Have you ever wondered how sushi chefs get those rolls to come out so perfectly every time? Would you like to learn how you might achieve similar results when making sushi at home? If so, read on. We'll tell you everything you need to know about the top-selling sushi makers on the market, along with tips on what makes them stand out from the competition. We’ll review the TOP 5 Best Sushi Makers to make choosing one easier!
- What is Sushi?
- Benefits of Using a Sushi-Making Kit
- How does a sushi maker work?
- How To Choose the Right Sushi-Making Kit
- Benefits of Sushi
- Top 5 Sushi Makers
Before you begin your search, it's important to know what you're looking for in a sushi maker. For example, you may not realize that there are many different types of sushi, and certain units may only be capable of turning out one or two of these. Understanding the distinction between the different varieties will be invaluable to the decision-making process.
Before we go any further, let's clarify the definition of sushi. While many people believe that the word refers to raw fish, sushi is actually a blanket term for cooked rice that has been treated with a vinegar solution. Other ingredients, such as vegetables, chopped egg, and seafood are then added. Contrary to popular belief, the seafood is sometimes cooked, but other times not, depending on the type of sushi (see How Many Types of Sushi Are There? below, for more information). The rice is often wrapped in nori, a type of seaweed, to help it hold its shape.
Sushi rice is high in starch, which helps the grains stick close together and form the neat rolls that are so easily recognizable. However, it's difficult to achieve the effect when working by hand, which makes sushi-making kits an invaluable tool for professionals. Many kits also include handy alignment guides that allow you to divide the roll into individual portions. This is a must for anyone who's counting calories or otherwise concerned about portion sizes.
Most sushi-making kits are equipped with molds or rolling mats to help shape the rice, measuring and/or alignment guides, and (sometimes) a knife or other sharp utensil for slicing the roll. Some, like the "sushi bazooka" (see the product review guide and Frequently Asked Questions, below, for more information) allow you to pack the rice and fillings into a chamber, then dispense the contents onto the nori sheet by pressing on the plunger. The parts and equipment of sushi-making kits can vary, depending on which type of sushi you're looking to make.
Here are just a few of the things you should consider before shopping:
Finances — How much can you afford to spend on a sushi maker?
Usability — Do you plan to make this type of sushi often enough to warrant the purchase?
Ease of Use — How clear are the instructions? Will you be able to operate the unit without referring to the guide every time?
Preparation technique: traditional and non-traditional — Which method of sushi-making are you most eager to try?
Mold shapes — Do these particular shapes appeal to you, or are there others you would prefer?
Complete set — Will you make use of all the parts in the kit or only a specific few? Would you be better off buying these items separately?
To help you narrow down your search, we've reviewed five of the top sushi-making kits on the current market: traditional, sushezi, and the complete kit.
BambooWorx Sushi Making Kit
This kit includes two bamboo rolling mats (both measuring 9.5 inches square), a rice spreader, and a paddle. The company prides itself on using high-quality bamboo and cotton that won't splinter or unravel after repeated use. The inclusion of two mats is convenient, as it allows users to prepare two rolls at the same time.
The BambooWorx kit has been tested by a myriad of consumers, the majority of whom had never attempted to roll their own sushi before. Their feedback was uniformly positive. The mats are easy to use and turn out professional-looking results, and cleanup is simple. The low price point, coupled with the generous reviews, make this kit easy to recommend.
Camp Chef Sushezi Roller Kit
This unit is sometimes referred to as a "sushi bazooka", on account of its gun-like application. The rice is loaded into either side of a plastic tube, with the desired fillings situated in the middle. After fitting the sides together and applying the end cap, the sushi chef applies pressure to a plunger, dispensing the rice onto a nori sheet. The Chef Sushezi roller measures 12 inches long and 2.5 inches around and is dishwasher safe.
Consumers should beware of ordering this roller kit from a third-party supplier, as some testers have complained of receiving counterfeit products instead of the real thing. Those who have tried the actual Sushezi device are generally pleased with it, although there's a minority subset that believes the tube is too thick, resulting in a high rice-to-nori ratio. If you prefer not to get your hands dirty when making sushi, this product can be recommended, but first-timers would likely be better off sticking with a more traditional kit.
Sushi Making Kit
Original AYA Sushi Maker Deluxe
With 11 pieces (all dishwasher safe and BPA free), the AYA Deluxe set contains every sushi-making convenience you can think of. The company also offers complimentary online video tutorials, so even first-timers have access to professional tips that can help improve their technique.
