Japanese rice (short-grain) 250 cc
Rice vinegar* approx. 15 cc
Salt 5 grams (or a large pinch)
White Granulated Sugar 20 grams
Water 250 ml
*White wine vinegar also works
A medium-sized tall metal pot you might use for boiling spaghetti noodles
Plastic or Rubber spatula
Flat dish or container about 30 cm (a ceramic casserole dish would be fine)
Hand fan or electric fan
Approx.. 30 minutes
Step 1: Prep the uncooked rice (5 minutes)
Put rice into pot and wash the rice by hand under running water, draining a few times to get rid of excess rice starch. After draining, put in the equivalent amount of water to rice (250 ml).
Step 2: Cook the rice (12 minutes)
Boil rice and water, covered, at high heat until the lid starts rattling around from the escaping steam. Immediately reduce heat to low and continue to boil covered for 11-12 minutes. Caution: Avoid using a pot with an air-tight lid that clamps in place to avoid a violent steam explosion.
Tip: Avoid removing lid until time is up or rice may be undercooked.
After boiling for 11-12 minutes, the water should be gone and the rice should be steamed through. Remove the pot’s cover (be careful of the steam). Your rice should be firm but not hard, and at the same time soft, but not mushy.
Tip: If your rice is watery, then it might not have cooked long enough or too much water was added before heating. If your rice is dry or has stuck to the sides of your pot, you didn’t add enough water or cooked for too long. Expect some sticking to occur.
Step 3: Prepare your vinegar mixture (1 minute)
While your rice is cooking, put the vinegar and remaining dry ingredients into a cereal bowl and heat in a microwave on high for about 30 seconds, stirring well afterwards to dissolve the dry ingredients. Set aside until rice is finished cooking.
Tip: If your local grocery store has premade sushi vinegar, that would be just as good and save you the hassle of making it yourself.
Step 4: Toss the rice (5-7 minutes)
Unlike a salad, tossing Japanese steamed rice requires one to be delicate. Take your spatula and “slice” into the rice in vertical arced strokes – this is meant to prevent your rice from being pulverized (from simply stirring) as well as helps cool the rice grains. Do this a few times in the pot before transferring the rice to the flat dish.
Once you’ve moved your cooked rice to your flat dish, add half of your prepared vinegar by pouring it over your spatula so as to coat the rice more evenly. Turn on your electric fan and aim it at your rice. Alternatively, have someone fan it with a magazine or whatever is handy. While being fanned, toss your rice once again, this time, aiming to have every grain of rice coated with vinegar. It’s also acceptable to gently scoop and fold the rice over itself, while taking care not to mash. When you think it’s well coated, try a few grains for tasting, and if the flavor is not robust enough, add more of the remaining vinegar mixture a bit at a time until you are satisfied with the taste.
That’s it! You can serve right away or cover and save it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but there is nothing better than freshly prepared sushi rice.