Sushi Rice

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Up until recently, everything I knew about sushi, I learned from a Chinese chef. In a Chinese buffet. Located in a Chinese restaurant. On accident.

I worked at the hibachi station but found myself wandering to the sushi bar more often than not. Intrigued by my willingness to do his job, Chef J. taught me how to make sushi. We used jasmine rice, distilled vinegar and sugar. A lot of sugar. The rice was made in a rice cooker and the seasoning was mixed in with a hand-held cement mixer. Statistically speaking, 9 in 10 Japanese chefs cringed when reading this. The last one is still cringing.

I know better now. For phenomenal sushi you need a solid foundation. Think of sushi rice as the back bone of sushi, the ground work, the heart! No shortcuts, if you need inspiration to follow this recipe in its entirety, then read the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. That story will give you a new found appreciation for proper construction. Let’s begin.

 

What you will need (and notes)

  • Japanese short grain white rice (AKA Sushi Rice or Calrose Rice)
  • Water (AKA H2O): Preferably filtered or bottled
  • Kombu: Dried seaweed
  • Rice vinegar: Mizkan and Marukan are preferred brands
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar
  • Sake: A brand you will drink
  • Salt: I prefer kosher

Equipment

  • Flat-headed bamboo paddle: Plastic is fine. No metal.
  • Hangiri: Substitute with any non-metallic and shallow bowl.

I will walk you guys through the process but the explanation is best left to the experts. As of right now, everything I know about making sushi properly, I learned from these articles.

Authentic Japanese Sushi Rice Recipe by David Guthrie

Sushi 101 by Ree Drummond

Sushi Rice by Masaharu Morimoto

 

There are conflicting views on whether you should use a pot or rice cooker. As you may or may not know from my “Who Am I?” page…I have a tendency to burn the bottom layer of my rice. So yeah, I am team RICE COOKER! But because I sympathize with the unfortunate souls that have not been graced by this omnipotent grain cooking machine, included in the recipe notes are instructions on how to cook sushi rice in a pot…

 

 

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Sushi Rice
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 5 Minutes
Sushi Rice
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 5 Minutes
Ingredients
Sushi Rice (Sumeshi)
Seasoning (Sushi-Su)
  • 4 tbsp Japanese Rice Vinegar Plain, not seasoned
  • 3 tbsp Sugar Adjust to your personal taste (2-5 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt Adjust to your personal taste (1/2-1 tsp)
Servings: Cups
Instructions
  1. Wash the rice until it runs clear (about 5-6 times).
  2. Gently wipe the kombu with a cloth but do not rinse it underwater. Place the rice, water, sake and kombu in a rice cooker and hit the start button.
  3. In the meantime, make the seasoning by mixing the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. You may need to heat the vinegar up in a microwave (15 seconds) or in a pan over low heat. Avoid bringing the mixture to a boil as this will destroy the vinegar's flavor.
  4. When the rice is cooked, fluff it and cover for another 5 minutes. Then transfer over to a hangiri or bowl (don't use a metal bowl).
  5. Evenly pour the seasoning over the rice and with a side to side cutting motion, mix the rice. This will evenly coat the rice and prevent it from getting crushed.
  6. Cover the rice with a warm and damp cloth and allow it to come to room temp before making sushi. The rice can sit for up to 12 hours.
Recipe Notes

Substitute sake with water but if you can get your hands on some sake, definitely use it.

Avoid metal when working with the vinegar as this can impart a metallic flavor on the rice.

Cooking sushi rice in a pot

  • Wash the rice 5-6 times, until the water runs clear.
  • In a pot, add the sushi rice ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow the rice to rest for 15 minutes. Keep the lid on, this will finish the cooking process.
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