Nigiri Sushi

I was craving nigiri the other day, and remembered that I saw sashimi-grade fish being sold at a local Asian/Japanese supermarket. Having never made nigiri before, I thought this would be the perfect weekend project. If I’m looking to make a general dish (rather than follow a specific recipe), I usually research 5-10 various recipes, and read up on the dish. Nigiri took a little more research than usual, since there are actually three “dishes” I am making: sushi rice, sushi soy sauce, and raw fish. Making nigiri is harder than it looks – the ones pictured are far from perfect – but I’ll definitely be practicing!

Salmon and Tuna Nigiri

Sushi Rice 
Courtesy of Makiko Itoh (blog posts here and here)


2 rice cooker cups (1 3/4 US cups) of uruchi-mai (sushi rice, or medium grain rice)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fine sugar
1 tsp table salt

Step 1: Wash the rice with water several times, until the water runs clear.

  • Put the dry rice into a strainer
  • Place strainer on top of a bowl just bigger than it
  • Run water until bowl is filled with water and rice is submerged, gently rubbing the rice
  • Lift strainer to pour out water that collected in bowl
  • Repeat until collected water is clear

Step 2: Leave the strainer hanging over a cleared bowl, and let the rice sit for 15 min to 30 min (ideal).

Step 3: Put the semi-dried rice into your rice cooker bowl, and fill with water up to the “2” line. Soak for 30 min to 1 hr (ideal), or, half a day max.

Step 4: Cook according to rice cooker instructions.

Step 5: After the rice has finished cooking, simply mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt together with the warm rice.

Sushi Soy Sauce
Courtesy of Mamie Nishide (video here)


1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tbsp mirin
1/2 tbsp sake

Step 1: Bring the mirin and sake to boil in a small pot, reducing it down by about a half to cook off the alcohol.

Step 2: Add the soy sauce, bring to a boil, then take off the heat.

Cutting Salmon Nigiri
Courtesy of Stephylicious (blog here)


Sashimi-grade raw salmon

Step 1: Pick a salmon fillet that is on the thinner side, and ideally, has its white lines parallel to one another.

Step 2: There are three steps to cutting:

  1. Keep the knife blade at a 90 degree angle to the white salmon lines
  2. Angle the blade at 45 degrees against the fillet
  3. Cut the salmon pieces in one slice, starting from the bottom of the knife blade, cutting all the way through to the tip of the blade

The linked blog has awesome photos of these steps, check it out!

Putting it all together
Courtesy of Mamie Nishide (video here)

Step 1: Take a ball of sushi rice with your non-dominant hand, and place a nigiri on top of it.

Step 2: Place the ball of rice on the inside base of your fingers in your non-dominant hand, with the nigiri facing the top, and gently squeeze the sides of the nigiri while using your index finger and middle finger to gently press the top of the nigiri.

Step 3: Brush some of the sushi soy sauce on top of the nigiri, and enjoy!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>