How to Prepare Sushi Rice (Makes approximately 1kg of rice)
Sushi should really only be made using short grain Japonica rice from Japan, California or Italy. Sushi has been developed and refined in Japan over the course of centuries, using local ingredients, so perhaps it is only natural that Japanese rice works best, although Californian and Italian rice can also give good results.
500g uncooked, matured Japanese or Californian short grain rice
625ml cold water
120ml sushi vinegar
Handai (Wooden bowl)
Shamoji (flat wooden scoop) or a spatula
Uchiwa (paper fan)
How to Make
Place the rice in a bowl. Pour in some water and swill the bowl to remove any impurities, then drain the water, using your palm as a barrier.
Pour in more water and wash the rice by stirring with your palm, then drain the water again. Repeat 3-5 times, until the water remains clear.
When draining for the final time, use a sieve and let the rice drain for 30 minutes to absorb the moisture on the surface. Another method is to leave the rice in a bowl of water for 30 minutes to absorb water. Either method will result in better sushi rice.
Place the rice and 625ml of water in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lit. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. When the boiling point is reached, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave for a further 10 minutes. Leave the lid on during this cooking process.
Next, use a spatula to remove the rice from the pan, and place in a wide, shallow container, ideally the traditional Japanese cypress wood rice tub known as ahandai. Spread the rice evenly across the bowl using the spatula, taking care not to crush the kernels.
Add the Sushi Vinegar promptly, pouring it as evenly as possible over the rice. Using the spatula, make gentle cutting and folding movements to mix the vinegar thoroughly into the rice, being sure not to crush the kernels by mashing or stirring.
As you cut and fold the vinegar through the rice, fan the rice with a paper fan to ensure it cools down quickly. It should take about 10 minutes for the rice to cool down, by which point all the rice should be evenly coated with vinegar.