Monday, June 4, 2012

Sushi Rice

Vegans need to reclaim a few words ("meat" among them, which simply used to differentiate between solid food versus liquid drink, and had no bearing on animal flesh).  "Sushi" is another; it actually refers to the seasoned rice, not the seafood. Raw fish or meat by itself is sashimi, so we won't be making any of that on this blog!  Over the next few nights, I intend to play around with a sushi bamboo mat for the first time.  To start though, I need to give you the most basic building block: the sushi rice.

  • 4 cups uncooked short-grain rice*
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup organic seasoned rice vinegar
1. Combine the water and rice in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until most but not quite all of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.

2. Spoon the rice into a large bowl, and gently stir in the rice vinegar with a spoon.  Make sure to use a wooden spoon or specially made sushi paddle; a metallic spoon will impact the flavor of the fermented rice.  Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

At this point, the rice will be best shaped into sushi rolls (such as maki or temaki) soon, so that the rice stays sticky.  Try to avoid preparing and chilling the rice too far in advance.

Since I was just trying the rice out on its own tonight, however, I topped with a vegetable stir-fry.

*You may even find this labeled "sushi rice" rather than short-grain rice.  If you have leftover uncooked rice, try my Sushi-Rice Salad.

Nutrition Info:
20 servings (1/2 cup), Calories 137 

Tasting Notes:
Almost overwhelmingly tangy and sticky when eaten on its own.  However, I'm well aware that is not how this rice is meant to be eaten.  If you don't want to take all the time to roll sushi, however, it works just fine topped with a mix of stir-fried vegetables or tofu - anything that cuts the strong taste of the vinegar and the very sticky texture.  Do stay tuned for my adventures in rolling sushi. 


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