How to Properly Prepare Sushi Rice

It can be enticing to make your own sushi rolls at home. However, it’s important to know the right ingredients and how to prepare them to get that ultimate dining experience in your own home. In this article we’ll go over how to prepare the right sushi ingredients to get the experience you’re looking for.

Sushi Rice vs. White Rice

You may think you can simply use white rice for your sushi rolls, but the recipe won’t turn out the way you want with this substitute. While sushi rice is white, it’s not the same as all white rice. In fact, people often refer to it as shari or sushi rice. The rice is round with a short grain, and the label will often tell you that it is designed for sushi.

Prepare Sushi Rice

Equally important as the type of rice you use is the way the rice is prepared when making your sushi rolls. You will need to wash the rice and let it sit under running water to remove the starch. Once it is clean, you will put it in a pot and add just a little more water than rice. If you add too much water, it will turn into more of a dough texture than a rice one.

Cook the rice until boiling. Reduce the temperature to low and put a lid on the pot. Cook the rice for 6-8 minutes and check to see if the rice has expanded with the water. Be careful not to let the rice burn.

Remove the rice from the pot, being careful not to scrape the bottom. Use only a wooden spoon and a wooden or plastic bowl for the rice.

Season and Cure the Rice

As soon as you have removed the rice, add ½ cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt for every 3 cups of cooked rice. Only rice vinegar will work. Mix vinegar, sugar and salt in pot on medium heat until sugar and salt are dissolved.

Pour over rice as soon as it is done cooking. Mix well and allow rice to cool. It must be left at room temperature. You can also add dried kelp (also called kombu) to add extra flavor to your rice. You should add it into the vinegar mixture before heating and place a 3×2 inch piece for each cup of rice into the pan. Remove it after the sugar and salt have dissolved.

If it’s your first time making this kind of rice, you might want to put only half of the vinegar mixture on the rice. Taste it and see if you need more flavoring. Some people like a stronger flavor to their rice while others prefer something slightly more subtle.

You can keep your sushi rice at room temperature for up to six hours before you eat. If you refrigerate the rice, it could become gummy. So, be wary of keeping it in there for too long.

Once your rice is ready, you can begin preparing your must-try sushi rolls. Share them with your friends and wait for their surprise when they find out it’s not chef-made sushi.

If the sushi doesn’t turn out the way you planned, there’s no need to stress. Making sushi is an art form that takes sushi chefs years to perfect. Knowing how to prepare sushi rice can take even the pros long and arduous amounts of time to get exactly right. If you can’t make your own sushi at home, there’s always the option of taking a trip to a sushi restaurant and letting a pro do the hard work for you.