Each fish requires a different mastery
How you slice, season, and form fish for nigiri depends on the fat content and texture of each individual species. “For a fish that's not that fatty, white fish or flounder for example, I cut it paper thin because it's all muscle,” says Cole. For fattier fish, the size of the slice is adjusted, but also the seasoning. “For fattier fish, I use two to three times more wasabi than I do with lighter flavored fish. On a piece of toro, I use four times as much,” says Kitamura.
Fish that are processed alive require an even more specialized skill set
“When you prepare shrimp, lobster, octopus, and mollusks, you need to use techniques such that you don't trigger any of the hormones these creatures release as a defense mechanism when they're attacked or feel in danger,” says Chris Clime of PassionFish.