What is sushi rice?
Proper sushi rice (sushi meshi).
Sushi rice, a.k.a. sushi-meshi, is a sticky short grained kind of rice. Its original stickiness is what makes it perfect for sushi making. You may try and make sushi using other kinds of rice, but no rice beats sushi-meshi for sushi making.
The sushi rice needs to be washed, cooked, and seasoned in order to be used for making sushi.
Preparing the sushi rice might look complicated and pedantic at first, but as you go along with it you might notice that it's just like making ordinary rice, only with rice vinegar added to it, and a bit of Japanese methodology.
How to use sushi rice
I've de-complicated the required into 5 simple steps:
Wouldn't you say that the Japanese have already thought of everything? Well, they did. They even made a special rice for sushi, they call it "shari", some folks simply call it "sushi rice". And they even took the time and effort to make it round, so that you can find it easily in the supermarket.
Measurements and preparations
First you got to clear the rice from all sorts of impurities just lying there waiting for you to cook them in your sushi rice. But you wouldn't do that, right? Right. Wash the rice (1 cup = 3 rolls) with running water for 1-2 minutes until there is no more starch coming out of it. After you are done washing, take the rice and place it gently in a pot, add a little bit more water than rice ( the ratio is about 1.15/1 in favor of the water). Don't put too much water, or you'll get dough instead of rice.
How to cook sushi rice
The rice should be cooked on high heat at first, stir every minute or two, until the water boils. Then, lower the heat to minimum and cover the pot. Stop stirring, the rice will handle itself from now. Why? That is just the Japanese way...
After 6-8 min, check the water level. If there is no more water, only bigger grains of rice in the pot, that means the rice is ready. If not, check back every minute, making sure not to burn the rice at the bottom.
Taking out the rice
You think I'm kidding right? Well I'm not. There are a few important issues to keep in mind while taking the rice out of the pot. First, use only a wooden spoon to handle the cooked rice. A metal spoon will damage it severely. Second, don't scrape the rice out from the bottom of the pot. If it comes out easily, good, if not - leave it be. The rice at the bottom is dry and burned, it won't taste so good.
Seasoning the rice
In order for the rice to taste like sushi rice should (and not like an ordinary rice), you need to add rice vinegar to it right after you take it out of the pot.
Sushi rice seasoning recipe
For 3 cups of (uncooked) rice, use ½ cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Mix together in small pot, on medium heat until all solids are mixed in.
- Pour mixture on rice and stir well.
- Let rice cool down for a few minutes until it is within the room temperature.
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