The Complete Guide to Become a Sushi Chef
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has captured the hearts of almost everyone. Everybody wants to eat sushi. The ingredients are simple. Mix seaweed, fish and vegetables together with rice.
We all believe that making sushi is easy. We don’t realize, however, that sushi is only possible after years of hard work.
Let’s discuss how to become a sushi chef and their skills and responsibilities. Let’s get started!
What is the role of sushi chefs?
After years of training, sushi chefs are food preparation experts. They can make vinegar rice with vegetables, meat, and fish like a professional. Sushi chefs can also prepare other Japanese dishes such as udon, tempura and ramen.
Sushi chefs are expected to be skilled in cutting raw foods such as nigiri or sashimi. Sushi chefs in Japan are called “Itamae”, or at the table. The art of making sushi rolls is mastered by Itamaes.
Sushi chefs are skilled in making traditional Japanese sushi rice and preparing different types of fish. Sushi chefs must also learn to tailor the orders of their guests according to their preferences.
How do you become a sushi chef?
Imagine you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, and wondered what the chef is doing to create such delicious dishes. Most likely, it’s a sushi chef.
Being a sushi chef requires patience and determination. This is not an easy job. It takes commitment to become sushi chef. It will take many years to achieve the title of ‘Itamae’.
To be a sushi chef, it takes at least ten years. The question is: How do you become a sushi cook? How long does it take to become a sushi chef? Here are the steps required to become a sushi chef.
1. As a kitchen apprentice
As a chef, every sushi chef begins their career as a kitchen apprentice. You can learn how to make sushi at a culinary school. The best way to learn the art of sushi making is to start at the bottom and work your way up.
Most of the time, Itamaes are taught in culinary schools. Apprentices begin their journey as cleaners.
You will need to wash and scrub. They will learn how to work hard by taking on these responsibilities. Their master will promote them once they prove themselves worthy.
2. How to prepare the rice
You are now a skilled kitchen apprentice. Knowing the art of rice preparation is the next step in becoming a sushi chef.
It is difficult to make perfect sushi rice. There is an art to everything. Rice preparation demands style and precision. This is why masters trust their apprentices to do the job.
The student will be closely monitored by the master chef, or Itamae. It also makes the rice by adding vinegar and salt to it. This skill should be learned by the student to preserve the sushi rice.
The master chef will encourage students to become wakiitas once they have demonstrated that they can make high-quality sushi rice without the supervision of a sushi chef.
3. Wakiita – How to become one
Wakiita is closer to the chopping board. Nevertheless, they are not yet ready to become a sushi chef. It will take a lot more training and years before they can be called wakiita.
The wakiita’s responsibilities include grating ginger and making fish, scallops and wasabi. Sometimes, a wakiita will prepare sushi for take-out orders. As a trainee, a wakiita is responsible for many tasks in the sushi kitchen.
A wakiita must now be able to use a sushi knife. It is a great achievement to make sushi by knowing how to use a knife.
As an example, let’s say that an Itamae allows the junior sushi chef use a knife. This would mean that the apprentice is now ready to be a sushi chef.
4. A New Itamae is Born
After years of hard work and apprenticeship, the student is now a sushi chef. The new Itamae sushi chef will be able to show off his unique style and art of handling ingredients. He will also learn to use his knife.
Also, the new sushi chef must learn how to communicate with customers. He should also be able to establish a strong relationship with his staff at the sushi kitchen.
5. Mastering the Art
However, becoming an Itamae is not over. It usually takes four to five years for a sushi chef to begin working with expensive fish like tuna. A sushi chef can also work in nigiri as early as the seventh year.
In the tenth anniversary year, a sushi chef can be awarded the title of “Itamae-san”, or sushi legend. A sushi chef can now create perfectly hand-pressed sushi using sushi rice and grains that are rolled in the same manner.
What is the average time it takes to become a sushi chef?
It takes a lot of work to become a sushi chef. It takes ten years to become a sushi chef. This training shows that sushi preparation can be more complicated than you might think. It will take you seven years to become a sushi legend, or Itamae-san.
What are the responsibilities of sushi chefs?
You don’t just have to be a sushi chef. They also have other responsibilities and duties that an Itamae must perform. We have listed the duties of sushi chefs.
- Learn about sushi chefs and how to make nigiri.
- Sushi chefs need to continue improving their knife skills when cutting raw fish, vegetables and sushi rolls.
- Chefs of sushi must have exceptional knife skills.
- Special sushi chefs need to be able to produce special sushi rolls in large quantities. They must also be able to create individual temaki, sushi rolls and sashimi cuts.
- Japanese cuisine is essential for sushi chefs. They must also be proficient in Japanese cuisine, including Japanese dining etiquette.
- When serving raw food, sushi chefs must follow HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).
- It is essential that sushi chefs communicate effectively with their coworkers and kitchen staff.
- Also, sushi chefs must be able to create nigiri or sushi with raw fish.
- It is important for sushi chefs to build relationships with their guests.
- The proper storage of raw fish is important for sushi chefs.
What skills are required to be a sushi chef?
To prepare perfect sushi rolls, you need to be able to use your knife effectively. Every sushi chef should know how to properly clean fish. Final note: The years of training do not end here.
As time goes by, a sushi chef needs to learn how to improve. He must be able to make rice cakes. He should also be able to mix vinegar and rice with raw fish.
Consistency and precision skills are crucial to creating delicious sushi rolls. A sushi chef must also know how to mix ingredients together.
We have listed the skills that sushi chefs should possess.
1. Knife Mastery
Every sushi chef needs a knife as a tool in his trade. A sushi apprentice must first learn how to cut garlic. The master chef will then allow the apprentice to begin cutting seafood.
2. Selection and storage of fish
It is essential that sushi chefs are able to identify the best fish for each season. They should also be able to identify high-quality fish. Sushi chefs must also learn how to store and slice fish properly.
3. Excellent Rice Preparation
Every sushi chef understands that rice is the base of sushi. A sushi chef must be able to create perfectly formed rice.
4. Style and speed
It takes style to handle a knife. A sushi chef must be able to move with grace and speed. A sushi chef must be able to create sushi consistently and quickly.
5. Courtesy & Patience
A sushi chef should have courtesy as one of their soft skills. You can see that sushi chefs work in open kitchens, where they can serve customers directly. Sushi chefs need to be great communicators and entertainers.
Moment of Truth
What does it take to be a sushi chef? It takes hard work, determination, long training and a lot of hard work. There is no shortcut to becoming a sushi chef or even a legend.
Every year, sushi chefs need to improve their skills. Take the time to enjoy every bite of sushi the next time that you visit a sushi restaurant. Every sushi-making process requires time, love, art, patience, and love.
This post was written by a professional at Suhi Inc. If you’re looking for one of the best downtown St Petersburg restaurants for sushi, then look no further. Sushi Inc is a vibrant Japanese bar and restaurant that offers live music, traditional hand-rolled sushi and a friendly atmosphere. Residents love our award-winning, fresh and creative Sushi rolls, Nigiri, and Sashimi. With a larger selection of tempura, non-Sushi, and teriyaki options, we can accommodate every taste.