Parts include a rolling mat, a rice spreader, a sushi knife, and an alignment measurement device, among others. Users can choose between making triangular or heart-shaped rolls, or stick with the traditional round ones.
The customer reviews for the AYA Deluxe set have been positive overall. Most testers appreciate the quality and versatility of the kit and claim that it turns out great-looking sushi. A number of them were also appreciative of the online tutorials, which were reportedly helpful and informative. This kit can be recommended to anyone who's looking to add sushi-making to their kitchen repertoire, whether they've tried it before or not.
Sushiquik Super Easy Sushi Making Kit
Sushiquik's offering includes a plastic roller with a detachable dishwasher-safe mat for easy cleanup, along with a training frame, a sushi paddle, and a roll cutter. It's size-adjustable, and the frame makes it easier to get the shape you want. While this is a relatively low-frills option, it's attractive and user-friendly, and all the basics are included.
Tester response to the Sushiquik has been mixed. Those who praise it are impressed by how easy it is for the whole family to use (children as young as 7 have reportedly been successful with it) and claim that it yields faster results than traditional bamboo mats. The detractors, however, point out that it also costs more than a traditional kit, and wonder whether they're really getting a good value for the cost, as the rolls take roughly the same amount of time to prepare. If you already own a bamboo rolling mat, this won't make a significant difference in your sushi-making routine. However, it can still be recommended for anyone who's interested in trying something new and doesn't mind spending a bit extra for the convenience.
iSottcom Grand Maki Maker
No rolling is required with this unique, handcrafted wooden kit. The chef simply packs the rice (and nori, if using) into the mold, uses the included alignment tool to measure out the desired thickness, and divides the roll into slices. This kit is eco-friendly and comes with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee.
Customers have reported excellent results from the Grand Maki Maker. The mold streamlines the roll-making process, and it's simple enough for children and first-timers to use. As it's made of wood, it's also less prone to breakage than its plastic counterparts. This, coupled with the lifetime guarantee (iSottcom will refund your money if you're ever dissatisfied with the purchase), make this easy to recommend to anyone who's looking specifically for a device that doesn't require rolling.
How does a sushi bazooka work?
A sushi bazooka produces rolls through an extrusion technique, making it a virtually hands-off process. Users simply load the rice and fillings into both sides of a barrel, then seal the barrel together before depressing a plunger to release the log onto a prepared nori sheet.
How much rice should you put in the sushi bazooka each time?
To achieve the most uniform result, each side of the sushi bazooka should be packed to the top before being sealed. If it isn't packed properly, there will be gaps in the finished product.
Are there any sushi bazookas that can be used without seaweed?
It isn't strictly necessary to wrap the roll in nori once it's been released from the device, but it does help hold the ingredients together. If you'd rather not use seaweed, you can add slices of sashimi (see below) to the finished product, or simply leave the roll "naked."
How do you use the Sushezi sushi maker?
The Sushezi is one example of the "sushi bazookas" described above. To use it, follow the given instructions (there should also be a manual included with the purchase).
Will I still have to cut the roll into pieces when using the Sushezi sushi maker?
Yes. The Sushezi only packs the rice and fillings into a tube; it isn't equipped for cutting it into slices. For this, you'll require a good-quality sushi knife.
How do you use a Tupperware sushi maker?
Instructions may vary, depending on the type of sushi you're making. In general, however, Tupperware provides molds that can be filled with rice and whatever other ingredients are called for.
How do you use a daiso sushi maker?
A daiso sushi maker is similar to a "sushi bazooka" in that the ingredients are packed into a mold that creates the roll for you. The main difference? With a daiso kit, you have to release the roll yourself, rather than pressing on a plunger. When using this type of unit, it's important not to overload the mold, as the finished product might end up being too big for the nori sheet.
How do you use a plastic sushi maker?
Again, this will depend on what type of sushi the kit is designed for. With the exception of traditional bamboo mats, the majority of sushi-making kits are crafted from some form of plastic.
Are there any additional tools or accessories that I need to buy?
While some sushi-making kits include all the accessories you'll need, there are others that contain only the basics. For example, most don't come with a professional sushi knife-you'll have to seek out one of those on your own. Check the packaging carefully before making a purchase, so you'll know exactly what else your kitchen requires.
Can the kits be used to make sushi rolls with the rice on the outside, or does the nori always have to form the outer layer?
