Originally Posted by McAwesome
Oooh, I love them Japanese food~ I want to know, what's the perfect ratio of water to rice? Oh, and also, how do you make sushi rice, cause I want to try making that.
Only short grain rice is used for sushi. It naturally results in the amount of "stickiness" that is so important to making proper Maki and nigiri.
Saying "Sushi Rice" is like saying "Is that your Automobile Car?" Sushi literally means; "Seasoned Rice", but most Westerners think of it as Sushi Rice, so I'll follow that format and refer to it as "Rice" from beginning to end. When you say "sushi rice" to a professional, they hear "Seasoned Rice Rice". Don't' let it bother you, they're used to it.
A couple of notes about sushi rice before you make it:
When you finally make it perfectly for you, and it sticks just like you love it and tastes *exactly* as you want it to taste, you'll want to remember precisely how you made it. Make sure you measure accurately and write down the exact measurements each time.
In Japan, it's not uncommon for a rookie sushi chef to spend their first year doing nothing but observing the previous years new chef make the rice for the day. Then spend his entire second year being the one who makes the rice each day.
It's important, VERY IMPORTANT, that the rice flavor and the neta flavor to blend perfectly! It the rice isn't sticky enough, the nigiri balls won't hold together and the rolls will fall apart in the customers hand. Yikes!
Let the rice soak in the water long enough so that the water reaches the innermost part of the grains. Suggested times for soaking are one hour in summer, two hours in winter, based on changes in humidity.
You specifically asked the ratio of water to rice, so here it is:
Sushi Rice (Sticky Rice): The weight of the dried rice x 1.30 - 1.35 (for example): Rice 3.6Kg(7.9lbs)
After soaked weight 4.6Kg(10.1lbs)=1kg(2.2lbs) of Water absorbed
3.6Kg x 1.30 = 4.68Kg(10.3lbs)(Total amount of water)
So, adding water is 4.68Kg - 1Kg = 3.68Kg(8.1lbs)
Rice cooked in hard water tends to be harder, but the quality of water does not pose specific problems unless it is of an extreme hardness. Any chlorine smell may be effectively removed with a water purifier.
Moisture distribution in the cooker is uneven immediately after cooking. By allowing time for the rice to settle, any extra moisture on the surface of the grain is evaporated, thus evening out the moisture content of each grain.
Gelatinization is incomplete unless the rice is kept at a temperature higher than 98°C, or about 210°F, for approximately 20 minutes.
When Adding Sushi Seasoning to the rice
Wet a wooden rice-cooling tub, or HANGIRI, and pour the cooked rice in it. Sprinkle Sushi Seasoning over the rice while hot (the temperature of the rice should be over 90°C, or about 190°F).
Fluff with a rice paddle, by moving it from the bottom up, to coat the rice evenly with vinegar. Quickly break up any chunks with the paddle to prevent clumps from forming.
Use a gentle cutting motion of the paddle, rather than mixing the rice into a paste. At the same time, fan it with a rice-cooling fan, or UCHIWA, to cool it down slightly. I use a clip-on electric fan about 8 inches in diameter clipped to a cupboard handle above the rice.
If the temperature of the rice is too low when adding Sushi Seasoning, the rice becomes sticky, forming hard-to-separate clumps. Furthermore, the rice loses its sheen and its surface becomes rough.
After cooking the rice, but before molding it into nigiri or Maki, It' important to cool it properly:
Cool the rice
It is important to cool the rice prior to molding, or forming the rice into various shapes. Control the cooling process to reduce the temperature 30° and 40°C (about 86° to 104°F).
High temperatures may cause water condensation in the rice container, leading to stickiness and discoloration of rice.
To avoid this, the rice should be slightly cooled to at least 60°C (132°F) prior to molding.
While there are as many recipes for sushi rice as there are chefs who make it, here is a general recipe to get you going:
Here is a recipe for making sushi rice. Japanese rice is short grain rice and gets slightly sticky when it is cooked. Long grain rice isn't proper for sushi because it is drier and doesn't stick together.
3 cups Japanese rice
3 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
the amounts of vinegar and sugar are increased or decreased for summer and winter when made by professionals and the seasonal amounts are carefully guarded by chefs. You'll have to find your own liking.
Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it with cold water. Repeat washing until the water becomes almost clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes. Place the rice in rice cooker and add water. Let the rice soak in the water at least 30 minutes. Start the cooker. When rice is cooked, let it steam for about 15 minutes.
Prepare sushi vinegar (sushi-zu) by mixing rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan. Put the pan on low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool the vinegar mixture.
Spread the hot steamed rice into a large plate or a large bowl. Please use a non-metallic bowl to prevent any interaction with rice vinegar. It's best to use a wooden bowl called sushi-oke. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold the rice by shamoji (rice spatula) quickly. Be careful not to smash the rice. To cool and remove the moisture of the rice well, use a fan as you mix sushi rice. This will give sushi rice a shiny look. It's best to use sushi rice right away.