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
- 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…