Just Add the Fish: Convenient Sushi Kits Make the Whole Thing Easy

As sushi becomes more fundamentally a part of the shared culinary landscape in the world outside of Japan, more people are gaining interest in how it is made. It turns out, surprisingly to some, that making delicious, safe sushi is well within the means of most, a realization that has led to something of a surge in home-based sushi making. A wide variety of do-it-yourself sushi kits are contributing to this increasing popularity, too.

In fact, many of these kits provide everything that is needed for the endeavor other than the seafood itself. Many sushi lovers claim that the rice in the dish is just as, if not more, important as the fish, but finding exactly the right kind of rice to use can be difficult for shoppers. Most kits of this kind, then, include bags of the sort of short-grain, starchy rice that is invariably used in Japan.

That rice is not simply served as-is, though. In fact, before it can be considered ready for use in sushi, properly cooked rice is always treated with a dose of an appropriate vinegar. This sour condiment adds another dimension of flavor to the finished dish, so kits typically included a small bottle or other container of a high-quality rice vinegar, too.

If there is one challenge that surprises many new sushi chefs with its difficulty, it is the actual rolling of the seaweed band that holds the whole thing together. Widely available kits make this task easier through the provision of a small bamboo mat that does most of the work, creating the wraps of nori that are needed to bind the sushi’s components into a single, cohesive bundle.

Many kits go even further, including a variety of toppings that can be used to make servings of sushi even more special. For example, toasted sesame seeds can add an interesting and welcome additional flavor, as well as a similarly compelling crunch, to many kinds of sushi. Many people, of course, also enjoy adding soy sauce, ginger, or Japanese wasabi horseradish to their bites of sushi, and these are often included, as well.