Sunday, December 24, 2006 Sushi Rice

My favorite food ever?  Easy, it's sushi.  I love everything about this food.  Its delicious flavors, soft slightly-sweet rice, fresh fish, crunchy toppings...  I wish I had three stomachs to fill with sushi.  Not sure my bank account could keep up, but still.  And now I've learned how to make sushi, which makes life so much easier.  And delicious.

Philadelphia Roll: smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber strips
Eel Roll: broiled freshwater eel (unagi), avocado, cucumber strips, eel sauce on top
Spicy Tuna Roll: raw sushi-grade tuna, cucumber, sriracha sauce on top

Sushi Rice

Pre-prepare a vinegar-water solution called tezu. Mix together 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

2 cups raw sushi rice (short or medium grain)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Wash the rice several times until the water is clear. Move to a colander and drain for an hour. Transfer the rice to a heavy pot or electric rice cooker and add the measured water. Make sure there is a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat allowing the rice to steam for 15 minutes more with the cover on at all times. Now remove from the heat, remove the lid momentarily to stretch a clean tea towel over the pot and replace the cover. Let it remain covered and without heat to finish steaming for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small saucepan. While stirring, heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Set aside the mixture to cool to room temperature. After the rice has steamed properly, take a wooden spatula or spoon and cut and fold the rice. Do not use beating or stirring motions as you want to avoid smashing the grains.

Dampen a cloth using the pre-prepared tezu and rub the insides of a bowl. The traditional bowl to use is the flat-bottomed wooden sushi oke or hangiri. The wood absorbs excess moisture and the large surface allows the rice to cool more quickly and evenly. Put the hot rice into the bowl and quickly add the seasoned rice vinegar solution. Mix with the same cutting and folding motion. After mixing, fan the hot rice mixture in order to remove moisture as well as to cool it. This should take about 10 minutes. The rice grains will have a nice sheen. The result will be ideal sushi rice with a slightly chewy consistency and just a touch of stickiness.

The rice is not to be refrigerated and should be used within an hour after preparation. Keep the rice covered with a clean cloth and at room temperature until you are ready to make your rolls.

Enough rice for 4 sushi rolls

No comments: