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I am new to making sushi and have gotten the hang of rolling it with the nori on the outside. The problem is when I am trying to cut it into individual pieces, I often end up mangling it to the point where it looks like it would be unpleasant to eat it. Is there a trick to getting a nice smooth cut through the roll? The first one of the day seems to always be the worst.

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

ok get a very sharp knife (straight blade)

  • put the blade under water
  • tap the blade on the counter to rid of excess water
  • cut roll in half
  • repeat the process on the two portions

make sure that you're using a long knife, and when you're cutting, don't seesaw, rather it should be one fluid motion


or do it as the comment below says :P

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I was taught by a sushi chef to do it in two motions. One slice forward which brings you halfway through the roll, then slice backwards to complete. – hobodave Jul 19 '10 at 18:30
@hobodave - reflected in the edit :) – dassouki Jul 19 '10 at 18:33
Thanks a ton, I never thought to water the knife so often. I was doing it only once per roll. – Nick Larsen Jul 19 '10 at 18:38
I tend to use the same water that I've been using to wet my fingers with when laying the rice, which has a splash of sushi vinegar in it. I can't remember the reason for the vinegar off the top of my head, but there was a reason according to a sushi chef. – Edd Jul 20 '10 at 10:32
I would just like to stress the word SHARP! – Kilhoffer Jul 21 '10 at 13:18

I had similar stuggles at first. Sharpness is first, test it on your thumb nail - it should have a decent bite. Second water, I dip my blade in water for a roll, not each piece, the other is when you dampen the nori to seal it, don't overwet it. Then, if possible, allow it to sit for a bit, maybe 15-30 seconds, with the sealed area on the bottom, that will help a lot.
If youre in a rush to get a hosimaki or futomaki out (nori on the outside) then when cutting, position the roll in the direction you will finish the cut, so as you pull towards yourself to cut the final bit of nori, you pull it tighter.

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I cover my roll with a sheet of plastic wrap, then hold it gently while cutting. (I tend to make inside-out rolls, and the plastic helps with keeping the rice together but also helps with the roll's overall stability while slicing.)

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I use chef Tony's Miracle Blade... that's not a joke, it really works for me - but any other quality toothed knife should work. Of course the trick is that you just have to lean the blade on the nori roll, and then move the knife without any pressure! The slice has to be cut only by the teeth of the blade!

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