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Tools for Shaping Sushi

6 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of Making Sushi at Home

When making sushi, your well-washed, moist hands are the best tools you have for shaping the pieces. You may need a few other tools to shape sushi, depending on the type of sushi you plan to make:

  • Bamboo rolling mat: A bamboo mat is the one piece of equipment you can’t fake. Mats consist of thin strips of bamboo (about 1/16- to 1/8-inch wide) tied together with cotton string. They come in several sizes, but most are about 9 1/2 inches square. If your mat has a flat side (usually green), use it flat-side up. If it’s knotted together at only one end, always lay it down with the knots on the end farthest away from you.

    You can purchase mats at larger grocery stores, kitchenware shops, Japanese and Asian markets, and online.

  • Finger sushi mold: Skilled sushi chefs would die rather than get caught using a plastic mold — it’s too slow and not so chic. But for beginners, these plastic finger molds are a nifty way to get the shape you want.

  • Pressed sushi mold: Pressed sushi molds used to be made only out of wood. The newer plastic pressed sushi molds are easy to use and clean. They’re sold with and without knife grooves in the side.

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