Do you know what sushi rice is? Do you know how to make sushi rice? No worries! Today in this article, I will explain a great recipe for making sushi rice.
Due to its widespread use in Japanese sushi, Japanese short-grain rice is commonly called “sushi rice.” Chefs season cooked rice with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to prepare sushi rice.
It would be best if you mastered the art of making sushi rice since one ingredient can enhance the taste of your sushi manifold. In Japanese, sushi rice is also called sushi-meshi, so-meshi, or shari.
Sushi has swiftly become one of the most popular international foods in the last century or so, and a sushi restaurant can be found in almost any place on the globe. Sushi making is widely popular.
But how did this dish become so popular? Was eating raw fish always enjoyed? Want to know where the dish of sushi came from?
Brief History of Sushi
Sushi translates to “sour flavor.” It is one of the most important rather representations of Japanese cuisine. Whether you prefer it raw, sashimi-style, flash-fried as part of a sushi roll, or cut up in a Poke-style sushi bowl, eating raw fish is no longer frowned upon – and almost everyone has eaten it at some time.
Sushi’s past, like that of many other ancient cuisines, is shrouded in mythology and folklore. In an old Japanese wives’ story, an older woman began hiding her rice pots in osprey nests because she was afraid robbers would take them.
She gathered her pots over time and discovered that the rice had begun to ferment. She also noticed fish remnants from the osprey’s meal in the rice.
Not only was the combo delicious, but the rice also functioned as a means of preserving the fish, ushering in a new method of prolonging the shelf life of seafood. However, the actual story is a little different.
Tracing The Past
This may come as a shock to many since many of you might have assumed that sushi originated in Japan, but it didn’t. Rather it comes from the fields of China.
While Japan made the dish popular and introduced the dish to travelers and foreigners and is the sushi capital of the world, it is not the place of origin. We can trace sushi back to the Chinese dish of narezushi.
This dish was made using fermented rice and salted fish. And, contrary to popular belief, it was not fermented and salted for flavor. The dish pre-dates the invention of refrigerators because it goes back to the 2nd century B.C.
As a result, narezushi was a very practical meal. The rice was fermented to preserve it, and the fish was extensively salted to inhibit the growth of germs and microbes — keeping it fresher for longer, even when not refrigerated.
And, oddly, when eating the fish, the rice was usually tossed away. Rice initially was only used to fold the fish or wrap it around the fish.
The dish spread to Japan in the 8th century A.D. The first reference to sushi can be traced to the Yoro Code, written in 718.
The meal gradually evolved over the next few centuries. The Japanese started eating three meals a day, boiling their rice, and using rice vinegar to make the rice ferment faster.
The scent of the preserved fish lingered – but a speedier fermentation process aided in shortening the time it required to prepare the Japanese sushi meal.
Sushi had expanded to Edo by the middle of the 18th century, where three notable sushi restaurants – Matsunozushi, Kenukizushi, and Yoheizushi – debuted. Thousands more joined them in the late 18th century.
How did Modern Sushi Come about?
However, this sushi was not the same as we know it today. Due to a lack of refrigeration, it was frequently cooked and served in bigger portions. The chef, Hanya Yohei, changed the world of sushi forever.
Instead of tossing out the rice, he discovered that it could be mixed with vinegar and topped with a little slice of fish, creating a savory, bite-sized delicacy that was delightful, portable, and economical for the people. Shortly after, this cuisine began to spread around the world.
Sushi in the West
Sushi was introduced in the West after Japanese immigration after the Meiji Restoration in the early 1900s. But it didn’t get down to the masses then. After World War II, when Japan became open for international trade, tourism, and business, sushi came back.
Like most aspects of food history, there is a great lot of controversy about whose restaurant introduced sushi to Western diners – and it’s impossible to pinpoint who was responsible.
However, Los Angeles’ Kawafuku Restaurant is frequently attributed with this title, as it was one of the first restaurants to sell sushi.
Many restaurants began experimenting with novel flavor combinations and sushi rolls to help Americans get acclimated to the notion of eating sushi.
