Sushi is not sushi if it is not prepared using the right grains. Using the wrong grain to make this meal will result in a bad end product. That is why it is important that you use the right cereal when preparing this meal. Considering that there are so many different kinds of rice in the market, it can be quite confusing to know what to go for. Therefore, if you are wondering What is the best rice for sushi? Then read on to find out more about this Japanese cuisine.
What is sushi rice called?
This term refers to a Japanese grain that has been flavored using vinegar based spices. It is specifically used for making sushi.
However, this does not mean that all Japanese grain is sushi grain The grain that is used to make regular meals in Japan is usually cooked in a plain way and is eaten together with curry. It is only when this grain is being used to make sushi that it gets flavored with vinegar seasoning.
This grain is sometimes referred to as Japanese, glutinous or pearl rice.
The term sushi grain is a term that is often used outside Japan, as it refers the main purpose it is used for. However, no one refers to it like that in Japan, since it is considered as plain grain that can be used to make a variety of other dishes as well. It is only referred to as sushi once it is seasoned with vinegar.
Different types of grain?
There are different types of grains. These are divided into 3 major categories:
- Long grain – It is often characterised by the lengthy nature of its grains. It’s length is about 4 times longer than its width. It is firm after being cooked and is not sticky. Examples of long grained varieties includes Jasmine, Mexican and Basmati type.
- Short grain – The length of the grain is almost the same as its width. The grains clump together after being cooked, but they do not become mushed up. This starch content is high as compared to regular grain.
- Medium grain – It tends to become sticky and chewy after being cooked. It’s length is about 2-3 times longer than its width. Examples of this kind of grain includes Chinese and Bomba variety.
The main type of cereal used in Japan is the short grain. This is the:Japanese short grain Japanese sweet cereal
The Japanese short grain is what is used to make this meal and to cook day to day Japanese dishes. Japanese sweet cereal is often used to cook sweet meals and wagashi sweets. The specific uses of these cereals cannot be interchanged.
Japanese grain is short, round and translucent. It gets sticky as a result of a high starch and moisture content. This sticky nature is one of the key things that makes good sushi.
Is there a difference between sushi rice and regular rice?
This cereal is often classified into different varieties depending on various factors. But the main category is the grain size as being long, short or medium sized.It can also be classified by the color of the cereal, such as white or brown cereal.
Fiber content is also used to classify the cereal. Brown cereal has a high fiber content. It is not ideal for making this meal because of its strong taste that can overpower the taste of other ingredients in the recipe. In addition, brown cereal still remains firm even after cooking it, making it hard to roll it up in a sushi roll.
What differentiates this grain from regular cereals is that this cereal is short grained and has a high starch content that causes it to be sticky. It is this sticky nature that comes in handy when making sushi rolls, as it makes the rolls stick together. Vinegar, salt and sugar is then added to this cereal to enhance its flavor.
On the other hand, regular cereal refers to a large category of this grain, including both long grained and short grained varieties.
Do not make this meal using regular cereal. Use short grained Japanese (Japonica) variety. The sticky nature of Japonica cereal after it has been cooked makes it easy to pick it up with chopsticks, when eating.
Is it sticky grain?
Even though this cereal is sticky after being cooked, it is not sticky grain. When it is seasoned with vinegar, it becomes more sticky and helps to hold together the ingredients. Sticky rice, on the other hand is cultivated in South East Asian countries. It is also referred to as sweet cereal. It becomes quite sticky after it has been cooked and such that it becomes glued to your fingers, when touched.
Should you rinse sushi rice?
Japanese cereal usually has a starchy powder. Since Japan tends to be hot and humid during summer, the starchy powder is applied on the grains of rice to prevent them from sticking together. It also helps the rice to last longer. Wash your rice before cooking it to get rid of this starch.
If not washed properly, this starchy powder can prevent the rice from properly absorbing the sushi-su, which means that the sushi you prepare will not be perfect.
Washing the rice also prevents the rice from becoming gummy and clumping together. After being washed, the rice will become fluffier after being cooked
To rinse the rice, place it in a container and fill it with water until all the rice has been covered. Use your hands to swish around the water, before draining it off. Repeat this process 2-3 times until the water becomes clear.
Is Jasmine rice good for sushi?
You might think that any cereal should be good enough for making this meal. However, this is not the case. Jasmine is quite a common cereal. That is why a lot of people experiment with it and try to use it to make this recipe. However, it is not recommended to use Jasmine cereal to make this cuisine. This is because of its dry nature and the fact that it remains firm after being cooked. Moreover, it will not give you the right flavor that is necessary for this meal.
In addition, Jasmine is a long grained rice, meaning that it does not have adequate starch content that is useful in holding sushi rolls together.
The Japanese cereal is different from long grained cereal including Jasmine. It’s sticky and liquid nature is what helps to provide a good end product.
Given that you can easily find Japanese cereal online and buy it, there is no reason as to why you should substitute it with Jasmine. What’s more, you can use the Japanese cereal to cook your day to day dishes. Japanese grain can also be bought from Japanese stores or Asian stores.
But what about if you are in a hurry to make a meal but you can’t find Japanese grain?
The best thing would be for you to avoid using Jasmine or any long grained cereal for that matter. Authentic cuisine can only be made using short grained Japanese cereal. Therefore, the best substitute would be for you to use a short grained cereal as a substitute.
Medium grained variety can also act as a substitute. In fact, Calrose grain has often been used in some Japanese restaurants. This is due to its sticky nature and its moderate flavor.
Which particular brand should you buy?
There are many brands of Japanese short cereals. What you go for will be based on your preferences. The key characteristics to be on the lookout for when choosing which brand to buy includes:The freshness of the grainIts smell-It should have a nice fragranceIts shininessIts sweetness
You can try out a few brands and compare their quality, before settling on a favorite brand.
Essential tips for purchase and storage
When buying Japanese cereal, the fresher it is the better. Preferably go for grain that has been harvested, processed and put up for sale within the same year. New crop has a higher starch content as compared to older crop. Ideally, use it within 6 months to 1 year of harvesting.
Buy it in small quantities, so that you can use it up quickly.
Store your cereal in a cool, dark place, away from humidity and high temperatures.
Store the rice in an airtight container to keep it moist and fresh.
This cuisine is gaining popularity at a fast rate. Once you try it, you are likely to get hooked. What creates a good recipe is using the right cereal to cook it along with the right sushi making kit. Using the wrong grain can turn your culinary experience into a disaster.
The cereal used plays a big role in determining whether you end up with a great cuisine or a bad cuisine. That is why it is important that you use the right grain to prepare this meal. A great cereal has the right texture, it will give off the right flavor and it will be sticky enough to hold the sushi roll together.