How to Cook The Kind of Rice Used in Making Authentic Sushi

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My mother, being Japanese, prepared what I considered the best sushi on the planet (I am biased of course). One of the mysteries of truly making authentic sushi involves the main ingredient, rice. Commercially, rice is advertised and marketed as expected to be of a consistency of light and fluffy grains. This is where sushi preparation usually goes awry. My mother grew up in Japan back in the 1930’s and learned to make it differently from what you may find in sushi restaurants  today. Follow these steps to learn how to properly prepare rice for truly authentic Asian sushi.

Ingredient: 1 package long grain white rice

Don’t cook rice in the traditional westernized manner. The problem with rice prepared the typical western way, is that it usually does cook up light and fluffy. But for Asian style sushi, you don’t want light and fluffy, you want gummy. For many the idea of rice being gummy is that someone doesn’t know how to cook rice. Gummy is the consistency needed to keep sushi from falling apart, keeping its sushi shape, and sticking to the seaweed like it’s supposed to.

Thoroughly remove bad grains of rice. After pouring your rice into a cooking pot, you will want to pick out any blemished grains of rice. I’m not sure if this part of the process really affects the consistency of the rice when it is cooked, but my mother without fail would spend as much time as it took to remove every single marred grain of rice. I know you don’t want to hurt my feelings and tell me my mom was doing it all wrong.

Next, you will need to repeatedly wash and rinse the rice. By repeatedly I mean, pour water into the pot and stir until the water turned milky white with starch. Pour out and do this process over and over until the water is clear. I volunteered once to wash and rinse the rice. I tired and quit short of the water being clear. After a stern rebuke from my mother, I washed and rinsed and washed and rinsed until the water was clear. Now that I’m older it makes me think about the movie, Karate Kid, where Mr. Miyagi had Daniel going wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off.

Take your pot and fill it with water to just above the level of the rice. Bring your water to a boil and then simmer. Be careful, rice prepared this way is easy to burn on the bottom of the pot. Once the water has cooked down you should have rice cooked the authentic Asian sushi way.


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