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Thread: sushi rice - 'lil help

  1. #21
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    You are simply using too much water. The extra few minutes cooking for the extra water absorption is causing your problem.

    Always 1:1
    Boil heavy
    Simmer 10
    Rest 10
    Eat immediately, or spread out on a wood board or large bowl to cool.

    Seems simple, but in traditional Japanese sushi houses, the new guy may spend weeks only doing rice, and watching....
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
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  2. #22
    Senior Member la2tokyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NO ChoP! View Post
    You are simply using too much water.
    Correct. Way too much water. The amount of water is by far the most important thing in making sushi rice. There is no +/- or "about" when doing it properly. I measure water to the gram and write it down every time I make it throughout the day to make sure that I control the amount of moisture, as the humidity and the dryness of the rice makes a huge difference. We generally use about 90% of the volume of the rice in water, so about .9 cups of water per cup of rice. If you are only making a couple cups you can bring it up to 1:1 because you lose a larger percentage of water to evaporation when you make a small amount. If it's new crop rice 1:1 is definitely too much water. Sushi rice is usually made a little harder than regular rice, and the vinegar will add moisture later, so it should be a little firm.

    Cooking rice on the stove takes practice. Use the heaviest pot you have. Cover it and put it on high heat until it's boiling and foaming on the edges of the lid. Do not open it or stir it. Turn down to med-low and simmmer until all the water is gone, about 15 min. Leave covered for 15 minutes. Under no circumstances can you take the lid off until the entire process is finished. The steam is indispensable in cooking Japanese rice - once you let it out you cannot get it back, and you will not have enough heat to finish steaming properly.

    As soon as you are done, put the rice in the mixing container while it is still hot. Do not use anything that conducts heat quickly or lets the vinegar pool in the middle. I think for home use a glass baking dish would probably be best. Mix in the vinegar and break up the lumps with as little handling of the rice as possible. The more you mix it, the more starch you will release, and the gloppier the finished product will be. I do not recommend fanning sushi rice when you are making it home. Heat control is extremely important, and losing the heat too fast will ruin the rice. Do not spread it out thinner than two inches thick or it will cool too fast. We fan the rice to make it glossy, not necessarily to cool it down, but we make such a large amount that even if we do fan, it it's still hot enough to burn after ten minutes out of the pot. When you make a large amount of rice it stays hot while it absorbs the vinegar, but when you do it at home you risk letting it cool before the vinegar is absorbed, which results in a gloppy mess. That is the main problem with making sushi rice at home - the amount of rice is too small to retain enough heat to cool slowly. After mixing, turn it over and cut it VERY lightly again after about ten minutes - just enough to break up huge chunks. You are better off not cutting it at all than mixing it too much at this point. Let it sit for another ten minutes. At this point it should sill be fairly warm. I shoot for a cooling rate at which I can put my fingers in the middle at this point and not be uncomfortable - 20 minutes after mixing. It should be warmer than your body, but not so hot you have to pull out your fingers. Now put it in an insulated container for at least thirty minutes. Over an hour is best. We shoot for 90 minutes to two hours. At that point it should be just above body temperature. When you put it in the container it will still be difficult to work with because it's still wet and sticky. After it sits, the moisture gets absorbed and it's not sticky on the surface. Good sushi rice easily forms a ball when you squeeze it but doesn't leave a syrupy film on your hand after you touch it. There is no way to rush it.

    Practice a couple thousand times and it will be as easy as pie!

  3. #23
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the detailed response, L2T.

    Do you rinse your rice? If so, how much?
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  4. #24
    Senior Member la2tokyo's Avatar
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    Yes just wash it a two or three times in cold water. As soon as the rice is submerged the first time move the rice around a little and dump the water immediately. All the stuff you want to get rid of will be absorbed into the rice if you let the first rinse water soak for more than a few seconds. The water should be almost clear after the last time. Agitate it lightly, but dont scrub so hard that you risk breaking the grains. If you are rinsing in a strainer be especially careful because they get stuck halfway in the holes and break in half easily when you push across them.

  5. #25
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    cool thnx
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  6. #26
    much more awesomer
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    I was just stopping by to post similar questions!

    No gloppiness here, just curious for any and all tips and hints. Thanks!

    Now, Rick, what about that su recipe?
    Francesco
    Unskilled flunky

  7. #27
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    3 parts rice wine vinegar
    1 part mirin or sake
    2 parts sugar
    1 part salt

    I use roughly a 10 to 1 ratio of rice to su.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
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  8. #28
    much more awesomer
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    Strangely, my mirin is missing so I upped the sugar to three parts and threw in a konbu piece to steep a bit.

    I think I may invest in a hinogi hangiri after cursing at my glass casserole again. Hopefully this one is back in stock by the time the next urge strikes: http://www.amazon.com/Kotobuki-Hangi.../dp/B00462R93Y

    ETA: my first-ever attempt at nigiri was actually quite good. Nothing fancy, just maguro and sake, highlighted by my first use of real wasabi -- there is NO comparison! Next time I'll source already-trimmed fish (not interested in making tartare from the scraps) and make them a bit smaller, but otherwise these were really pretty good.
    Francesco
    Unskilled flunky

  9. #29
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThEoRy View Post
    3 parts rice wine vinegar
    1 part mirin or sake
    2 parts sugar
    1 part salt

    I use roughly a 10 to 1 ratio of rice to su.
    What are you using for rice wine vinegar & mirin?

    The only rice wine vinegar I can find in my Asian markets in Denver is the Marukan stuff, and the only mirin I can find is the Kikkoman & Mitsukan stuff, which is primarily corn syrup. The markets in Denver cater to primarily Vietnamese/South East Asian and Chinese folks; very little "authentic" Japanese ingredients available.
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpukas View Post
    What are you using for rice wine vinegar & mirin?

    The only rice wine vinegar I can find in my Asian markets in Denver is the Marukan stuff, and the only mirin I can find is the Kikkoman & Mitsukan stuff, which is primarily corn syrup. The markets in Denver cater to primarily Vietnamese/South East Asian and Chinese folks; very little "authentic" Japanese ingredients available.
    Mitsukan or Marukan for rice vinegars are fine; just don't buy the "seasoned" rice vinegar if you're going to use Rick's recipe. As for mirin, look for "hon-mirin." Try looking for Takara - it's generally available in the Western US.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

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