Sushi, known for its unique taste, is available in many different forms. Originally created in the Japanese culture, sushi is now one of the most recognizable foods that is available in the United States. There are various ingredients that create sushi, one of the most integral ingredients being sushi rice.
Creating great sushi begins with sushi rice. All sushi that is created has a main base of sushi rice. It’s important to know what to look for with sushi rice. All sushi rice consists of short grain white rice; more specifically Japonica rice. The short grain rice that is used comes in different grades of quality, but it is imperative that a high quality of rice is used. The high quality of sushi rice is needed, as there will be a minimal amount, if any, broken rice grains. If one were to cook with broken grains, a “mushy” rice would result. Sushi rice is known to be sticky, but this process is created from the various ingredients that are added to the rice, and should not be a result of overcooking or overworking the rice. Ingredients such as rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt, are the keys to making sushi rice sticky.
There are various ways that sushi rice can be created. The best way to cook sushi rice is with an automatic rice cooker. It is important to have consistent results with rice. Utilizing an automatic rice cooker can almost ensure that the sushi rice will result in the same outcome time and again. As much, an automatic rice cooker can eliminate a lot of the worries that are associated with cooking rice, such as under or overcooking the grains. From time to time, however, one may encounter that they purchased a bag of rice that is not sufficient for cooking. Rice that is too water logged, or not enough water in the grains, can result in various outcomes. If there was too much water in the grain, then a very mushy rice will develop. If there is not enough water in the grain, then one may find that they are having to add additional water to the rice so that it will result in the correct consistency.
Many individuals will find that their first experiences with sushi rice may not be as successful as they expect. This could be a result of using a gas or electric stove, instead of an automatic rice cooker. An automatic rice cooker is created specifically for cooking rice only, whereas a stove is not. As a result of cooking on the stove, various outcomes will arise.
In such places as Japan, where sushi is a very common food, there were once men that worked in eating establishments where their main job was to create sushi rice the entire day. These men knew that in order to have good sushi rice, that one must have an equal balance of sweet to sour, firmness and stickiness and that the rice must have the luster of a pearl once cooked. The cooking of the sushi rice is one of the most important aspects of sushi. If the rice were to result in anything but what it is intended to taste like, then the entire sushi roll’s taste would significantly alter towards a negative direction.
There are various methods to cooking sushi rice. Aside from the methods that are mentioned heretofore, many individuals will wash the rice until the water that is drained from the rice runs clear. This washing process is used as there are many impurities that reside in the rice, such as extra nutrients that the packaging companies will coat the grains with. As much, many individuals believe that washing the rice intensifies the natural flavor of the rice, as well as ridding the rice of excess starches, which can result in a mushy rice.
Once the short grain white rice has been washed, it is time to soak the rice. The rice should soak for about 10 minutes or less, until the rice has expanded in size and is softer to the touch. After the rice has its soak bath, it should then be added to the automatic rice cooker. Once the rice is placed in the rice cooker, it is imperative that the lid to the rice cooker is not removed, even after the timer has gone off. The rice is still cooking in the automatic cooker, and will need to rest for an additional 10 minutes. This is important as the rice is still cooking. In total, the rice must cook for approximately 30 minutes to ensure an adequate result.
While the rice is cooking, the other ingredients ( rice vinegar, sugar and salt) need to be brought to a boil on the stove until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Once the rice has completed its cooking, it is to be placed in a bowl so that the vinegar mixture can be added. The following step is one of the most important steps to creating sushi rice. It is imperative that the vinegar mixture is to be slowly folded into the rice in order to prevent a huge blob of rice. One way to make sure that this process is being followed properly is that the rice will remain as an individual grain and will not stick together. Once all of the vinegar mixture has lightly coated all of the rice, then the rice should be sticky.
Many people prefer to consume rice hot; however, with sushi rice, the temperature of the rice must be brought down to room temperature. The decrease in the temperature of the rice is important, as the sushi rice will then have the adequate consistency that is necessary to roll out for a sushi roll. The storage of the sushi rice is important as well. The sushi rice is to be stored at room temperature, with a damp cloth covering the bowl. This is a necessary step that is needed so that the rice will not dry out.
There are various types of sushi rolls that are created every day, all around the world. One thing is for certain though- sushi rice is indeed the main foundation of the sushi. When created to perfection, sushi rice can truly make the sushi roll. If the rice is too mushy, too dry, or not sticky enough, it can truly effect the outcome of the texture and flavor of the sushi roll. Creating the perfect bowl of sushi rice is not only an art, but an act of consumable love.