Do you love sushi? Have you ever wondered if the rice used to make sushi is different from the rice usually served with a meal? Let’s take a look now at what rice is used to make sushi.
Sushi making is an art form. If you attempt to make sushi by buying some random rice and fish from the store and just throwing it together you will end up sorely disappointed.
The kind of rice that you use in a risotto is not the same kind of rice as you would use for sushi making, and you need to select the right kind of vinegar and other ingredients too.
The ingredients and preparation must be managed carefully to ensure that you get the perfect, authentic taste.
The best kind of rice to use for sushi is short-grain Japanese rice, known as japonica, or shari. If you can’t source that kind of white sushi rice, then long-grain California white rice is a passable substitute.
Do not use the kinds of rice that you would use for a curry or burrito, though. Those rice varieties have a different texture, and will not produce the same taste or feel.
Once you have found the correct rice, the next step is to prepare it. Sushi rice is vinegared to produce the distinctive flavour. To make sure that the vinegar is absorbed properly, the rice must be washed to remove the starchy coating.
Wash the rice in fresh, cold water. Soak the rice in fresh, cold water in a strainer, stirring with your hand and watching the water runoff.
You may need to pour water over a few times until the water starts to run clear. Once the water is running clear, you can treat the rice with sushi-su (the special seasoned vinegar that gives the rice its distinctive flavour).
You may cook the rice in a pan, or, if you do a lot of cooking with rice it may make sense to invest in a rice cooker. These are not an expensive investment, and they’re great for people who cook a lot of rice.
Rice cookers take the guesswork out of the cooking and can save you time in the long run too. Just set the cooker off and forget about it, then come back to perfect rice, every time.
Prepared sushi-rice should be kept at room temperature. Cover it with a moist cloth or some plastic wrap to keep the rice from drying out. Do not put prepared sushi-rice in the refrigerator.
This will ruin the texture of the rice and make it too sticky.
Prepared sushi rice will keep for up to 12 hours if stored at room temperature. Sushi itself is also quite perishable. Once you have made your sushi, try to eat it immediately, or at the very least that day.
You could prepare some sushi in the morning, put it in Tupperware with a cold drink to serve as an ‘ice block’ and have it for dinner that evening, but you should not try to keep the sushi for much longer than that.
Western sushi tends to be made with cooked fish eaten cold, or sometimes even with vegetables and rice, but no fish at all. Even so, rice, because of the porous nature of the grains, can harbour bacteria.
This means that you should handle it carefully and not take chances with storage and preparation.
eOnce you get the hang of cooking your own sushi you will find that it doesn’t take long to make. It’s ideal for entertaining, or for summer snacks and for a kid’s ‘bento box’.
Sushi is a fun and healthy snack that is easy to make, and fun to eat.
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