I made sushi for the first time last night, and I was relieved to find that it is not nearly as difficult as I had anticipated.
My sushi rice needs help, though.
Anyone have tips or techniques/equipment that might improve my chances for STICKY, not GUMMY rice next time?
Also, what type/brand of rice? I bought rice labeled Sushi Rice at our asian market. It looks similar to arborio to me.
Yes, definitely cover the pot and turn the heat down low after it's come to a boil. Also resist the temptation to stir it or mess with it while it's cooking.
Use big wooden spoons to fold the vinegar mix into the rice. Fold quickly and gently. Keep it loose and try to avoid mashing or patting down the rice.
Wow. Thank you, thank you!!
I can identify several rice-making points that I have to work on.
I have to laugh since several of you said to turn the rice out on a baking sheet and we (myself, my husband, my 5-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old son) spent about 3 hours on Saturday scouring the Asian markets (and various other places)
in Louisville for a wooden bowl suitable to the task--with no luck.
I have one question remaining: should I cover the rice while cooking or not? It seems like every recipe has different instructions.
Again, thank you all. You're my favorite food resource!
Japanese rice from another Japanese. Use a rice cooker and follow the directions. (heh!)
In all seriousness, when I make rice on the stovetop, I wash the rice, then add water to the first knuckle. (To measure a knuckle of water, make sure the rice in the pot is level, then point your finger down and touch the surface of the rice. Add water until it reaches the first joint of your finger.) Over high heat, boil until you can see holes forming in the top of the rice and you see water bubbling in the holes - it'll look like a geothermic mud pot at Yellowstone. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest/steam for another 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid from the time you cover the rice until the rest period is over.
I'm a former sushi chef, and here's what I do when I make sushi at home.
1. Wash rice two or three times.
2. Start the rice in the rice cooker.
3. Mix the su (vinegar dressing) in whatever proportions you like.
4. Allow the rice to rest in the rice cooker for 15 minutes after it shuts off (don't lift the lid...let it continue to steam).
5. Carefully scoop the rice out into a big baking pan (I don't have a wooden tub), taking care not to scrape the sides of the rice pot. Leave whatever sticks to the pot in the pot...you don't want torn-up, mashed, or damaged rice in your sushi. You can scrape the koge later, for snacking.
6. IMMEDIATELY pour the su over the rice, and start folding it in. Don't stir or mix, because that leads to crushed rice grains. Fold, fold, fold. (My usual instructions also include advice to add WAY more su than you think is necessary. The rice will absorb a surprising amount of liquid as it cools, but once it's cooled, you can't add more liquid. When the rice/vinegar mixture is hot, it's going to look like you added too much, but as it cools - and the sheen builds - it'll start to look and feel right. I admit, tho...the first few times, it's a 'leap of faith' thing.)
7. Fold some more. Fold until you're sure that the su is evenly distributed in the rice. Then let it cool. I don't fan anymore, because I don't have a flunky to fan it and I'm usually too busy getting other ingredients together to fan it. I don't notice a marked drop in quality from not having fanned the rice. (Then again, it could be that, because at one time *I* was the flunky who had to fan the rice, I developed a distaste for it!)
8. As the mixture cools, fold some more.
To keep it from drying out too much, cover it with a damp kitchen towel.
Many/most of the above comments are correct. Perhaps most important is that after the rice sits in the pot for 10 minutes (I use a rice pot from Japan that has been in our family for 100 years), immediately spread the hot rice on a cookie sheet, add your vinegar-sugar mix while fanning. The liquid will be absorbed and the rice will not be gummy.
#1 Buy first grade sushi rice
#2 On the first rinse squeeze the trash out of the rice, kind of grind it. This will shed the husk.
#3 Use a tight mess strainer, and rinse until the water is clear. It's much easier than the entire water rinse blah...
#4 ** Let the rice sleep at least 30 minutes. This is very important
#5 Remember it's a one to one mix of liquid to rice. If it's dry outside use a little extra water, if it's humid a little less.
#6 When you steam the rice add a little piece of dried seaweed.
#7 Use at least 2 cups of rice. Most rice cookers simply don't do well with 1 cup. Also most home rice cookers really don't do a good job on more than 5 cups of rice.
#8 Pull the rice out of the steamer and let it sit for about 20 minutes before using. It's also great if you have a wooden bowl.
#9 I would personally use seasoned vinegar. Overall it's easier than mixing. Also personally I like more vinegar then less.
I let mine sit in the rice cooker for at least 15 minutes.
Check out this book, Japanese cooking: A simple Art. It's excellent. I checked it out from my library. There is an entire section on making sushi rice. You add the vinegar solution and make long strokes in the rice with the wooden rice paddle while fanning. This keeps it from getting gummy. I use calrose type rice. It's what all the generations have used before me so I stick with that.
Stay with "sushi rice" - you'll save a lot by getting it at an Asian market.
I find that the key to "sticky-not-gummy" is removing it from the rice cooker the moment it clicks off (you really need an electric rice cooker), placing it in a VERY generous-sized bowl ("Ouch! Hot!" Well, art is pain...) and tossing it with the seasoning immediately - the Japanese chefs (actually, their trainees) are supposed to toss and fan it with a fan to cool it, you can just toss. Use two large spoons to toss, and lift/toss rather than stir.
Very shortly it will cool down, and the sauce will be absorbed just the right amount because you started the process right at the end of the cooking process.
re: wayne keyser
I agree that buying the best sushi rice available is well worth the cost. I like Kokuho Rose which is cheapest in large bags at an asian market.
Also I always wash the rice, I know that you don't have to but the woman who first helped me learn to make proper rice insisted on it and I think I do it for 'luck' at this point!
Here are instruction from Koda Farms if you're going to wash the rice:
Measure the appropriate amount of rice into the cooking container. Add water to cover the rice, and agitate the grains using your fingers. You will notice a cloudy whitish color that is simply the enrichment coating applied to all milled white rice as mandated by the FDA. Drain the rice and repeat this process 2 or 3 times. The rinse water should be mostly clear now, and the water should be drained completely. Let rice rest 10 - 15 minutes (this step may be omitted if you’re pressed for time). Now the rice is ready for the rice cooker.
Also I think it's much easier to get an actual rice paddle to toss and cool the rice. They have a nice broad surface and are the right tool for the job. You may want to buy two.