Cooking Sushi Rice in the house

Cooking sushi rice in the house is easy. I will write 2 different ways of How to make Sushi rice.
People may think Sushi is Japanese food with raw fish. It is not!
Sushi is Su (vinegar) and Rice together, it is called Su-meshi (rice) and you arranged with some other ingredients and it become sushi.
So we have many varieties of sushi.  Now you can cook sushi rice and make sushi in your own home!

how to make sushi rice

This is from Wikipedia sushi page and Sumeshi section: Sushi is made with white, short-grained, Japanese rice mixed with a dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and occasionally kombu and sake. It has to be cooled to room temperature before being used for a filling in a sushi or else it will get too sticky while being seasoned. Traditionally, the mixing is done with a hanger, which is a round, flat-bottom wooden tub or barrel, and a wooden paddle (shamoji).




Sushi rice (sushi-meshi or su-meshi 酢飯) is prepared with short-grain Japanese rice, which has a consistency that differs from long-grain strains such as those from India, Thailand, and Vietnam. The essential quality is its stickiness or glutinousness. Rice that is too sticky has a mushy texture; if not sticky enough, it feels dry. Freshly harvested rice (shinmai) typically contains too much water, and requires extra time to drain the rice cooker after washing. In some fusion cuisine restaurants, short grain brown rice and wild rice are also used. – If you want to read more, go to Wikipedia page.

First of all, when you make sushi, you need su-meshi (vinegar-rice). That is the basic for sushi.
so I will teach you how to make su-meshi the sushi rice.

There are 2 ways: instant version and long version.
You can choose whichever you like and make sushi rice and make sushi!
You have to master it, and then you can make sushi (next step).

This is the easiest one – instant version.
You can read my How to cook Japanese Rice page and cook Japanese rice first.

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You can cook Japanese rice the regular way, and you buy the “Sushi no ko” the powder vinegar package to make sushi rice. You need to simply mix with regular rice and make sushi rice.

      sushi meshi

how to mix sushi rice  how to mix sushi rice  how to mix sushi rice  how to mix sushi rice

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However, how to mix the rice is a bit tricky. You don’t mix rice like you mix dough. You don’t want to smash the individual rice like paste. You will destroy the rice taste and can not make good sushi rice. Mix rice by cutting across it in a slashing motion, and then cool it by fanning.

The second row of pictures, you put the spatula in the middle far from you.

First, you move the spatula pulling toward you and flip the rice over to the left side.
Next, go in the opposite direction Scoop rice left bottom and flip over to the right side.
This will mix the vinegar and rice together without squishing the rice.

how to cook sushi rice in the jar

This is the picture of my rice cooker.
The left bar said regular rice, if you major 3.5 cups of rice (1 cup is 180cc, not 250cc like American standard), you put the water up to the left bar to the 3.5 line.

The second left is sushi rice bar. If you want to make sushi rice, do the same 3.5cups of rice and you put water until that line. Now you see for the same cups of rice the water is less than regular rice. Sushi rice use less water to cook it. Why is this? Because, you have to add vinegar and sugar after you cook sushi rice. So if you cook with regular water, the sushi rice is too watery.

Rice ————————————————–2cup (360cc, 360g)

Water———————————————— 560cc (19oz)
Konbu ———————————————–1 inch square

Sushi su (Sushi vinegar)

Rice vinegar——————————————-4tbs
Sugar————————————————-3tbs
Salt—————————————————1/2tsp

You prepare to cook the rice – read how to cook Japanese rice page. When you cook the rice, put Konbu into the pot with the water and cook it.

It is better to have Konbu in the rice to cook with it but if you can not get it, it is OK. Cook the rice without Konbu.

When the rice is cooked, transfer the hot rice into the sushi-oke (picture above -wooden sushi bowl) or big bowl (if it is possible, put flat plate or bowl). Spread out the rice gently and cool down the rice a little. If you use sushi – oke, before you transfer the rice, you wet the oke with vinegar. You wet the cloth with vinegar and wipe the inside of the oke (bowl). I usually put vinegar in the oke and wet the oke and dump the vinegar out.

When the rice is not extremely hot, put mixed vinegar ingredients on the rice and mix it. When you put mixed vinegar ingredients (its call Sushi su – sushi vinegar) do not put directly onto the rice. Put spatula over the rice and put sushi su over the spatula.

Again, Mix the rice by cutting across it in a slashing motion, then cool it by fanning.

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Japanese Rice

What is Japanese-Rice?
This page contains all about Japanese-Rice you need to know.   What kind Japanese rice brand you should buy?   Rice cooker necessary?   How is Japanese table setting?   Important tip of Japanese rice cooking.

