine vinegar, (in which case your rice will take on a pretty light pink colour).

Stage 2 - 1 min.
Pour vinegar onto rice and mix well.

Stage 3 - 5 min.
Cook 3 tablespoons sesame seeds in a frying pan without fat 4 or 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to roast (torrefy).

Stage 4 - 3 min.
Mix sesame seed with half the rice to get two kinds: plain and sesame that you can use as you choose in the following recipe.

Stage 5
Nigiris :

Nigiris are little oval-shaped cakes of rice, usually covered with a thin layer of raw fish, but this can be varied in many ways.

Stage 6 - 5 min.
Cut your fish into wafer thin slices (see below on choosing your fish).

Stage 7
Make rice cake: take a little rice in your fingers...

Stage 8
...close your hand round it a few times to shape...

Stage 9
... and tidy ends if necessary.

Stage 10
A rice cake with sesame rice.

Note: if rice sticks to your fingers too much, rub your hands with a few drops of oil from time to time.

Stage 11
Put a thin layer of fish on top of rice.

The best way to do this is by sushi-factory production line, see below.

Stage 12 - 30 min.
Before adding fish, you can add some wasabi.

Tip from Jeremy: mark this hot sushi with a discreet label like a sesame seed on top for example.

Stage 13
Nigiris can be filled with many other things rather than raw fish, here are some ideas, but also let your imagination and taste guide you.

Tahitian-style fish marinated 1 hour in lime juice with salt and pepper.

Stage 14
Thin layer of fish, prawns or scampi, marinated in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.

Stage 15
Vegetables, cut into thin strips or leaves, raw or just blanched.

Smoked salmon or other smoked fish, etc.

yes you're right this is not sushi anymore (A restaurant in Paris is famous for its foie gras sushi), but it's still delicious, so why not?.

Stage 16

Makis are sheets of nori seaweed filled with rice and other ingredients, and rolled up to produce a green roll, which is then sliced to give the individual maki sushi.

Stage 17 - 10 min.
Cut your vegetables into small sticks, raw for cucumber...

Stage 18 - 10 min.
... blanched or cooked for beetroot...

Stage 19 - 5 min.
...raw too for avocado.

Stage 20 - 5 min.
Beat 1 egg with a fork, and cook in a frying pan to make a sort of small omelette.

Stage 21 - 5 min.
Put a nori sheet on a sushi mat (or if you don't have one, on a towel ).

Cover with rice over 2/3 of surface, not too thickly, about 1/4 inch or 1/2 cm.

Stage 22 - 5 min.
Put the chosen ingredients for your maki on the rice, here: cucumber, basil, and tomato preserve (recipe from Ann and Jeremy).

Stage 23 - 1 min.
Raise mat to roll sheet on itself...

Stage 24 - 2 min.
...continue shaping by rolling tightly all the way...

Stage 25 - 1 min.
Sushi the end.

Finish by leaving the edge of nori sheet under the roll.

Stage 26 - 2 min.
Cut roll into thick slices.

Stage 27
But not more than ½ inch or 1 cm.

Stage 28
Another idea: strips of carrot, cabbage and omelette.

Stage 29
Cucumber and omelette.

Stage 30
Avocado and marinated fish.

Let your imagination run wild.

Stage 31 - 3 min.
Make a quick sauce by mixing in a bowl 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, 5 drops Tabasco and a little grated carrot.

Stage 32
Serve if possible on large plates, arranging different nigiri and maki, as pretty to look as they are delicious to eat.
If you serve these sushi as a starter, allow 4 or 5 per guest. For a sushi-party, about 10 and as varied as possible.

For sushi with raw fish, you should make sure that it's fresh and of the highest quality. You do not need a lot, so it's worth investing in something good - have confidence in your fishmonger.

It's also a good time to try lesser known fish: never use red tuna (Alabcore or Tunus, which will probably disappear from the oceans soon, as a result of human stupidity), but opt for organic salmon, mackerel or sardines.

Sushi can't be kept waiting too long, it's so impossible to make them the day before. 1 or 2 hours should be the maximum. The best way is to make them and eat them straight away.

For complete success, the best way is to start a sushi-factory: one person (or two) make little rice cakes, another adds wasabi, another adds fish, someone else looks after plates and their filling, and so one. This method allows fast production, and gets everybody, including guests, in the kitchen, talk and laughing, and you get nice fresh sushi.

It might be better if yet another person opens wine bottles and fills glasses (Robert is a master in this art).
And to drink?
A red wine that's not too strong, like a Beaujolais for example, otherwise a rosé.
Several hours in the fridge, covered by a plastic film.
Family recipe, everyone got involved.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
1,210 Kcal or 5,066 Kj95 gr136 gr59 gr
61 %36 %13 %9 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
73 Kcal or 306 Kj6 gr8 gr4 gr
4 %2 %1 %1 %
Per person
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
202 Kcal or 846 Kj16 gr23 gr10 gr
10 %6 %2 %1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Sulfites, Sesame, Fish, Egg, Soybeans
How much will it cost?
  • For 6 people : 7.28 €
  • Per person : 1.21 €

Change currency:

Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
RiceRice: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Pilau rice, Chicken with rice and leeks, How to cook rice in rice-cooker, Sesame rice, Paella, ... All
Rice vinegarRice vinegar: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Thai-style Chicken with Cashew Nuts, ... All
FishFish: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Warm autumn salad, Pollack Parmentier, Quiche Bretonne, Fish petals, vegetables julienne, and beurre blanc, Fish in a sesame crust, ... All
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