Friday, November 6, 2009

How to make perfect sushi rice

How to Make Perfect Sushi Rice
By: Chef Cristian Feher

Sushi, like most Japanese things, is made using exact skill and precision. But don't let this scare you from making your own sushi. In this recipe I will outline the exact steps to take in order to achieve proper sushi rice. For this recipe I will be using a rice cooker. I suggest that you purchase one of these handy kitchen appliances if you don't already have one. They can be purchased for a minimal price. Mine cost about $12 and can cook 6 cups of rice at a time.

It is important before you begin that you start out with the correct type of rice. You must use short grain Sushi rice or Calrose rice. Other types of rice will not work as well, and some won't work at all.

You can also make your life easier by purchasing "Seasoned" rice wine vinegar. Seasoned rice wine vinegar has the salt and the sugar already mixed into it.

Yield: With this recipe you should be able to get about 3-4 sushi maki rolls out of one cup of rice.

- 1 Cup of Sushi Rice
- 1 Cup of Water (plus 10% more water)
- 5 squirts of Seasoned Rice Vinegar (or 2 parts rice vinegar, 2 parts sugar and 1 part salt)

- Rice Cooker
- Wooden or Plastic Spatula
- Large bowl (for rinsing the rice)
- Large baking sheet or serving tray (for cooling off the rice)
- (optional) an electric fan for cooling off the rice

Step 1:
Put the rice into the bowl and rinse it under the sink using cold water. You want to rub and stir the rice with your hands so that a lot of starch comes out of it. Rinse it about 4 times until the water runs almost clear. Drain.

Step 2:
Put the rice into the rice cooker, add the water, put the lid on, and set the cooker to cook the rice.

Step 3:
As soon as the rice is ready, scoop it out of the rice cooker with the wooden spatula and spread it gently onto the
tray for cooling. It is important that when you're working with the rice you be very gentle with it and careful not to smush the rice into a ball of gluten. Pour the seasoned rice vinegar and over the rice and gently fold the rice with the spatula so that all the grains of rice have come in contact with the vinegar. At the same time, your other goal is to cool down the rice as fast as possible. I like to turn on a table top fan and let it cool the rice off as I fold the mixture. But you can take a magazine or paper plate and fan with your hand as you fold the rice instead. You do not have to fold the rice during the whole cooling period, but you may want to turn it over every few minutes to let the heat escape.

Step 4:
Once the rice has cooled to room temperature it can be used to make sushi, or you can seal it into a plastic bag and put it in the fridge for later use. It will keep for 2 days max. But ideally, you would want to use it that same day. You want to end up with glossy, shiny rice (due to the vinegar mixture) with grains that are still in one piece (you don't want a white mushy pile of rice).