Tips & Tricks: The Right Way To Cook Authentic Sushi Rice

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If you live in America, you’re probably used to California sushi rolls. It’s the closest most people will come to the delicious Japanese delicacy. In fact, I bet you don’t even know what authentic sushi rice tastes like.

It’s not the ‘sushi’ rice you can buy straight off the shelves in the US. If you’re ever in Japan you’ll realize it’s actually a steamed rice flavored with delicious vinegar-based seasonings. We’ll soon delve into how it gets its unique taste.

Choosing Your Rice And Seasonings

First of all, you’ll want to pick up any short-grain Japanese rice. The flavor and consistency is different from any long-grain rice you’ll find on the market. Also, stay away from sticky rice even though it sounds like something you’d make sushi with.

Purchase cheap sushi vinegar, plus use any kind of salt and sugar you can find. Kombu is definitely worth picking up if you can find it. Try to grab everything from your local Asian supermarket. You’ll save on groceries with these easy tips.

It’s Now Time To Prepare Your Rice

There are lots of ways you might be used to preparing your rice. If you want your sushi to taste brilliant forget about everything you currently know. To begin with, it’s important to wash and rinse your rice thoroughly.

You should stop when every last bit of starch has disappeared. Before you even start cooking the rice should be left to soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. The texture of the grains will turn out a hundred times better.

The Cooking Tools You’ll Need

When it comes to cooking the rice you don’t need many tools in the kitchen. Actually, you only have two options to choose from. If you want to do things the hard way cook your rice on a stove until the liquid is gone.

Alternatively, you can save yourself tons of time by using a rice cooker. If you follow the instructions it will tell you how much water you need. Just remember to add the vinegar-based seasonings before turning it on.

How You Know The Rice Is Ready

You can play around with the flavor until you know how much seasoning to include, but you will need to know when the rice is ready. This step is crucial when you’re rolling the sushi. It should be firm and fluffy to the touch.

Every single grain must be able to hold its shape, or your sushi rolls won’t look right. Under no circumstances should the rice feel mushy. Once you get it right, you’ll end up seeing a nice gloss of light on each grain.

The Reason It’s Made With Vinegar

Foreigners are always curious about why authentic sushi rice is cooked with vinegar. It’s been around for roughly 800 years. If you translated sushi it would mean something like ‘sour flavor’.

Originally, fish were wrapped in fermented rice. The Japanese discovered vinegar gave it a longer shelf life. It used to get thrown away before the fish was eaten, but someone realized they tasted better together.

What You’ll Need:
Short-Grain Japanese Rice
Sushi Vinegar
Salt + Sugar
Kombu (Optional)
Rice Cooker

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