Power of sushi is taste and simplicity
Power of sushi is taste and simplicity
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Two methods on how to cook | make sushi rice #4

July 11th, 2007 by sushi

First method. Bring rice and water to the boil on medium high heat with the lid OFF; be careful not to let rice to boil over. Stir with rice paddle, and turn down heat very low. Place lid on pan. Cook the rice for 15 to 20 minutes.

Second method. Bring rice and water to the boil on medium heat with the lid ON. As soon as you see that the rice begins to boil, lower the heat and cook the rice for 15 to 20 minutes.

So how do you know when the rice is ready? Since it is your first or may be fifth time, don’t worry to take off the lid and taste the rice. Many website say that it is important to keep the lid closed all the way to the end, until 15-20 minutes pass, but how will you know if it is enough or not. So take off the lid and taste the rice. The rice should not be dry inside, it should be soft. Only this way you will know how much more you do need to cook the rice. If the rice is not ready yet, make sure that you put back the lid ON. If the rice is ready, turn off the heat and let the rice stay in the saucepan for about 10 to 20 minutes. I prefer to keep it for 10 minutes in the saucepan with lid on and then open the lid and let it stay for three or four minutes without it. This strategy doesn’t damage the rice in any way and the rice doesn’t lose anything whatever others may say.

burned sushi rice

On the picture is shown the burned side of the rice. Here I already removed the cooked rice. As you can see, it is very easy to burn the rice. It shouldn’t be hard to separate burned and not burned rice.

Now, take out the cooked rice and put it into a large non-metallic bowl, I use plastic bowl. (wonder why non-metallic?) Now you will need Rice Vinegar. Forget all those recipes on make it yourself; just buy a bottle of sushi rice vinegar. I use Mitsukan and just in case if it runs out I have Thai rice vinegar for back up.

sushi rice vinegar

Even though they are different, you won’t fill the difference. Sprinkle the rice vinegar over the rice.

IMPORTANT! Don’t put too much Vinegar. Two to three tablespoons will be enough, four is MAX. If you put too much, the rice will become sour and you will have to start over.

mixing vinegar with sushi rice

To spread the vinegar evenly through the rice, slide the rice paddle down the side of the bowl, lift and fold the rice. Slowly cut through the rice with the edge of the paddle and fold the rice. OK! Here don’t overdo. Stop, when you will feel that the rice became harder to fold. It is important to do this process as soon as you have moved the rice from the saucepan to the bowl. When you are done; cover the bowl with a cotton towel and let the rice to cool to between body and room temperature.

cover sushi rice with a towel

Now you are ready to make sushi.

Key points Summary:

  • To prevent too much water evaporation; make sure the lid is tight when using a saucepan.
  • Carefully and accurately measure rice and water ingredients.
  • Don’t overcook or undercook your rice.
  • When water begins to boil, turn the heat to low and keep the lid on.

In Japanese restaurants instead of plastic bowl they use a special flat-bottomed wooden bowl called a Hangiri, as it soaks up any excess vinegar and assists in the rice cooling process.

Japanese sushi rice bowl

So by some Japanese mystery it gives the rice something, some legendary taste, my guess. Anyway, fanning the rice while folding in the vinegar may give the rice a nice sheen, but I can honestly say when I have tried this rice showed no significant benefit. However it is authentic and fun to do this.

What are basic ingredients for sushi making #5

Posted in Sushi Rice Recipe | 41 Comments »

41 Responses

  1. sushi Says:

    If you like my Sushi making guide please leave a comment. I’m ego to hear from you.

  2. Amanda Says:

    Your site is wonderful! But, it is a little hard to navigate and go back to an article, once you’ve left the site and returned. I was wondering, though, if it is okay to cook the rice in the rice bowl of a vegetable steamer. That’s how we cook all of our rice, but I didn’t know if it would make a difference with the sushi rice.

  3. sushi Says:

    You can cook the rice in the steamer. I have never done it before, but I don’t see a big problem in doing so. Try getting the rice to the finished state. Like I have said, make sure it is soft inside. I think the cooking guide for rice that came with your steamer will do fine for sushi rice. Cooking is all about trying, the more you try the better you get. You could try cooking in the saucepan to see the difference.

