How to make great sushi

Are there secret techniques that the masters perfected long ago, known only to the select few? Well, perhaps there are some little-known methods and seldom shared ways of preparing sushi that distinguish the great masters in Tokyo.

But mostly great sushi prep seems to boil down to the accumulation of knowledge about types of ingredients and techniques that work well with those, as well as the creative capability needed to apply that to new ingredients in new situations.

The secret being dispensed in this post is not about accumulated knowledge or about expert techniques. I don’t believe that great sushi requires those things, although I certainly like to eat sushi prepared by a chef in possession of those things.

Photo credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro (via flickr)

The key, in my humble estimation, to delivering great sushi lies in balance. The person eating your creation will first experience the sushi with their eyes; it must look enticing. But many sushi chefs get lost in the artistic presentation of said meal. Never apply another layer of sauce to a sushi roll solely to add another color to the dish. To do so means you value looks over substance.

Sushi must deliver a great taste, and needs to be experienced as an eating adventure. Taste must never be compromised, and in fact must be the primary goal. But yes, just as in the case of presentation, balance must ever be preserved.


Never forsake presentation just because the item being served is perfect as it is. You need to find ways to offer the same level of presentational quality to match the superior taste experience.

So find complimentary garnishes, remarkable serving dishes, unique plating techniques and more that offer an unusual presentation without in any way altering the “prefect as-is” item.

Balance means create the best food item you can, and present it as nicely as possible. (Unless your patrons are blind or cannot taste) From where we stand, it sure seems like modern sushi chefs are overly concerned with art, and not sufficiently interested in mastering the basics of great sushi.

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