This centuries-old Japanese staple has evolved into a modern classic, with hundreds of various sushi rolls to choose from — with new rolls being made daily. Chefs throughout the country are continually attempting new ideas, from sushi made with non-traditional components like raw and cooked beef to other modern creations like sushi bowls and sushi burritos.
Now, let’s learn how to make sushi rice, one of the important elements of sushi dishes. The cuisine of Japan is famous for its sushi.
Ingredients for Sushi Rice
Perfectly cooked sushi rice is very important for making sushi that is authentic and tasty. You can use this easy how-to make sushi rice recipe to make homemade sushi. Here are the ingredients to make sushi rice at home.
- Japanese short-grain rice- This distinctively sticky, plump, and firm-textured rice type is required for producing outstanding sushi rice! Look for short-grain rice created in Japan or branded as “sushi rice” while shopping for sushi rice. However, the quality, price, flavor, and texture of sushi rice may vary greatly, so if you want to narrow down your favorite, make sure to taste a few brands to understand which one you like the best.
2. Kombu (kelp)- If you want to add some classic umami flavor to your sushi rice, toss in a tiny sheet of kombu (dried seaweed) while the rice cooks.
3. Rice vinegar- Just a basic bottle of unseasoned rice vinegar. If you want to make your own, then take some extra few minutes to make your sushi vinegar by mixing unseasoned rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
5. Table Salt
How to Make Sushi Rice
When cooking the rice, you have to make sure that the rice is firm and not crunchy. You have to take care not to mash the rice together when stirring it. But, regardless of how your rice ends out, I guarantee it will work great in sushi and be tasty!
Good sushi rice should be refined and lustrous, with the tiny rice grains remaining well separated rather than squished up together.
Step 1: Take a fine-mesh strainer and rinse the uncooked rice. Rinse the rice until the water is clear and not murky. Then throw away any extra water. If you have the time, it’s also customary to soak rice in the cooking water for 20-30 minutes before cooking.
But after a few tries, we honestly didn’t see that the extra soaking made that much difference, so I normally omit it and boil the rice right after rinsing.
Step 2: Cook the rice in water on medium heat with a sheet of kombu. You can cook the rice in either a rice cooker, pressure cooker, or stovetop.
Step 3: While the rice is cooking, make the sushi vinegar.
How to Make Sushi Rice Vinegar
Take the vinegar and add sugar and salt. Heat it with sugar and salt. Keep stirring until the sugar is melted. You can either do this in the microwave oven or a small saucepan on the stove. You can also use rice wine vinegar for this step.
Step 4: To season the rice, I usually do that in a large mixing bowl with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon, but if you want to go the traditional approach, use a wooden hangiri and a rice paddle. Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the seasoned rice vinegar.
Step 5: Then, using the spatula, carefully fold the rice — slicing into it at a 45-degree angle, raising and folding the rice on top of itself — until you see the vinegar is mixed well.
Step 6: Cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel to prevent the rice from drying out and cool until it comes down to room temperature.
Use the sushi rice right away in a dish, or store it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Possible Variations, Tips, and Tricks
- If you want to cool the rice traditionally, once the rice is done, transfer it to a wooden hangiri and evenly spray the sushi vinegar mixture over it. Use a rice paddle in one hand to gently fold the rice vinegar solution into the rice, while a fan in the other hand blows away the steam and cools the rice. Continue folding/fanning for 10 minutes or until the rice has reached room temperature.
- If you want to cool the rice the fastest way, transfer it to a baking paper, sprinkle the rice vinegar, spread it out with a spatula, and fold the rice repeatedly until it comes down to room temperature.
- To reach a genuine Japanese standard, only short-grain Japanese rice should be used to produce sushi rice. This is because Japanese rice has a completely different consistency and flavor than long-grain rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, other forms of rice. Japanese rice is distinguished by its distinct stickiness and texture with greater moisture, contributing to real sushi’s toothsome bite.
- Feel free to substitute honey, coconut sugar, or any other natural sweetener instead of granulated sugar.
- We use less water (just a tad less) while cooking sushi rice since we add sushi vinegar to it.
- Sushi rice goes well with nikujaga, miso soup, and okonomiyaki as a side dish.
How to Make Sushi Rice: Rice Cooker Version
In the rice cooker bowl, combine the rice and water for a few seconds before adding the kombu on top of the rice. Cook, covered, according to the device’s instructions. Remove the kombu.
