Sunday, January 22, 2012

Perfect Sushi Rice

Perfect sushi rice is all about stickiness and texture. I am going to show you how to get both correct. First, let’s take a look at what you will need:
- bag of short grain white rice
- large mixing bowl
- strainer with holes small enough to keep rice from slipping through
- measuring cup
- stainless steel pot with lid
- timer
- wooden spoon
- large flat wooden bowl
- rice paddle
- sushi rice mix powder
- small fan
Measure and Wash Rice
First, measure 2 to 3 cups of rice. Pour the rice into a large mixing bowl. Next, you need to wash the rice. Even if the bag says that the rice is washed it is still not clean enough to stick together properly. Fill your bowl with cold water from the tap. Stir the rice with your hand for 10 to 15 seconds. Pour the water off slowly being sure not to lose any rice. Fill the bowl again and repeat the process until the water runs clear. This may take 10 or more washes so be patient. If the rice is not washed properly it will not be able to stick together effectively.
Dry the Rice
Empty your rice into a strainer and let the rice dry in a place where the water can drain safely for 30 minutes. This step helps with the over all texture and actually makes the rice whiter. The rice may not be completely dry after 30 minutes but this is not a problem.
Cook the Rice
Place the rice into a stainless steel pot and place it on your stove. Measure one cup of water for each cup of rice. Pour the water into the pot. Turn the burner under the pot to the highest setting. While the rice is heating up, stir a few times to make sure that none is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Do not stir aggressively. Over stirring will break down the rice and defeat the point of the washing process. Once the rice comes to a boil, cover the pot immediately with the lid and reduce the heat to low. After reducing the heat, set a timer for 15 minutes. Do not for any reason remove the lid. Removing the lid will ruin the entire process. The steam inside of the pot is what cooks the rice once the water is absorbed.
When the 15 minute timer goes sounds, turn the heat off. Remove the pot from the hot burner and place it somewhere to cool for another 15 minutes. Again, do not remove the lid for any reason. When 15 minutes is up the rice is fully cooked.
Cooling the Rice
Gently scrape your cooked rice from the pot into a large flat wooden bowl. Sprinkle a small amount of sushi rice powder mix onto your rice. Follow the directions on the mix to find the exact amount needed. Place the bowl on a counter and point a small fan at the bowl. As the fan is blowing on the rice gently stir the rice with a cutting motion. Stirring the rice correctly will help separate and cool the rice without damaging it in the process. Stir the rice for 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice is completely cool.
Test the Rice
Wet your hands to keep the rice from sticking to your skin. Grab a small hand-full of rice. Gently close your fingers around it and lightly press it together. Now open your fingers and allow the rice to rest in the palm of your hand. If all went well. the rice should hold the shape you pressed it into. and individual grains should not fall off easily.
Use or Store the Rice
It is best to use the rice immediately but it can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before use.

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