What is nigiri sushi?
Nigiri sushi is the most common type of sushi. It is a small, delicious treat with a thinly sliced piece of fresh raw fish laid on a small oval rice ball. Usually topped with a small amount of wasabi as well. The mild flavor of the fish and the sticky and tiny bit spicy taste of the rice and wasabi make for an absolutely exquisite mouthfeel. You will often find nigiri sushi first on the menu at any good sushi restaurant. It is simply delicious!
Where does the word nigiri come from?
The word nigiri comes from the Japanese “nigirizushi,” which translates as “hand-pressed sushi. You use your hands to make the shape of this sushi. To make a perfectly shaped nigiri by hand takes practice, patience and skill.
Therefore, let’s quickly start with this lovely nigiri!
Ingredients Nigiri Salmon:
- Sushi rice
- Fresh sashimi quality salmon
The recipe for a delicious Nigiri Salmon
The nigiri salmon is my personal favorite. The tasty oily salmon pairs fantastically with the soft rice. Sashimi quality salmon melts in your mouth, so I love this combination.
Cut the salmon into slices about 5 to 6 centimeters long and 3 centimeters wide. Keep the thickness of your salmon slice between 3 and 8 millimeters. Place them on a plate so you can easily pick them up one by one.
Prepare a bowl of ice water with a dash of rice vinegar. Dip your hands into the water and use your moist hands to grab a small ball of sushi rice. The ice water and rice vinegar prevent the rice from sticking to your hands. Very convenient!
Shape the rice with your hands into a rectangle that is just a bit shorter than your slice of salmon. Do not make your rice ball too thick. That would quickly become too powerful. You want to keep your nigiri light and airy.
Place the slice of salmon in your hand. Place your fish on the root of your fingers and hold it with the tip of your thumb so it doesn’t slip. Rub a small amount of wasabi over it (optional).
Place your rice ball on top of the salmon and gently press the rice and fish together with one hand. Use your thumb and index finger of your free hand to keep the rice in the right shape. Next, place your free index finger over your rice and press it against the salmon.
Finally, roll your made nigiri from your hand and place it on a plate. Serve your nigiri salmon with tasty soy sauce, a sprinkle of wasabi for the lover and some pickled ginger.
Enjoy your sushi!