Start off by making the sushi rice first. Rinse 1 cup of Japanese short-grain rice with cold water a few times until the water runs almost clear. I find it best to place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and run the kitchen faucet right through it.
Place the rinsed and drained rice into your rice cooker, then add 1 cup of water and turn it on to cook.
In the meantime, make the sushi vinegar by placing 2 1/2 Tablespoons of unseasoned rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt in a small saucepan.
Let it come to a simmer and mix using a whisk. Once the sugar dissolves, turn it off and let it cool.
When the rice is done cooking, immediately transfer it to a baking sheet and pour the sushi vinegar over it. Use a paddle-style spoon or spatula to gently mix the vinegar into the rice. You’ll want to make sure to use a slicing and lifting lotion rather than a fold and smooth motion.
Once the rice is mixed with the sushi vinegar, let it cool to room temperature before making the nigiri.
While the rice is cooling slice the salmon. TIP: only use farm-raised Atlantic salmon that has been previously frozen to prevent harmful bacteria. Slice the salmon fillet against the grain at a 45-degree angle. I made each slice about 1/8-1/16 of an inch thick. But you can slice them up thicker to about 1/4 inch thick. I personally like the pieces of fish to be very thin.
Now dip your clean hands into a bowl of water (to prevent sticking) and grab about 2-3 tablespoons of the rice into the palm of your hand and form it into an oval shape. It helps to make one side of the oval flatter and the other more round.
Now place a small amount of wasabi on top of the rounded side and then press 1 slice of the salmon on top. The wasabi is optional but it helps keep the salmon in place. Serve the salmon nigiri immediately or keep it in the fridge for up to 1 day before it’s unsafe to eat. You can also drizzle a little bit of spicy mayo on top of the salmon and use a chef's torch to sear the top of the salmon for a delicious smokey seared salmon nigiri.
Wash the rice- Always rinse your rice to remove any excess starch or contaminants. I find it best to place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and run the kitchen faucet right through it.
Fluff your sushi rice- When you mix the sushi rice and vinegar together, use a slicing and lifting motion rather than a fold and smooth motion. This will keep the rice fluffy and not mashed down.
Cut the salmon to your preference- I sliced the salmon about 1/8-1/16 of an inch thick because I like it thin, but you can slice it to about 1/4-inch thick if you like.
Wet your hands before forming the rice- Don't forget to dip your fingers into a bowl of water each time you shape the rice. This will prevent it from sticking to you.