There are certain foods that are daunting to eat for the beginners, such as sushi, which is basically a classic Japanese cuisine. There are two main types of sushi: maki sushi and nigiri sushi. Maki sushi comprises of layers of either cooked or raw shellfish or fish, vinegar and vegetables on a sea kelp sheet that has been dried and rolled to form a cylinder. It is then cut into pieces. Nigiri sushi, however, comprises of slices of either cooked or raw shellfish or fish that is pressed onto a vinegar rice mound and has a little wasabi in between the layers. Throughout this article, nigiri sushi will be discussed in details.

What Is Nigiri Sushi?

Nigiri sushi is prepared using two main ingredients, fresh fish and sushi rice. The rice is formed into a small clump by using the hands. The fish is then sliced and pressed on the rice. Owing to its two distinct ingredients, this sushi is also referred to as "two kinds sushi." The topping part of the sushi, which is also referred to as net, comprises of seafood, such as eel, tuna, shad, haddock, shrimp or octopus. Depending on the type of fish used on the sushi, it may be served in slices of raw, fried or grilled fish. Since the fish will be served raw and will be on display, the cooks have to select the highest quality fish. This is to ensure that the sushi is healthy and aesthetically pleasing.

How to Eat Sushi Correctly

Generally, sushi is not easy to eat. As such you need to know how it is eaten beforehand, especially if you are going to have it in a restaurant. The following do's and don’ts will guide you on how to eat sushi rightly.

Avoid rubbing the chopsticks

According to Yuko Kajino, the executive chef of Chaya Brasserie, rubbing chopsticks is considered to be an embarrassment by the Japanese. If the chopsticks are of high quality, you will not need to rub them to get rid of splinters.

Use hands to eat sushi

Originally, sushi was supposed to be eaten using the fingers. It is still acceptable to use your hands while eating it. According to Kajino, who prefers using fingers, you are supposed to dip a piece of the fish in the soy sauce. This is difficult to achieve with the chopsticks.

Avoid mixing wasabi with the soy sauce

According to various purists, it is not advisable to pour wasabi into the soy sauce. This is mainly because this will interfere with the wasabi flavor. Normally, some wasabi is spread on the fish. However, you may also add more directly on the fish if you like that. Kajino says that the Americans like the flavor of wasabi mixed with soy sauce. However, he notes that this makes different fish have the similar or same taste.

Avoid dipping rice into the soy sauce

There are various reasons why nigiris rice should not be dipped into the soy sauce. For instance, the rice is already seasoned, the more sauce if dipping the rice will overpower the fish. Besides, it may leave some grains of rice in the soy sauce, which is awful and embarrassing.

Fish should proceed the rice

If you are eating the nigiri sushi traditionally, you should avoid putting the entire piece into the mouth directly. The best way to have nigiri sushi, according to Kajino, is to have the fish face the tongue and the rice face the roof of the mouth. This will make the taste of the fish to dominate in the mouth rather than the rice. 

Eat in the right order

While eating sushi, it is advisable to start with the lightest fish to mildest fish, such as flounder and fluke and then to the heavier tuna so that you can taste each fish's unique flavor. 

Drink green tea

Normally, many people do not like taking sake with sushi. This is because both of them are made using rice. As such, green tea is the perfect option while taking with sushi.

How to Make Nigiri Sushi At Home

It is possible to make nigiri sushi at home. All you need is a reliable source of fresh fish of very high quality. If you are not able to get fresh fish, you should have the fish roasted, baked or grilled first.




Rinsed short-grain sushi rice

1/3 cup


4 cups

Sushi vinegar

1/3 tablespoon

Rice vinegar

1/3 tablespoon


5 tablespoons


3 tablespoons

Salmon or sushi-grade tuna

4 to 6 ounces


Time and Yield

Total Time

1 hour 40 min


6 servings



Wash the rice thoroughly, drain it and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Put the rice in a rice cooker and add 4 cups of water. Allow the water to boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Replace the cover with a damp towel and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.


Under low heat, add the salt, sugar and vinegar into a pan and allow the salt and sugar to dissolve.


Pour the vinegar over the rice and mix them gently. This may be done in a wooden bowl or the rice cooker. Allow it to cool to room temperature by leaving the lid open.


If you are using salmon, cover it with salt and leave it for an hour. You should then rinse off the salt and put the fish in the freezer. After freezing, defrost it, slice it into thin slices and use it in sushi.


Mold the rice using hands and place the slices of fish on top.


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