Eating sushi is one of the best gastronomic experiences one can ever have. And it’s understandable why sometimes we just want to create our version of this favorite food. Creating your sushi rice can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start. We will share with you a quick tutorial on how to make sushi rice in a rice cooker.
Ingredients in Sushi Rice
Before we start teaching you how to make sushi rice in a rice cooker, here are some of the ingredients necessary to make your sushi rice. The first one that you need is your rice.
Short Grain Rice
The type of rice you need to make the best sushi rice is short-grain rice. This type of rice is commonly used in Asian cuisine because of its innate stickiness. Some brands name their short grain rice as sushi rice, but it can be misleading. This is still just short-grain rice, and you still need to add something to make it sushi rice.
The next ingredient that we need is rice vinegar. This is what makes your rice sushi rice. Rice vinegar adds the necessary sour flavor for it to be called sushi rice. Sushi literally means sour flavor.
Historically, Japanese people preserve their fish by storing them in fermented rice to prolong their shelf life. As time goes by, they change it to rice with added vinegar, and they found out that the rice taste good, so they decided to eat the rice too.
Salt can be added to the sushi rice mixture. This will add more flavor to your rice. If you want additional umami flavor to your sushi rice, try adding kombu or sea kelp. Adding kombu will level up the flavor of your sushi rice, and it will also enhance the flavor of your sushi filling.
Tools for Making Sushi Rice
Before we teach you the steps on how to make sushi rice in a rice cooker, you also need to gather the tools necessary. The first thing you need is a rice cooker. Rice can be cooked in a basic pot with a lid, but a rice cooker makes it a lot easier. You don’t have to monitor the rice from time to time, and it also prevents overcooking.
Some brands have sushi rice measurements on the cooking pot, and they also have a sushi rice setting, so that can be a big help and can guide you in choosing the proper rice cooker for you. Another factor in helping you decide which rice cooker to get is the size. If you don’t see yourself cooking large quantities of rice, you can choose a small or medium-sized rice cooker.
You can also invest in some plastic/wooden spatulas or wooden spoons. Use this instead of using a metal spoon or spatula. This will prevent any damages to your rice cooker pot. A flat, wide bowl is also advisable for better mixing of the ingredients. Lastly, it would help if you had a damp towel for the cooling process. Some people use the uchiwa or traditional Japanese fan to help cool the rice down.
Steps on How to Make Sushi Rice
Once you have gathered all the ingredients and tools you need for making the sushi rice, you are now ready to learn how to make sushi rice in a rice cooker.
Wash the Rice
The first thing to do is to wash the rice. First, measure four cups of short-grain rice using the measuring cup included with the rice cooker. Place it in the rice cooker pot and start washing the rice. Use cold water when washing the rice. Using hot water may result in unnecessary changes to your rice.
When washing rice, do not overfill the pot. Fill it just enough to cover all rice grains. After washing it, dump the water, then rinse it again. Do this step two to three times. You can use your hands to prevent the rice from spilling when dumping the water. Others use strainer, but it’s unnecessary. Just tip it a bit to prevent the rice from falling.
Cook the Rice in the Rice Cooker
After you washed the rice two to three times, it’s now time to cook your rice. Check the measurement in the rice cooker pot to measure the amount of water needed for the rice to be cooked properly. As mentioned before, some rice cookers have separate sushi rice measurements. Follow that measurement for a better texture.
After adding enough water, wipe the sides and bottom of the rice cooker pot and place it inside the rice cooker. Select the right settings for your cooking. If you have a basic rice cooker, just press the switch down to start cooking. Since we are cooking with the rice cooker, you don’t have to monitor the cooking time. Just wait for the alarm or if you are using a basic one, wait for the switch to pop up.
Add the Vinegar
Once the rice is done cooking, it is time to add the flavorings we need. Take out the rice using your plastic or wooden spatulas or spoons to avoid scratching the rice cooker pot. Place it in the wide mixing bowl so it will be easier to cool down.
Add the rice vinegar to your rice and mix it well but gently. Avoid breaking the rice grains for a better texture. This is also the time to add in your kombu or salt if you decide to add some.
After mixing it thoroughly, place the damp towel above to speed up the cooling process. If you are using the uchiwa for cooling, ask someone for help to fan the rice while you are mixing it. That’s it, and your sushi rice is done!
The steps on how to make sushi rice in a rice cooker can be hard, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier. Try doing this in your home to experience homemade sushi with amazing flavor. This will save you a lot of money instead of ordering sushi from high-class Japanese restaurants. Get more homemade recipes.