Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is the most important ingredient in your sushi. The rice is a white, short-grain variety, which means the grains are very small and almost round. Short-grained rice contains a high percentage of starch when compared to other varieties, and this is why the grains are so sticky. While most rice loses its excess starch with a quick rinse under cold water, sushi rice will always remain sticky.

It is recommended to use a rice cooker.. hmmm.. NADA.. Do not worry!! Rice was always cooked with a pot before the rice cooker was invented.. so back to the old style... If you get some rice stuck on your pot, put water in it and soak about half and hour, and it will easily comes off.

3 cups uncooked Japanese sushi rice
3 1/4 cups cold water
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt 

Wash rice in cold water until the water runs almost clear. This may take a few minutes. Once water runs semi-clear, drain rice of any excess water and add water. Bring the water and rice to a boil and cover with a lid. Once you put a lid on the pan reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes. **Do not to lift the lid during this last 10 minutes as the rice is still cooking even after the heat is off.

While the rice is cooking heat the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan until dissolved. Remove from heat as soon as sugar and salt has dissolved.

How to make sushi rice with tools you already own...

Use a baking dish or Tupperware with a large flat surface so you can spread out the rice as much as possible. The only difference using the tools you already own is that you need to constantly fan the rice, since extra moisture will be evaporated when using a Pyrex or plastic material (make sure to use non-reactive material since vinegar is used). 

When the rice is ready, immediately transfer it to the baking dish while it is steaming hot. Drop the rice (upside down out of the pot) towards the center of the baking dish. While the rice is still clumped together, evenly pour the rice vinegar mixture over the rice by dripping it on the spatula. The vinegar will drain through the gaps between the rice. While cooling the rice with a fan, use the spatula and quickly flatten out the rice over the whole surface of the baking dish. Do not use too much force for it may smash or break the rice.
Keep cooling the rice with the fan and gently run the spatula through the rice in a grid pattern. This is to increase the surface area of the sushi rice to cool it faster and make it easier to flip in the next step. Give it a final cooling. Collect the rice to the other side while flipping in small amounts. Wet a paper towel and cover the rice. 

Now the sushi rice is ready to make some home-made sushi... :)

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