Sushi seems really simple when it arrives on your plate – or perhaps the word is “elegant”? As we all know, however, preparing it correctly is far from straightforward – at least in Japan, a sushi chef starts his instruction right at the bottom as a floor sweeper. It may take years before he’s even allowed to touch the rice.
This kind of training certainly results in an admirable dedication to detail, but I’m probably correct in guessing you don’t have time for it. Still, in many fast-food-type places, teenagers in hairnets with photocopied diplomas manage to turn out pretty decent Japanese food – maybe there are a couple of shortcuts the rest of us can also take?
This sushi-making kit will probably not satisfy any professional chef, but it does allow anyone to get started on the basics without either taking a course in Tokyo or spending an arm and a leg.
Moreover, it makes for a great gift due to its presentation in the box, especially when accompanied by this cookbook
Of course, just owning a genuine (or close enough) rice spreader and rolling mat will not automatically grant the recipient the knife skills needed to create genuine sashimi cuts.
If you really want to make professional-looking sushi without putting in at least a little practice time, this more expensive set of utensils, which includes a kind of mechanical rice mold, may work better for you.
The latter option also comes with a couple of additional accessories, like a so-so knife, a basting brush (something you probably own already), and an avocado slicer (which is of no earthly use at all).