Preparing sushi rice

Preparing sushi rice

There are a few key differences
between the way you prepare rice for sushi and the way you prepare
regular rice

  • Cook sushi rice with a little
    less water so that it’s a bit dryer when it comes out of the pot. This
    way it can absorb the seasoning better.

  • For every rice-cooker cup
    (3/4 regular cup) of rice you use, figure on 1/8 cup (1 1/2 Tbsp) of
    seasoned rice vinegar. If your rice vinegar is already sweetened, use
    it as is; if not, mix about 1 part sugar to 2 parts vinegar. So here’s
    sample proportions:

    • 2 rice-cooker cups uncooked
      rice (wash it and cook it of course)
    • 1/4 cup seasoned rice
      vinegar OR 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar + 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar; heat
      the vinegar and stir the sugar in until it’s all dissolved so that
      it will distribute evenly throughout the rice. (Normally I just
      buy my vinegar preseasoned.)

  • Let the rice steam in the
    cooker (without opening the lid) for about 15 minutes after it’s done

  • Don’t mix your sushi rice
    in a metal container; use a casserole dish or something non-metallic
    instead, because of the acid in the vinegar.

  • After the 15 minutes are
    up, put your rice in your non-metallic container and fluff it up with
    the rice paddle.

  • Pour the vinegar over the
    rice paddle to make sure it scatters over the surface of the rice.

  • Turn on a portable fan to
    cool the rice quickly while you toss the rice and cut and fold it together.
    (Don’t stir with a wooden spoon motion or you’ll crush the rice grains.)
    The rice should turn shiny and sticky between the combination of vinegar
    and quick cooling.

  • When the rice is cool enough
    to handle easily, almost room temperature, take a small piece and try
    to shape it, then taste. It should just barely taste sweet and tart;
    if you consciously think of vinegar, it’s too strong and you need more
    rice, but if you can’t taste the difference from unseasoned rice, add
    a little more vinegar and keep mixing and fanning.

  • If it falls apart when you
    try to shape it into a nigiri-shape, it’s too wet; keep the fan blowing,
    and you may need to decrease the amount of vinegar and/or water in the
    cooker next time. It should be cooled to room temperature when you try
    to handle it, and it should hold its shape easily.

  • Unlike plain rice, sushi
    rice can’t be kept for the next day (rather, it can, but it’ll taste
    nasty if you put it in the fridge, and you REALLY don’t want to eat
    sushi that HASN’T been put in the fridge). Use up your sushi rice within
    a couple hours of making it; don’t try to refrigerate or freeze and
    rewarm it.