Although we use the word “sushi” to refer to all kinds of Japanese preparations based on raw fish, the truth is that the word specifically designates any dish in which the vinegary rice.
This type of rice seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt, is today the watchword of Japanese cuisine, but it is actually originally from China, where it disappeared after the ming dynasty.
The correct cooking and handling of rice It is essential for making many star bites of Japanese cuisine, such as makis, nigiris or temakis – not sashimi, which is not really a type of sushi, but a way of cutting and serving raw fish.
On the occasion of the celebration of International Sushi Day, the Hong Kong chef based in Bilbao Hung fai chui has offered a showcooking virtual sushi with salmon, in which we have learned, first, how to make rice.
As Fai explains in the video (where you can follow the recipe step by step), in Asia rice has always been cooked, for decades, in electric rice cooker, a ubiquitous appliance in Japanese kitchens; but it can be done perfectly in one conventional pot with lid, as we explain below.
It is also important to use a specific type of rice for sushi. In Japan the most common is glutinous rice, which we can find in specialized stores (and increasingly in larger surfaces), usually already labeled as “sushi rice”. Now, if we can’t find it, we can follow this same recipe with conventional round rice.
Today it is also very common to find sushi vinegar mix, which already comes with the sugar and salt that must be added to conventional rice vinegar. If you use this preparation, do not add more sugar or salt.
Before cooking rice, it is important wash it thoroughly, to remove the starch. To do this, we must place the rice in a bowl, fill it with cold water, clean it well and remove the water with the help of a strainer. This operation must be repeated seven times. The first time the water will come out very cloudy and the last one almost transparent, which indicates that we have washed it correctly. After this operation, we must let the rice rest on the strainer for 15 minutes.
After this time, we pour the rice into a pot with lid, Add the 600 ml of cold water, cover and raise the heat to the maximum. As soon as the water starts to boil, lower the heat to a minimum and let it cook for 20 minutes, without removing the lid at any time.
After 20 minutes we turn off the heat and, without removing the lid, let the rice rest for 15 minutes. Only then, do we uncover the saucepan and transfer the rice to a plastic container – if it is made of metal, the rice will continue to cook and it could be soggy. There we mix it well with the vinegar, sugar and salt, and we reserve it to make the sushi.
How to use sushi rice
To make sushi it is important that the rice is tempered, but we cannot put it in the fridge, because if we do this we will not be able to handle it properly. Ideally, have the rice ready half an hour before starting to make the sushi.
This rice is used for any sushi making, whether they are makis, uramakis or the, somewhat simpler, temakis.
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