Rice is the basis of Japanese cuisine and, above all, of the preparation of sushi, a dish based on raw fish and rice, which is also very popular all over the world. It's a dish that has now become fashionable but has very ancient origins. In the past it was in fact a way to store fish, which was placed between layers of cooked rice mixed with rice vinegar. This improved the fermentation of the fish, allowing it to be stored longer. The first step to make this dish, however, is the preparation of rice for sushi. It is a starchy rice with a short grain, which you can possibly replace with roma rice. Once ready it will need to be seasoned with sushizu, a vinaigrette made with rice vinegar, granulated sugar and fine salt that will give the rice some aroma and the right "stickiness". So let’s see all the steps to make perfect sushi rice.
Put the rice in a bowl with cold water and let it soak for about ten minutes, mix it with your fingers so that the grains lose the starch. Then rinse the rice and drain it several times, until the water is transparent. It is a long but necessary operation.
Transfer the rice to a saucepan, add the water, which must exceed the rice by at least 2 centimeters and cover with a lid, preferably transparent. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and let it cook for another 12 minutes, without ever lifting the lid. As soon as all the water has collected, remove the pot from the heat and let it rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Now prepare the dressing. Put the vinegar, granulated sugar and fine salt in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Put the rice in a wooden or plastic bowl, pour the sauce over it and mix with a wooden spoon. Cover with a damp cotton cloth and let it rest at room temperature.
Your sushi rice is ready to use.
– You can increase or decrease the amount of rice vinegar according to your preferences. On sale you will find both plain vinegar rice and seasoned vinegar rice; just prefer the first one, otherwise you will then have to adjust differently for the quantities of sugar and salt.
– If you can't find sushi rice, then choose another short grain rice such as roma rice.
– To speed up the preparation you can prepare the rice for sushi in a rice cooker, or Japanese electric pot. It will carry out all the steps and you will get a perfectly cooked rice.
You can also make sushi rice in advance, in the morning or the day before. Once ready, let it cool and store it in the refrigerator. Take it out for at least a couple of hours before using it, as it will need to be at room temperature.