Sushi rolls with rice on the outside are known as urumaki, or "inside-out" rolls, and this result can be achieved easily with a bamboo rolling mat. The non-traditional kits aren't really equipped to turn out this type of roll-if this is your preference, then you would likely be happiest with the bamboo mats.
Pros & Cons
Here are some of the reasons why it could be a good idea to invest in a sushi-making kit:
- It's cheaper to make sushi at home than to go out every time the craving strikes
- Provides an easy, quick, and fun dinner option
- Teaches a handy life skill
- Makes an impressive conversation starter at parties
- Great activity for kids who aren't afraid to try something new
On the other hand, there are always a few downsides to consider:
- Many ingredients are perishable, so there's a high risk of spoilage if you don't use the kit often
- Some techniques can yield disappointing results at first, leading to frustration
- You're responsible for all the cleanup, which can be extensive depending on your ingredients
Tips & Life Hacks
- Layer your bamboo mat with a piece of plastic wrap before each use. This will make cleanup duties that much easier.
- Be sure to leave space at the top and bottom of the nori sheet when using a bamboo mat. Otherwise, the fillings could spill out.
- Place the nori with its rougher side facing upward. The rougher the surface, the better the rice will adhere.
- When making sushi with raw fish, always be sure the seafood is labeled "sushi-grade". Using regular supermarket product could lead to food poisoning.
- Be adventurous with your fillings. When it comes to sushi, the sky is the limit. You can even experiment with dessert flavors if you like.
Before you begin to use your sushi maker, you should learn to appreciate all the different varieties of this exceptional cuisine.
Maki is simply the Japanese word for "roll," but when it comes to sushi, its meaning is more specific. The word refers to a slice of sushi rice (with fillings) that has been wrapped with the nori sheet facing the outside. Most of the products on our list are designed to make this type of sushi.
Temaki are the cone-shaped pieces that you may have spotted in the display from time to time. While both tasty and appealing, they aren't as good for sharing as some of the other varieties.
This is the technical term for the "inside-out" sushi rolls discussed above. The nori is on the inside, while the rice forms the outer layer.
Nigiri is a block of rice topped with a piece of seafood, usually raw. This technique allows the flavor of the fish to really shine.
Perhaps the most simple version of sushi, this dish consists solely of raw fish or shellfish, with no rice involvement at all. While it can be accompanied by soy, wasabi, or pickled ginger, many sashimi lovers prefer to leave the fish "naked," enjoying its flavors with no distraction.
It goes without saying that eating sushi is fun, but did you know that it might offer numerous health benefits as well? Here's a rundown on some of the most prominent ones.
Nori alone is high in many vitamins and minerals, including calcium (for bone strength), magnesium (for improved circulation), and iron (to prevent anemia). If you add ingredients that include heart-healthy fats, such as salmon and avocado, your sushi roll can turn into a nutritional powerhouse.
- Low Calories
The more fresh veggies you add to your sushi roll, the lower the calorie count will be, as there won't be as much room for the carbohydrate-laden rice. Just be sure to cut the strips as finely as possible, so they'll pack together tightly.
- Cardiac Health
As mentioned above, sushi provides the perfect canvas for heart-friendly ingredients. Just don't overdo it on the tuna or other ingredients that are high in mercury-consuming too much may counteract the health benefits.
- Hormonal Balance
The iodine that's naturally present in seaweed helps the body maintain proper thyroid function, which is invaluable for hormonal balance.
Likewise, both iron and magnesium can aid in improving circulation. This has a positive effect on every aspect of the body, including hair and nail growth.
- Cancer Prevention
Ginger, a classic accompaniment to sushi (especially nigiri and sashimi), has many properties that may boost the body's resistance to certain cancers. As an added bonus, nori also boasts an impressive antioxidant count.
Comparative Chart of Sushi Makers
Now that you've learned more about sushi in general, you'll likely want to take another look at what sets our reviewed products apart from one another. Here's a quick recap of each product listed.
Traditional rolling mats
Convenient, hands-free option
Includes 11 pieces for one-stop sushi-making
Attractive wooden design
We hope you've found our guide both instructive and informative, as you begin your search for the right sushi maker. While some people will be happiest with the more traditional methods, first-timers and young children might prefer to take the easier route and spring for one of the kits that allows for a less hands-on experience. Also, don't forget to take your own tastes into account before investing in one of these products. The more you know about the different varieties of sushi and how they're made, the easier it will be to choose the product that best suits your needs. Best of luck, and bon appetit!