How to make sushi rice?
This is probably one of the most fundamental questions when it comes to Japanese cuisine, thanks to the increasing popularity of sushi in the world. Home cooks who are interested in Japanese cuisine will ultimately want to learn how to make perfect sushi rice—the vinegared rice which is the building block of all sorts of sushi. Once you master a great sushi rice recipe, you can make just about any sushi to your liking…
A basic sushi rice is made with short grain rice with three basic ingredients:
- Rice Vinegar
Other than the rice, the most important ingredient is the rice vinegar, which is pretty much the soul of the sushi rice. The sugar and salt are added to flavor the sushi rice to one’s liking. Therefore, a perfect sushi rice starts with a good rice vinegar and I always use Mizkan Rice Vinegar. As the #1 brand for vinegar and vinegar-related condiments in Japan, Mizkan is the brand that my Japanese friends recommended when I first learned how to make sushi many years ago. If you want something easier, you can use Mizkan Sushi Seasoning, which is widely used in Japan. This all-in-one sushi seasoning has the perfect and authentic flavor so anyone can make sushi if they want.
Here are some tips that I would like to share with you when making sushi rice:
- Use only high quality Japanese white short-grain rice. You can get the rice at Asian supermarkets or Japanese food stores.
- Wash the rice thoroughly with water before cooking. The rice is ready to be cooked when the water becomes clear—an indication that the “starch” coating the rice is completely washed off.
- Use an electric rice cooker to cook the rice.
- Add rice vinegar or sushi seasoning right after the rice is cooked, mix it while it is hot and then cool it.
- Preferably, use a wooden bowl and spoon to prepare the sushi rice. Traditionally, sushi rice is made in a wooden tub called hangiri.
- Always use fresh sushi rice to make sushi. Refrigerated sushi rice loses its original texture.
Stay tuned for the next installment as I will be sharing my hand roll recipe with you.