Preparing sushi
  |  First Published: October 2014

This month we look at how to make and prepare sushi using the traditional method.


1 1/2 cups sushi rice

1 3/4 cups water

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp salt

Rice Preparation


Put the rice into a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover the rice. This water is not the 1¾ cups mentioned in the ingredients list. Gently stir the rice with your fingertips. The water will become cloudy. Drain the rice in a strainer and discard the water. Repeat this step two or three more times. The Japanese traditionally repeat this step until the water runs clear.

Transfer the rinsed rice to a large pot (with lid) and add the water from the ingredients list. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let it stand, still covered, for 5 minutes.


To make the rice wine vinegar seasoning for the sushi rice; in a small bowl stir together the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Continue to stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved.


Rinse a rice paddle or large spoon with cold water and use it to transfer your rice to a large shallow bowl. Gently fold the rice repeatedly. As you fold, fan the rice with a square of stiff cardboard or a light cutting board. This is to bring the temperature of the rice down.


When the rice is tepid, gently tip the seasoned rice wine vinegar, a little at a time into the bowl while still folding the rice. Once complete, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Don’t cover the rice with plastic wrap or refrigerate.

Sushi ingredients

Tuna, thin slices

Cucumber, deseeded and thin sliced

Green shallots, thin sliced

Nori sheets

Rolling Sushi


To roll the sushi, you will need a sushi mat and nori sheets. Place the sushi mat on a clean work surface so that the mat rolls away from you and position a nori sheet on top.


Moisten your hands with a little water and pick up about half a cup of the sushi rice. Using your fingertips, gently press and spread the rice evenly to cover the nori sheet.


Place your filling end to end across the centre of the rice.


Use your fingers to lightly hold the filling in place. Pick up the bottom edge of the mat and roll the rice covered nori over the fillings to enclose them. Grasp the roll with your fingers and press firmly on the mat to secure the roll.


While raising the edge of the mat, continue rolling the mat forward to complete the sushi roll. Grasp the roll again and press firmly on the mat to finish shaping the roll. Remove any excess sushi rice that has been squeezed out as you roll.


Carefully remove the bamboo mat and allow the roll to sit for a few minutes before cutting to allow the moisture from the sushi rice to soften the nori sheet.

The completed tuna sushi rolls presented with soy sauce, wasabi paste and pickled ginger. 

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