    By the way, I want to make my website more user friendly. I have put all the links in Sushi Making Guide, but i’m always glad to hear how to better optimize the site.

    Thank you,

  4. Amanda Says:

    Oh, I see that now! Perfect, thanks!

  5. Amanda Says:

    My sushi turned out great! (I need a lot more practice, of course) Thanks so much for such a wonderful website! I do have one more question, though. A friend of mine mentioned that an Asian friend of hers makes rice on Sunday, stores in at room temperature in a sealed container, and uses it all week. Is that safe? If so, do you mix the vinegar in before storing or wait until you’re about to use it?

  6. sushi Says:

    Hello, Amanda.

    I’m glad that you got everything done. I’m sure your sushi will
    improve in no time.

    As for storing the rice – Yes, you could do that. However, when you store the rice it becomes hard / firm. Also, you will notice that stored rice has a bit different taste. I see no problem in storing the rice for one or two days in a sealed container, but remember that the rice could turn sour depending on the room temperature. Hint – never use a fridge – it will kill your rice even in a sealed container. Same goes for sushi.

    As for the vinegar – you mix vinegar right after you have cooked the rice.

    Thank you,

  7. venushalley Says:

    so you don’t put sugar in the vinegar?

  8. sushi Says:

    No, I don’t. The method where you have to use sugar is old and it was used to prepare sushi vinegar. Don’t bother with it, just buy prepared sushi venegar bottle.

  9. baduk Says:

    I don’t have a suitable saucepan at home and I’m using the normal rice cooker to cook the rice. But I’m not sure how much water do i have to add to a certain amount suitable amount of water do we have to add to make sure that the rice is not overcooked or undercooked? And when it comes to the rice being soft in the middle, will the rice become very sticky?

  10. shodan Says:

    I donโ€™t have a suitable saucepan at home and Iโ€™m using the normal rice cooker to cook the rice. But Iโ€™m not sure how much water do i have to add to a certain amount of rice. What is the suitable amount of water do we have to add to make sure that the rice is not overcooked or undercooked usually? And when it comes to the rice being soft in the middle, will the rice become very sticky?

  11. sushi Says:

    It is hard to tell.
    Every rice cooker has it’s manual.
    You can search for the manual of your rice cooker model on the net. Otherwise you can use simple 1 to 1 formula. For beginers : It is better to overcook or burn the rice a little. It can be removed later.

  12. denisk Says:

    Do you recommend 2-4 tablespoons of vinegar for each cup of rice or for 2 cups (as on the previous pages)?

    I’m a bit confused since the Kikkoman bottle label reads 3 tablespoons for each cup of cooked rice.

  13. sushi Says:

    for 500 grams of rice you will need about 2-4 tablespoons of vinegar. It is more about how the rice will taste. When you add the vinegar to cooked rice you do have to taste the rice. 4 tablespoons of vinegar for 500 grams of rice is a MAX. (you might add more) but don’t add more than that. When you will mix the vinegar into rice, you will feel the aroma of vinegar. It is quite strong at first, but when you taste the rice it might not be as strong as it smells. Here you will think that you didn’t add enough vinegar, but don’t get confused.
    If you add more you will just kill the rice – making it too sour. If you got more questions, please let me know! I will gladly help you to improve your sushi.
    Please tell me which part is confusing – I will edit it so that everyone will understand it.
    Thank you.

  14. denisk Says:

    Thank you for the reply!

    I believe that it would have helped me if you had once more given the amount of rice when you make your suggestions about how much vinegar should be added.

    However, as it is given on the previous page, I am not sure that anything needs to be changed.

  15. Maxwin Says:

    dang haven’t tried to make sushi for couple of years now. Think this will be my kickstart!

  16. Tanya Says:

    I would like to make the sushi rice for myself. That means I can use 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of water, and 1 tablesppon of vinegar? Please let me know, thanks!

  17. aldo Says:

    Hey man, thanks for the tips, really good explanation. I really thought that the rice was the most important part of sushi, but I was wrong, the process is the most important part. I did sushi once, and it was not very good, that’s why I started to search a site, I have to go, rice is cooking…

  18. j\katie Says:

    i was told by a person makink sushi that you should use vinegar ,lemon and sugar ,what is your take on that?

