by Michael Baumgärtner


The accessories needed for the preparation of Sushi look very special at first sight. But most of the tools can be replaced with things already found in a good furnished kitchen. Two aspects need to be taken into account: As far as possible, do not use tools made out of metal. The vinegar and the metal brought together will change the taste of the prepared meal substantially. And the tools made out of wood or bamboo should be new or been used up to now only for the preparation of Sushi. Both materials adopt the taste and smell of the used ingredients and have negative influence on the final taste.

Photograph of a selection of tools

In the following, several tools for the handling of rice and fish are presented and listed you will find all other utilities needed for the successful preparation of Sushi.

Rice · イネ

Bowl (Hangiri) · 半切

Photograph of a wooden bowl
Hangiri · 半切

A big, flat bowl made of cedar wood is used in Japan to mingle the cooked rice with the vinegar mixture. The big surface makes the rice cool down fast and the wood takes in the surplus liquidity. You should wipe the wood with a mixture of vinegar and water before using it to prevent the rice from sticking to the bowl.

Spatula (Shamoji) · しゃもじ

Photograph of a wooden spatula
Shamoji · しゃもじ

A flat, big wooden spoon is useful to stir the rice after cooking. As for all other wooden tools, a mixture of vinegar and water will prevent the rice from sticking onto it.

Fan (Uchiwa) · うちわ

Photograph of a fan
Uchiwa · うちわ

To fasten the cooling of the cooked rice it is fanned out. The Japanese traditionally use a round paper fan, the Uchiwa.

Fish · 魚

Knife (Yanagiba) · 柳刃

Photograph of a knife

For the treatment of Sushi and Sashimi the Japanese chefs use a special knife. The shape is called Yanagi. The blade is approximately 20 to 25 cm long and thin, grinded only on one side. Therefore these knives always come in a right- or left-handed version.

Chopping board

To cut up the fish and to cut the vegetables and the prepared Sushi you will need a chopping board. Best suited are of course wooden chopping boards.

Supplementary accessories

Bamboo mat (Makisu) · 巻き簀

Photograph of a bamboo mat

The mat made of thin bamboo-sticks is needed for the preparation of Maki-zushi. The mat is essential to roll all ingredients together with the rice into a Nori-sheet.

Knives (Hocho) · 包丁

Photograph of a knife
Santoku Hocho

For the preparation at home two or three different knives will be enough, although professional Sushi chefs own a great number of knives and almost use a special one for one certain purpose. It is recommended to have a long, thin knife for the cutting up of the fish and a shorter one with a broad blade for all other cutting.