Sushi rice is the basic building block of many sushi variations. It is the hero ingredient of any sushi dish, and it will determine the quality of sushi you make. So I am going to share the authentic way to make Sushi rice perfectly.
What is SUSHI by the way?
Just in case you don’t know what sushi is, I am going to explain this. The first Sushi introduced was a method of preserving fish utilising rice fermentation. Japanese people started to eat the preserved fish with the rice after the Muromachi era. What we call Sushi is a bit different from its origin. So-called “寿司(sushi)”, the Chinese character was used as a phonetic equivalent in the Edo period.
Furthermore, the word “SUSHI” is derived from Su-me-shi. The middle sound “me” was dropped later and became “su-shi”. Su means vinegar, (me)shi means rice. Therefore sushi is vinegar rice.
Sushi rice is foundation of any Sushi
Sushi is an essential part of Japanese cuisine and is probably the most famous and popular Japanese food. If you master how to make the perfect sushi rice, you can make any type of sushi successfully, such as Makizushi(rolled sushi), Chirashi-zushi(Scattered sushi), Oshi-zushi(pressed sushi), Temaki zushi(hand rolled sushi), Inari-zushi, Temari-zushi(sushi balls) sushi donuts etc.
Importance of making Sushi rice perfectly
The main part of all these different types of sushi is obviously the rice. It’s vital that this is made well. So whatever type of sushi you choose to make will turn out super delicious! So to help you make sure that your sushi is always the most delicious it can be, I’m sharing with you a recipe for perfect sushi rice!
Kitchen equipment you need
Wooden tub – “Hangiri”, “Sushi-oke” or “Handai” are names for a Japanese wooden tub. It is a shallow and flat bottom wooden tub used to make sushi rice in Japan. You need to let it soak in water before use, so that it will not soak up vinegar for the rice and avoid the rice sticking to the tub. If you do not have access to this type of tub, you can substitute with a large mixing bowl.
A Japanese fan – “Uchiwa” is the name of the Japanese fan. Of course it does not have to be this type. However, in order to make the rice shine, you need something to cool the rice down quickly while you are combining vinegar with the rice.
No more mushy sushi rice! 3 Tips to make it perfectly
3 tips to make sure the sushi rice turns out the best it can:
- Make sure the rice is hot when you pour the vinegar on top, so that the rice turns out nice and shiny.
- Don’t stir and squish the rice while mixing in the vinegar, you need to “cut” it into the rice.
- Use a fan to cool the rice as you “cut” the vinegar into it, so the rice is shiny.
Hope this post helps you to make perfect sushi rice next time. Don’t forget to check out other recipes using sushi rice such as Salmon oshizushi, Temaki (hand roll) Sushi, Sushi in cups, Inari zushi, and Temari zushi as well as comprehensive Sushi Guide.
Also don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
Sushi Vinegar (Sushizu)
- ½ cup Rice vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 300 g Uncooked sushi rice *1
- 1 strip of Kelp (about 5 cm/2inch) *2 or I tsp Konbu dashi powder
- 360 ml of water
- Wash the rice a few times or until the washing water become clear. Drain the washing water and place the rice in a rice cooker.
- Add the kepl strip and water and cook the rice as per your rice cooker instructions. *3
- While the rice is cooking, in a small pot, heat the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt together to make the sushi vinegar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Moisten the wooden tub with water and wipe excess water off with a cloth.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove the kelp strip( if you used a kelp strip) from the rice and place the rice into the wooden tub. pour the sushi vinegar over it and mix to flavour the rice while fanning it to cool down the rice.
- While the rice is hot, pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice.
- Turn and mix to flavour the rice with rice spatula (called Shamoji) while fanning it to cool down the rice.
- While fanning with the Japanese fan(called Uchiwa) make sure that you are not mashing the rice, rather more like cutting motion.
- All the rice to cool at room temperature and place a moistened cloth over to avoid getting dry.