Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sashimi is thinly sliced, raw seafood. Many different kinds of fish (and other types of seafood) are served raw in the Japanese cuisine. Of course, the fish has to be as fresh as possible. Sashimi can be eaten just as sashimi or as nigiri zushi, in which case the sashimi piece is put on top of a small ball of sushi Making great sushi starts with making great rice. Sometimes called Pearl rice, Glutinous rice or Japanese rice, Sushi rice is the most important ingredient in your sushi. Without well-cooked and well-dressed grains of rice, the best-laid sushi plans can turn into a disaster. It is essential that you use the correct variety of rice when making sushi to ensure that perfect consistency and adhesive quality so integral to good sushi. When the rice is of high caliber, the sushi will be too.
High quality sushi rice will have very few (if any) broken rice grains, so avoid over-processing the rice. Broken grains lead to a "mushy sushi" that is very disappointing. The sticky consistency should NOT come from overcooked or overworked rice. The rice is sticky because of an indispensable starch content and the addition of a mixture of rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt.
The Sushi Rice Recipe
3 cups Japanese Sushi Rice
3 1/4 Cups Cold Water
1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
Wash Rice in cold water until the water runs almost clear. This may take a few minutes. Once water runs semi-clear, drain rice of any excess water and add 3 1/4 cups water. Add enough water to cover the rice and so that the water comes up to the first knuckle on your index finger if your touching the rice with the tip of your finger
I recommend using a rice cooker at this point so that the rice comes out consistently. But if you choose to cook it on the stove then........ Bring the water and rice to a boil and cover with a lid. Once you put a lid on the pan reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes. It is VERY IMPORTANT not to lift the lid during this last 10 minutes. The rice is STILL COOKING, even though the heat is off.
While the rice is cooking heat the rice vinear, sugar and salt in a pan until dissolved. Remove from heat as soon as sugar and salt has dissolved.
When rice is done, put rice in large bowl. Slowly add the vinegar mixture in to the rice while mixing the rice with a wooden spoon or spatula. The goal is to fold the mixture into the rice. You DON'T want to make mushy rice. The rice should stay as individual rice grains and not a glutenous blob. Another tip for making sushi rice is to let the steam (water) come out of the rice fast by mixing near a fan or open window. The breeze will allow the water to come out of the rice while adding the flavor from the vinegar mixture. Store sushi rice at room temperature covered with a damp towel. This will keep the rice from drying out.