Preparing sushi is one of those culinary techniques that’s shrouded in mystery and ritual. But with a few basic tools and techniques, anyone can serve healthy, delicious sushi meals in their kitchen. Here are a few tips on what you will need and how to get started.

This is a common ingredient in most rolls. CHOI’S 1

First and foremost, get to know someone at your local fish market. Tell him or her exactly what species and cuts of fish you want and ask a lot of questions about its freshness and where it came from. For some popular sushi species, like salmon, FDA regulations require flash freezing at the point of harvest, which kills any undesirables before thawing for the market. Much of the other so-called “sushi-grade” fish receives the same treatment. Ultimately, trust your senses to identify quality fish. The flesh should have a vibrant color, firm texture, and smell like the ocean. Second to quality fish, another common sushi ingredient is nori, the dried seaweed mats used in many sushi recipes, like California rolls. Nori is easy to find and work with, and you can extend the life of a pack by cutting the sheets in half and making smaller rolls with less rice and ingredients.

The tools in this set make preparation and cleanup a cinch. Delamu

A basic sushi-making kit will simplify learning how to prepare your first dishes. You’ll need a bamboo mat for making rolls and specialty paddles and spreaders for handling rice. Many kits also include some sort of beginner’s guide either in print, video, or digital form.

Ideal for Beginners

This set helps you work with the proper proportions. SushiQuik

Sushi is as much an art form as it is a meal. It’s always best to learn the rules before trying to break them, but after you master some sushi-making basics, it’s fun to experiment with different roll combinations and preparations that will satisfy your taste buds and look pleasing to your eyes.