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At Zojirushi, we want to clear up the misconception that Sushi is a delicacy that should only be eaten at fine expensive restaurants. It's true that most people's first encounters with this hugely popular dish was probably at a restaurant, but it is also true that anyone can prepare sushi at home quite easily, and that many Japanese families enjoy sushi at home as well.

And if you cannot find fresh fish or simply do not eat fish, there are alternatives such as vegetables or meat that you can try. Find the ingredient you like and top it, roll it or mix it with seasoned sushi rice and create your own style. Name your sushi creation and it's all yours forever!

Interestingly enough, sushi started as a way to preserve salted fish known as nare sushi. The fish was wrapped in fermented rice for months at a time, and when the fish was consumed, the rice was thrown away. Because the Japanese preferred to eat rice with their fish, a version was made with raw fish wrapped in rice and all of it was eaten while still fresh. Thus a new form of Japanese cuisine was born.
Sushi Styles
Edomae Sushi or Nigiri Sushi
At any sushi bar, you'll see the chef rolling these out like little soldiers; bite sized balls of compressed rice topped with fresh raw fish, shellfish, eel, cooked egg and other ingredients. Another shape of sushi in this group is the gunkan-maki, where the nori, or seaweed, is wrapped around the ball of rice to form a cup to hold the ingredients. This is especially helpful when it's needed to hold salmon roe or sea urchin.
Maki Sushi or Norimaki
Often seen in bento boxes because they are so easy to eat, maki sushi are cylindrical rolls of rice with the ingredients inside, wrapped and rolled tightly with nori using bamboo mats. The thickness of the rolls determine whether they are called hosomaki (thin), chumaki (medium) or futomaki (thick). Variants are the temaki, a conical single hand rolled sushi, the datemaki-sushi, a sushi rolled with a savory egg omelet in place of nori, and the uramaki or inside-out roll made famous in America with the nori on the inside and the rice wrapping it.
Inari Sushi
Affectionately called "footballs" by some, inari are the tangy sweet fried bean curd, called aburaage, stuffed with sushi rice. There are variations in which the sushi rice is a mix of seasoned bits of carrots, gobo root, egg, green beans, etc., including one called "cone sushi" which was invented in Hawaii.
Chirashi Sushi (Gomoku Sushi)
Chirashi is like sushi in a bowl, where ingredients such as raw fish, cooked shrimp, salmon roe, egg omelet and shredded nori are placed in artistic fashion on top of a bed of sushi rice in a bowl. Gomoku sushi is a festive dish usually served on special occasions. Julienne sliced seafood, shiitake mushrooms and other cooked vegetables are mixed into the sushi rice and often topped with shredded egg omelet or ginger for decoration.
Oshi Sushi or Hako Sushi
The words literally mean "pressed" or "box", which describes how this type of sushi is made--where the rice and the topping ingredients are pressed into a wooden mold, taken out and cut into bite sized pieces. Originating in Osaka, hako sushi ingredients can range from eel or seasoned mackerel to egg omelet.
Nare Sushi
The ancestral early form of the sushi we eat today, nare sushi took a long time to make because of the necessary fermentation process.
  These are some Sushi Basics, Zojirushi style. We've made it easy for any home cook to duplicate authentic sushi in the kitchen, with some allowances for equipment which may not be available in this country. The wooden box mold used to make hako sushi can be substituted with a cup to mold your rice. Learn how to treat your family to sushi at home!

First things first, you must learn how to make sushi rice, which you can do here. No matter how exotic the ingredients are in your delicacy, your sushi rice is the taste that brings it all together. Once you learn how to prepare delicious sushi rice, you can make any variety of sushi you want--and our Zojirushi rice cookers will make it that much easier for you.

Learn how to make Sushi Rice
We'll show you ways to make the sushi rice balls easily, and if you have difficulty, you might want to use plastic wrap to help. Non-fish eaters should feel free to substitute ingredients like roast beef, in order to enjoy your own sushi experience.
See recipe for Nigiri Sushi
Although it will take practice to learn how to roll with the bamboo mat, it will be worth it when you've made your very own California Roll. You'll soon be doing inside-out rolls, too. For those who cannot eat nori, soy paper has become a popular option.

See recipe for Maki Sushi (Sushi Roll)

This is a mixed rice sushi, in which finely chopped ingredients are mixed into the sushi rice for a colorful festive dish.
See recipe for Gomoku Sushi
Since it may be difficult to obtain the box mold here in the U.S., we've substituted a cup as the mold. This recipe will allow you to experiment with different cup shapes and sizes, and if you should choose to use a large bowl, you could even mold a sushi "cake".

See recipe for Tuna & Avocado Tower

More and more, families and friends are discovering that throwing a Sushi Party at home can not only bring people together for good times and good food, but having your guests prepare their own food saves time while it creates fun! Here are some basic instructions on how to roll your own. It's easy to learn and teach your guests!
1. Prepare the ingredients. This part probably takes the most time for the host, but it's well worth it to ensure a successful Sushi Party.  
Cook and make the sushi rice--allow the time to cool it properly because it tastes better when cooled than when warm.
Cut the nori sheets into halves and/or fourths, depending on the type of handroll you want to make.
Carefully slice whatever ingredient you prefer, whether fish, vegetables or meat, into elongated strips that will better fit your handroll.
Be sure to provide soy sauce, wasabi and ginger for your guests who want them.
Finally, take some time to arrange all your ingredients artistically on a large plate. It's the little details that go a long way toward a strong visual presentation.
2. There are 2 temaki, or handroll methods. The first is called the uchimaki, or conical shape. The second is the entomaki style, which is the basic tube shape. Use the half sheet of nori for the uchimaki and the fourth sheet for the entomaki. Photos on the right show you how to make the uchimaki style.  
3. To handroll the uchimaki, place the rice and ingredients diagonally to the nori edge as shown. Although we are not showing the entomaki style, it's easy to roll. Simply lay the rice first along the short side of the nori sheet and parallel to the edge. Then place the ingredients on top and roll from the front. For any handrolled sushi, do not overload! The trick to better looking sushi is to use your ingredients sparingly.  
4. For uchimaki, roll your sushi from the back as shown and close it off into a cone shape. Practice makes perfect; you should be rolling perfect pieces in no time.  
5. You won't believe how much fun this is--and everyone gets to eat their creations!  
Zojirushi Rice Cookers
Sushi Terminology
These are some common words used and heard at Japanese sushi restaurants:
Shoga: ginger
Wasabi: wasabi
Wasabi nuki: without wasabi
O-shoyu: soy sauce
O-cha: tea
Here are the same words, but in "sushi chef slang":
Gari: ginger
Sabi: wasabi
Sabi nuki: without wasabi
Murasaki: soy sauce
Agari: tea

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