Ingredients for 4 Servings

Sushi Rice (すし飯 / Sushi meshi)
Cooked rice (ご飯 / Gohan) Prepared by cooking 360 ml of uncooked rice with 360 ml of water

Sushi Vinegar (寿司酢/ Sushi su)
Vinegar (酢/ Su) 50 cc
Sugar (砂糖 / Satōh) 20 g
Salt (塩/ Shio) 10 g

Tezu (手酢 / Tezu)
Water (水 / Mizu) 300 ml
Vinegar (酢/ Su) 1/2 tsp

Horse mackerel (アジ / Aji) 2 fillets
Salt (塩/ Shio) Pinch
Grated ginger (しょうがのすりおろし / Shōga-no-surioroshi) To taste

For this recipe you will need a pair of fishbone tweezers (Honeh nuki / 骨抜き)

How to Make

1. Starting with two aji fillets, use a knife to remove the ribs if you haven’t already. Place a fillet skin down on a cutting board. Insert your knife under the ribs and follow their curvature to their tips. Repeat for the other fillet.
2. Use your fingers to feel for any bones remaining in the fillets and use a pair of fishbone tweezers to pull them out. Peel the skin off of each fillet.
3. Lightly salt each of the fillets. This will remove unpleasant odors and excess water. Set the fillets aside for a few minutes.
4. Use a paper towel to pat each of the fillets dry. Place a fillet skin down on the cutting board and cut it into 6 slices that will be about 3 cm wide when laid flat. To do this, lean the knife blade to the right (assuming you are right handed) and cut the fillet at an angle. Use the same technique to cut 2 slices from the other fillet. (The remainder of the second fillet will be used for another recipe in the class.)
5. Add the vinegar and water to a small bowl. This mixture is called “tezu.” Assuming you are right handed, dip your right-hand fingers in the tezu and then use your right hand to grab about 20 g of the sushi rice. Gently form the rice into an oblong shape about the size of a couple grapes placed end to end. Pick up a piece of aji with your left hand, positioning it so that it is skin side down and lying across the middle joints of your fingers. Now place the sushi rice on top of the aji and use your right index finger to gently press down on the middle of the rice. Turn the whole thing over so that the aji is on top and use your right thumb and index finger to gently compress both sides of the nigirizushi and correct its shape. Next, use your right-hand index and middle fingers to gently press the aji down onto the rice, correcting the shape as you do so. Rotate the nigirizushi 180° and repeat. Finish by placing a small amount of grated ginger on top of the aji and arranging your nigirizushi on a serving plate.


Recipe Developed by Yukiko Yajima