How Beginners Can Make Their Sushi Stand Out, According To An Expert

Chopsticks holding sushi roll
Chopsticks holding sushi roll - Makistock/Shutterstock

For even the most experienced home chefs, adventuring into new territory and preparing a cuisine you're unfamiliar with can be quite intimidating. Sushi is one of those foods that many of us leave to the experts at our favorite Japanese restaurants. However, for a lot of us, getting takeout sushi every week just isn't monetarily realistic. When your next sushi craving calls, you can either continue to skip the nori wrapping and make yet another salmon and shrimp poke bowl, or you can go all in and make one outstanding platter of homemade sushi thanks to some helpful tips from chef James Dumapit of Bar Miller and Rosella in NYC.

According to this Manhattan-based chef, fresh, quality ingredients can transform a simple platter of sushi from subpar fare to one outstanding meal. Besides investing in a top-of-the-line rice cooker, chef's knife, and rolling mat,Dumapit gives Daily Meal the skinny on which ingredients and techniques are worth your while. Since sushi isn't composed of countless one-off ingredients, the quality of the food you choose for this Japanese-style cuisine is crucial. Luckily, with an array of fresh food and an open mind, you are only a few steps away from creating delicious at-home sushi in no time.

Read more: 12 Underrated Types Of Fish You Should Try At Least Once

Focus On Quality Ingredients

Fresh ingredients to make sushi
Fresh ingredients to make sushi - Zefirchik06/Getty Images

James Dumapit and his partner Jeff Miller have always strived to find the best ingredients available for their innovative dishes at both of their restaurants in New York City. Along with restaurant owner TJ Provenzano, this trio has taken the concept of sustainable food to new heights. With that said, Dumapit recommends home chefs choose only quality ingredients. Since most traditional sushi is composed of certain anchoring foods, the quality of these foundational ingredients should be unmatched. Dumapit claims, "Great vinegar, mirin, konbu, and obviously, rice, can make the most humble ingredients seem exceptional." Instead of stressing about the ratio of raw tuna to salmon in your homemade rainbow roll, focus on procuring exceptional ingredients.

Dumapit also advises home chefs to adhere to an even texture balance when composing any sushi variety. "You want the fish to be cold, the rice to be warm, and the nori to have snap," he explains. As you start to feel more confident adhering to these supreme sushi standards, tap more into your culinary creativity and utilize your favorite fried foods, crisp vegetables, and fruit to give your sushi some multi-dimensional crunch and flavor. Next to choosing top-of-the-line ingredients, you can also use different sushi-making techniques.

Think Outside The Box When Preparing Sushi At Home

Oshizushi sushi with avocado
Oshizushi sushi with avocado - Hans Geel/Shutterstock

Now that you know securing high-quality sushi staples is just as important as obtaining the freshest fish and vegetables, the way in which you prepare your homemade sushi is another component to consider. Instead of fretting over perfecting your sushi rolls, or crafting the right-sized nigiri, impress yourself and any potential dinner guests with a few less complicated sushi formations. Whether or not you're familiar with the ultimate guide to all 6 different types of sushi, there is more to this Japanese mainstay than overcomplicated assembly.

According to Dumapit, an easy method for beginners is hand-formed sushi balls. The chef states "They are easy to assemble en masse and look really cool." There are many instructional videos online, most of which involve wrapping ingredients in plastic wrap and removing them to reveal perfectly round fish-laden rice balls. Dumapit also recommends attempting oshizushi, which is a layered type of sushi made in a special wooden or plastic contraption called an oshibako box. While ideally, you need one of these boxes to get your layers of fish and rice lined up perfectly, this is a great tool to keep on hand if you plan on making sushi a regular weeknight staple.

Making sushi at home doesn't need to be complicated. If you follow the recommendations of Dumapit, with quality ingredients and a few fun techniques, you're well on your way to making one impressive platter of sushi right in your own kitchen.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.