How to Make Sushi Rice in Pot
In the bowl of an Instant Pot, quickly combine the rice and water, then top with the kombu. Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure, followed by a 10-minute natural release and a rapid release. Remove the kombu.
How to Make Sushi Rice in Stovetop
In a large bowl or saucepan, whisk together the rice and water, lay the kombu on top of the rice, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to cook until the water barely begins to simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 16-18 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is soft. Remove the pot from the heat (while leaving the cover on) and let the rice steam for another 10 minutes. Remove the kombu. Here’s your perfect sushi rice.
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I know when the sushi rice is set?
The texture of the sushi rice should be fluffy with a firm bite after it has been cooked. And each sushi rice grain should be sticky while yet holding its form.
Mushy sushi rice indicates that it contains too much water or that it has been overdone. If the sushi rice is new, the surface of each grain will have a wonderful lustrous sheen.
How do I make sushi with sushi rice?
Let’s make a perfect Spicy Tuna Roll!
How to Make Spicy Tuna Roll?
Step 1: Take plain rice and make a bowl of good sushi rice. Making good sushi rice is one of the most important steps of making sushi.
Step 2: I recommend checking out the sashimi offerings at your local Japanese or Asian grocery store if you live nearby.
Step 3: Rolling the sushi gently but tightly is very important because it may fall apart easily if not done correctly. While rolling, you must tuck in and pull the bamboo mat.
After you’ve finished rolling, lay the bamboo mat over the sushi roll and gently squeeze it over the bamboo mat.
Take a side dish of miso soup and enjoy!
Tips and Facts
- When you’re preparing sushi, does the sushi rice stick to your hands?
- You’ll need to make Tezu or vinegared hand dipping water by combining equal parts water and rice vinegar. Tezu your hands and fingers to keep the sushi rice from sticking. This vinegared water not only removes the stink of previously handled fish but also has antibacterial properties.
- Why is spicy tuna roll ‘spicy’? Sriracha sauce is a popular Thai/Vietnamese condiment. Sashimi-grade tuna is seasoned with Sriracha sauce and sesame oil. You may season the tuna with soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, and sesame oil, but if you regularly dip your sushi rolls in soy sauce, I recommend skipping the soy sauce in the sushi rolls as it may be too salty.
Temaki Sushi Roll
Now that you know how to make sushi rice, let’s move on to something exciting.
How to Make Temaki Sushi?
Temaki Sushi is a folded cone of seaweed wrapped over rice and toppings frequently referred to as a “hand roll.” As a cook, the finest aspect is that it’s a meal where everyone helps themselves.
All you need is a dish with sushi rice, nori (seaweed sheet), and contents like sashimi-grade fish and sliced vegetables/mango. Then, at the table, everyone builds their hand-rolled sushi using their chosen combination of ingredients.
- Some popular ingredients for filling
- Sashimi (Raw Fish)– Sweet shrimp, Hamachi (yellowtail), Hotate (scallop), Ikura (salmon roe), Kanpachi (amberjack), Maguro (tuna), Salmon, Tai (sea bream/red snapper), Tobiko (flying fish roe), toro (fatty tuna), uni (sea urchin)
- Vegetables– Cucumber, Radish sprout, Shiso leaves, Takuan (yellow daikon pickles)
2. Nori (Seaweed)
Step 1: Half a square nori sheet (restaurant-style) or 1⁄4 a square nori sheet (more home-style).
Step 2: Place the nori on your hand.
Step 3: Place 1/4 cup sushi rice in the top left corner of the nori sheet at a 45-degree angle and flatten/spread it evenly.
Step 4: Place some fish and vegetables on it.
Step 5: To make a triangle, roll the bottom left corner up to the middle of the top border of the nori and continue rolling until you have a cone shape.
Now that you know how to make sushi rice, what are you waiting for?
Make your sushi rice today and incorporate it into homemade sushi to make your day perfect. From small gatherings to big, sushi is the best dish to serve any day.
Share these tips and tricks on how to make sushi rice with your friends and family. I hope you had a good time reading this article on how to make sushi rice in 3 perfect ways.