Sushi rice is the foundation to good sushi. And for home cooks, it can be difficult to replicate the fluffy sticky perfection of Japanese restaurants. Since we are all spending time at home, now is the time to attempt and experiment with fiddlier more time consuming recipes, like sushi making. Here are some tips for making sushi rice at home.
Shari (Sushi Rice) Recipe
Use good-quality Japanese short grain rice such as Koshihikari. These can be found at select grocery stores and Japanese specialty stores such as Fujiya.
Wash the rice, then soak for 10 minutes before cooking.
Cook the rice in a pot or rice cooker according to the directions on the bag for each method. Chef’s note: Rice to water ratio should be 1:1.1, e.g., 250 ml of rice to 275 ml of water.
Pour the hot cooked rice into a flat, big bowl that will allow you enough room to mix in Japanese rice vinegar (for 1 cup/250 ml rice use 1/4 cup/60 ml vinegar). Traditionally, this would be done in a Japanese wooden tub called hangiri.
Chef’s note: Use a shallow baking dish as a hangiri alternative.
Pour vinegar onto the hot rice little by little (if you are cooking one cup rice, then it’s 0.25 cups vinegar). To mix in, gently use the rice paddle to create a grid on the rice, and then flip each section over to ensure that all the rice is being flipped and the vinegar is mixed in evenly. You can use your rice scooper for this process.
Fan the rice while scoring and turning to slowly cool down the grains to create a wonderful airy texture in the rice. Scoring is using the rice paddle to gently divide the rice into sections.
Important: Be careful not to stir or mash the rice as you want to keep the grains whole. Do this until the vinegar is completely incorporated, and the rice is slightly above body temperature.
Chef’s note: You will know that the shari is prepared perfectly when the individual rice grains are glistening. This is because they have been coated evenly with the vinegar and have remained a whole grain.
Gently flatten, and rest rice for 5 minutes with a damp cloth on top (to prevent drying out), then come back and score and flip rice again. Repeat this process 3 times in total.
Once the rice is body temperature, the shari is done! You can now make your sushi.
Temaki Hand Roll Recipe
16 pieces of nori (Japanese seaweed)
2 cups (500 ml) cooked Japanese rice
1 whole avocado, sliced into ¼-inch (0.6-cm) strips
2 oz (56 grams) pickled vegetables
2 oz ( 56 grams) gari pickled ginger
Half a cucumber, sliced into 10 long pieces (no seeds)
Variety of desired sashimi, such as wild B.C. sockeye salmon, albacore tuna, ebi (cooked prawn)
Hold a sheet of nori in your hand. Place a spoonful of sushi rice in the middle, then lightly flatten the sushi rice to the edge of the nori, but leaving a little room.
Arrange desired ingredients on top of the rice.
Roll the nori into a cylinder shape so rice and toppings are inside.
Avoid overstuffing the ingredients so you can properly close your hand roll.
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