Making Classic Nigiri


Making Classic Nigiri

Making Classic Nigiri
Making Classic Nigiri

Nigiri sushi is also known as Edomae sushi (Edo is the old name of Tokyo). Sushi chefs used to only use seafood from Tokyo’s bay to make nigiri sushi. Quick and easy to make, this handcrafted sushi was known as “Edomae nigiri.” Although it looks easy to do, it actually takes a chef years to master the technique of forming the rice and properly placing the fish on top. Nigiri sushi should be just large enough to eat in one bite. The rice should separate as you close your mouth. The key point to remember when making nigiri is to form it gently. You can use the following steps to make basic nigiri with any kind of fish or seafood. These instructions have been written with a right-handed person in mind. If you are left-handed, just mirror the instructions.


  • 3/4 ounce (23 g) sushi rice
  • Sliced fish
  • Wasabi paste (Optional)


  1. Pick up the sushi rice in your right hand and gently press into the shape of an egg. You can do this by delicately squishing the sides together with your thumb and middle finger, then using two fingers to even out the top. You can also ball up the sushi rice in your fist as you press down on the top, to better shape it.

  2. With your left hand, pick up your fish and allow it to rest where your fingers meet your palm.

  3. Using your index finger, pick up a small dab of wasabi (if using) and place it on the center of the slice of fish.

  4. Place the rice on top of the wasabi.

  5. Flip the sushi over 180 degrees so the fish is now on top.

  6. Place the nigiri back in your left hand where your fingers meet the palm of your hand.

  7. Close the fingers of your left hand, cradling the nigiri and with your right hand, gently press down using your index and middle finger.

  8. Open your left hand and gently pinch the sides with your thumb and middle finger.

  9. Rotate the sushi 180 degrees clockwise.

  10. Close your fingers cradling the nigiri and gently press down with your index and middle fingers.

  11. Open your hand and gently pinch the sides again with your thumb and middle finger.

  12. The finished sushi will look like a boat.

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