Face it: You don’t know how to make sushi…and that’s okay! Pick up a copy of chef team Jeffrey Elliot and Robby Cook’s comprehensive new book and set out on a journey that will take you from “lopsided temaki-like creation” to “perfect shrimp nigiri,” with their foolproof step-by-step techniques.
When shrimp are prepared for nigiri, they are cooked first and then peeled and deveined. Before cooking a bamboo skewer is carefully inserted under the shrimp’s shell to straighten it. Once the skewer has been removed after cooking, you will be able to rest the shrimp flat on the rice.
Tip: Trimming the tail of the shrimp makes for a much prettier presentation.
Related: Basic Sushi Rice Recipe
- shell-on shrimp
- Paring or petty knife
- Bamboo skewers
- Ice bath
For the nigiri
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and top up with cold water.
Meanwhile, using your fingertips, hold the shrimp in your guide hand with the tail facing away from you and legs facing up.
Slowly insert a skewer beneath the shell on the belly side, being careful not to pierce the flesh. Set aside. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
Place prepared shrimp in the boiling water and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until shrimp are pink.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked shrimp to prepared ice bath and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Carefully remove skewers from cooked shrimp.
Hold the shrimp with the tail and legs facing up. Drag your thumb down the length of the belly from tail to head to remove the legs.
Holding the shrimp by the tail, peel off the shell in one piece, leaving the tail in place.
Lay shrimp on cutting board with the belly up and tail facing away from you. Using your guide hand, pinch shrimp by the head end to hold it.
Using the tip of the knife, cut down from head to tail through the flesh to the intestine, being careful not to pierce it.
Using the tip of the knife, scrape away intestine to remove it.
Flip over the shrimp and place on cutting board so back is up and tail is facing your knife hand.
Trim off the end of the tail so that it has a flat, even appearance (you may want to steady the shrimp with your guide hand while doing this).
Open up the shrimp like a book and lay it flat, cut side down, on the cutting board. The shrimp is now butterflied and ready to use.