Rolled sushi, or maki-zushi, is rice, fish or seafood, rolled in nori seaweed. This variety of sushi starts with properly prepared sushi rice and sushi grade fish or shellfish. Sushi rolls are the most popular variety of sushi served in the states. Nigiri-zushi is small bundles of rice topped with wasabi and slices of fresh fish. Sashimi is raw fish cut into thin strips, and served. Other sushi dishes include chirashi-zushi; sushi served in a bowl with rice and bits of fish and vegetables, and oshizushi, or pressed sushi. Oshizushi is prepared by pressing rice and other sushi ingredients into a wooden mold, before slicing into bite-sized pieces.
If you have chosen to prepare a variety of sushi that includes sushi rice as an ingredient, the rice should be prepared using a recipe for making sushi rice. The rice needs to be sticky upon recipe completion or you will have difficulty achieving restaurant quality sushi. Take the time to prepare the rice according to the instructions.
All sushi recipes require fresh, high quality ingredients. Do not assume that the fresh fish you buy at the local market is sushi grade. Talk to the manager of the seafood department to insure that the steps have been taken to kill parasites and the fish or shellfish you are purchasing is safe for use in preparing sushi. Whether you start with a sushi recipe, or attempt to make sushi similar to that which you enjoy at your local sushi bar, remember that fresh is best. This applies to the vegetables, soy sauce, wasabi, and any other ingredients you will be using to prepare your dishes. Fresh fish, shellfish, and vegetables have much brighter, more vibrant color, which will add to the appeal of your finished dish.
To prepare a variety of sushi dishes you should have proper utensils and equipment especially for creating sushi. Essential equipment to have on hand include very sharp knives, a wooden rice paddle, a bamboo mat, a rice cooker, wooden bowls, a nice cutting board, and a mold for making oshizushi. The sushi you create will be visually dazzling and should be plated on a special sushi plates or on a sushi platter. Servings of wasabi, ginger and soy sauce may also require small serving dishes. Take a few moments to consider presentation, use some creativity in plating and an ordinary presentation can become an extraordinary dish.