There are two major different types of rice.   One is called Indica rice and the other one is Japonica rice.

Indica has a long skinny shape which is dry and not sticky.   India,  Thailand,  Vietnam,  China and U.S.   Produce this kind of rice.   Eighty percent of the rice in the world is this kind.

Japonica is short,  round and sticky.   Japan,  Korea,  Northern China produce this rice.   If you put heat to this kind of rice, the consistancy becomes sticky.   Maybe the way to cook Japanese rice is different than what you know about cooking Indica rice.

When I cook a Japanese dinner (pretty much every dinner),  I try to make it this way.   Rice,  Miso soup (or other kind of Japanese soup),  Main dish and 2 sub-dishes.   The main dish would be something heavy,  Like meat or fish.   Sub-dishes are usually vegetables or something light and small.

Pressure cooker – If you have pressure cooker,  use it! Ideal water and rice amount 1 cup rice to 1 cup water.   If you like sofer rice,  add a small amount of water.   Do not add too much! L mean little bit is about 1/8 of cup or so. First,  put high heat and pressure cooker start ringing,  turn hear to low.   Leave it at least 15 minutes.   I usually leave it 20 minutes.

Regular pot – If you don’t have pressure cooker,  use a regular pot.   However,  I recommend a heavy pot with a heavy lid.   The measurement is the same as a pressure cooker: 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water.

Why use a heavy lid?   It is a similar effect to the pressure cooker.   When boiling the water in the pot,  the water causes the lid to make a seal whhich makes a better tasting rice the right way.   Put high heat until water is bowiling and steams or bubbles are coming from the edge of the lid,  turn the heat to low quickly.   Be causious of the heavy lid,  rice maybe boiling harder than you realize.   You don’t want to burn the rice! After turn the heat low,  continue to cook on low heat for 20 minutes.




<***IMPORTANT***> Once turn the heat low,  DO NOT OPEN THE LID!!!   Wait to open the lid at least 15 minutes!

Important tip of Japanese-rice cooking
Why you don’t want to open the lid?
Some chefs suggest you wait until rice is boiling let lid put on.   I read some cooking articles.

However, I have never tried this way yet,  so I don’t know if it is good way.   Historically say “Don’t open the lid even if your baby is crying because s/he is hungry.”

If you open lid the durling the cooking,  you won’t cook good rice.   So I am pretty much against taking off the lid when you are cooking Japanese rice.   What will happen is if you do not put lid on or not soak in the water long enough,  the Japanese-rice won’t cook through.   Sometimes the rice will be hard in the middle.   So,  do not remove the lid when you are cooking Japanese rice.

How to keep the uncooked Japanese-rice
It is important to properly store the rice because it may change the taste.
The taste of rice will start changing after polishing the rice.  The amount you should buy would be a enough for 2 month in the winter,  2 weeks in the summer.

Also when you buy the rice,  put it in a round rice container.   Keep the rice in low humidity and low temperature,  dark and cool place.

How to keep the cooked Japanese-rice
If you use rice cooker,  you may be able to keep in the cooked rice in the same cooker.   It keep the same temperature in the cooker and that way,  you can keep the rice for 24 hrs.
I freeze rice almost right away (well, after cool down the rice) because I don’t want to cook everyday.   I think it is convenient to freeze the one meal amount,  so I can thaw the rice when I want to eat it.

Keep rice in the rice cooker would change the rice color and taste.   Freezing rice doesn’t this effect.

What kind of Japanese Brand Rice you can buy in U.S?
American Japanese rice brand is good taste.   When I came to U.S.  there were only a few brand Japanese-rice.   Now there are so many Japanese rice brands of rice here in the U.S.   Those are almost same as Japanese made rice.
This is what I buy now.  (Picture – Hitomebore)

hitomebore

I buy this rice brand and so do many of my co-workers and their families.   I guess it is the best rice that I can buy in my area.   You may not be able to find the same one.   I tried “Tama Nishiki” for long time.   It is good tasting rice.   Just “Nishiki” is not so good.   (Yes,  it is priced different)

If you can really tell the taste difference,  you should go to Asian store and find rice.

Regular supermarket may have Japanese rice,  I can not find good one there at all!

But you can buy small bags and experience the difference until you find your favorite one.   Some people said “Tamaki” brand is good;  I bought Tamaki when I was in College and I thought it is much better than what I was buying from local supermarket at that time.   But I don’t want to buy it now.

“Tamaki Gold” could be OK,  if I don’t have mistake.   But I prefer buying this picture one now.

I may put more names if I have chance to eat other American Japanese rice brand and think its good on my web page later.