  19. Daka Says:

    Nice guide ๐Ÿ™‚ I personally make both sweet and standard vinegar’d rice. I use mirin in place of sugar though for the sweet. Lemon is usually not used for sushi rice (but some sashimi, dressings and dipping sauces).

    Note on personal experience of vinegars, the darker jap rice vinegar is best (like mitsukan). It’s made from soured sake as opposed to distilled vinegar made from rice (like other asian vinegar). Also mitsukan comes in several varieties, one plain vinegar and ready seasoned ones that need no extra sugar/salt. However the seasoned is a little too salty for the types I make.

    Side note on the burned rice, you can make rice tea with it like some Japanese with traditional rice cookers do. Not exactly great for you eating burned stuff but it taste good enough.

  20. Ed Means Says:

    Thank you I dearly love sushi but everytime I have tried it was a total failure. I’ll go down and get some sushi rice and vinegar tomorrow and see how it works out. Thanks again

  21. ivy Says:

    hello… i would love to try and make sushi but we don’t have any Japanese rice available in our local market… is there any rice substitute for it?

  22. Rhonda Says:

    It worked! Thanks

  23. Benjamin Says:

    This is a wonderful site. Great information, made some awesome sushi. Thank you!

  24. kristen Says:

    Thanks so much for all the in-depth and friendly words of wisdom. I just made the best sushi of my life thanks to you! Oh, and the pictures of the roll-making process were great!

  25. Emma Says:

    I made sushi for the first time yesterday using your guide and it was a great success! I used a rice cooker which is meant for sushi rice which was a great help. 1 cup of rice, 1.5 cups of water and 1 tbs of vinegar. I didnt want to over do the vinegar so Im going to add more gradually.
    Excellent guide! Thank you!

  26. Neepa Kapadia Says:

    Thank you for the rice-making tips…turned out perfectly!

  27. Fay Says:

    That is the best site I foud I lerned allot. The pitures are grate. I would like to know if I can prepare the sush and rol it but not cut it and keep it in refrigerator and cut it the other day for the gusts.I like to know if it woukd be as fresh as I make it in the same day.Is there any way I can learn?.

    Thanks for lelp

    Regards Fay

  28. sushi Says:

    You will lose your sushi. Rice loses its softness when keeping it in the cold condition. It will be eatable, but not as good. If you order sushi and they are cold, you got ripped off.

  29. Diana Says:

    Thanks a lot. Very well explained. Have just read about the rice making will go through how to make the sushi too. My daughters favourite. hence decided to learn the receipe. Am glad have come to the right site for sushi. God Bless.

  30. Mint Says:

    Could you please send me the crab meat recipes and the things need to make?

  31. arsiekdhol Says:

    If I have 1 kilo not cooked rice how many ml vinegare should I use?
    was it 250 ml for 500gr rice or 250 ml for 1 kilo rice?




  33. Philani Says:

    Mmmh, l am really loving your tips.

  34. hazel Says:

    thank you for the rice making tips! I love the way you write!

  35. Reinhardt Says:

    I followed your steps in making the rice and it came out perfectly! I didnt even burn one piece ๐Ÿ˜€
    Made the lady happy and my stomach full ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thanks so much man!

  36. kimnuj Says:

    can i use the ordinary rice? if yes, how will i make it to be sticky enough for the sushi. can i soak it before i cook the rice? please let me know maam, i didnt have any idea how to do it.


  37. sushi Says:

    please read the first post about the rice. I have explained very welll what rice is good.

  38. sushi Says:

    one soup spoon.

  39. sushi Says:

    well, I bought it in the store. I don’t make it myself.

  40. beginner Says:

    so just to clarify. . . i can make my sushi rice, add the vinegar, wrap/cover it well and leave it at room temp?
    thanks so much!
    great site!

  41. Oleg Says:

    Thank You for the time and effort You put into this website. I find it amazingly helpful. The first time I tried cooking rice following Your recipe, it turned out GREAT. Keep up the good work! And again THANKS!!!

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