Sushi essentials?

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Mike Davis

Senior Member
May 2, 2011
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I have never made sushi before, and i REALLY want to. What are the essentials needed to make some of the simpler rolls? I assume it is pretty much the same for every roll...But i would love to do some spicy thai rolls or something similar.



Founding Member
Feb 28, 2011
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Since we have a number of former/current sushi chefs and Japanese food fans, you'll get a lot of responses. I'll give it a go to start:

Decent to good quality sushi nori (not seasoned nori)
Good quality medium or short grain rice (Kokuho Rose or Nishiki at a minimum IMHO; you'll be better off with a better quality rice such as Akita Otome - my favorite)
Bamboo sushi roller
Seasoned rice wine vinegar (if you want to prepare your own seasoned vinegar mix for the rice, you'll need unseasoned vinegar, mirin or sake depending on the recipe, konbu and sugar)
Rice cooker
Rice paddle
Large wide, shallow bowl to cut the rice with the vinegar and to let the rice cool down
Soy sauce and wasabi for dipping


Senior Member
Apr 5, 2011
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Hi Mike... I will try to start what i believe is essential for sushi and move from there... you can substitute hardware and use only what your first recipes need and build from there depending on your interests...


Makisudare (Sudare Roller) - Bamboo strips tied together into a mat.
Cutting board - You can use a medium or large clean board you may own and later get a special one (Hi-soft, K-type or asahi are very good)
Hangiri (Rice Bucket)- large mixing bowl for warm rice.
Shamoji (Rice paddle) - Plastic or wooden spoon
Yanagiba knife - slicer or sujihiki - Very important! :laugh:
Clean cleaning rag to clean surfaces.
Fish Bone Twezer - Depending if you are preparing your own fish or buying prepared.
A rice pot - Standard one you would use on regular rice (No need to buy a special one)

Rice cooker - Later on a good addition once you get the rice down pat manually (I like Zojirushi)
Later on you can incorporate molds, egg pans, etc. if you like.

Software (depending on what you are making) (Do some research cross contamination, bacteria on raw fish... sushi grade fish, pro's and cons, etc. A lot of people can give you advise, here is a thread I found very useful).

Sushi Rice - Short Grain rice.
Nori - Thin sheets of seaweed
Rice vinegar - Sold at asian supermarkets.
Kombu - Thicker sheets of seweed to give rice flavor
Akebono sushi pickled ginger
Fish - Take your pick - Albacore, amberjack, Fresh water eel, halibut, mackerel, octopus, salmon, scallop, sea urchin, shrimp, squid, tuna, toro, yellowtail, etc. etc.
Wasabi - Japanese Horse Radish.

Hope I didn't forget something (I probably did).... There are a lot of web courses, books and resources you can use to learn..

I personally believe (As most) that the best way to learn is to incorporate to a working sushi restaurant but there are other alternatives. this is a site I found that offers online courses (I have not tried it and cannot recommend it), maybe someone else can weigh in...

Hoper this helped, good luck and let us know how it goes! :cool2:


Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2011
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Visit your local or not so local asian market, you will find sushi making kits with all you need in them. Then you can pick up all ingredients, ask for help I am sure they will point you in the right direction, most of all have fun making the rolls. :aikido:



Jul 26, 2011
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On a related topic, when you guys use one of the red tunas, do you let it age or use it right away?

Marko Tsourkan

Founding Member
Feb 28, 2011
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A cookbook would be a good start. I use this one:
mostly for sushi rice recipe.

Next step would be to find a Japanese market near you for fish and other ingredients - seaweed, sushi rice, vinegar, wasabi, pickled ginger, soy sauce and other sushi components. I typically buy tuna, salmond, yellowtail, clams, or other things that look particularly good that day.

I use a regular pot to cook rice and a big ceramic bowl to mix the vinegar mix in. There are many youtube videos how to cut fish for sushi or sashimi. I typically do the cutting and my wife assembles sushi - this way, everything looks neat and uniform. Sushi mat helps if you like to make rolls.

For cutting, a yanagiba is best, but I have cut fish with a gyuto (or suji) without a problem.

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