Preparing the sushi rice might look complicated and pedantic at first, but as you go along with it you might notice that it's just like making ordinary rice, only with rice vinegar added to it, and a bit of Japanese methodology.
I've de-complicated the requirements into five simple steps:
[justify]Wouldn't you say that the Japanese have already thought of everything? Well, they did. They even made a special rice for sushi, they call it "shari", some folks simply call it "sushi rice". And they even took the time and effort to make it round, so that you can find it easily in the supermarket. Here is how a bag of sushi rice should look like.
Measuring and preparing the rice
Wash the rice (1 cup = 3 rolls) with running water for 1-2 minutes until there is no more starch coming out of it. After you are done washing, take the rice and place it gently in a pot, add a little bit more water than rice ( the ratio is about 1.15:1 in favor of the water). Don't put too much water, or you'll get dough instead of rice.
Cooking the rice[/justify]
[justify]The rice should be cooked on high heat at first, stir every minute or two, until the water boils. Then, lower the heat to minimum and cover the pot. Stop stirring, the rice will handle itself from now. Why? That is just the Japanese way...
After 6-8 min, check the water level - If there is no more water, only bigger grains of rice in the pot, that means the rice is ready. If not, check back every minute, making sure not to burn the rice at the bottom.[/justify]
Taking out the rice
There are a few important issues to keep in mind while taking the rice out of the pot. You think I'm kidding right? Well I'm not. First, use only a wooden spoon to handle the cooked rice. A metal spoon will damage the rice, and can also react with the vinegar we'll add later. Second, don't scrape the rice out from the bottom of the pot. If it comes out easily, good, if not - leave it be. The rice at the bottom is dry and burned so it won't taste so good. Use a wooden or plastic bowl to put the rice in to chill.
Seasoning the rice
In order for the rice to taste like sushi rice (and not like ordinary rice), you need to add rice vinegar to it right after it is taken out of the pot.
How is this done?
For 3 cups of (uncooked) rice, use ½ cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Use only rice vinegar! Any other kind of vinegar will taste bad. -Alternatively, you could use Sushi rice seasoning powder.
Mix together in a small pot, on medium heat until all solids are mixed in.
Pour mixture on rice and stir well.
Let the rice cool down for a few minutes until it reaches room temperature. Don't put the rice in the fridge to make it cool faster - that will damage the rice. You can however use a fan, A/C or put it by the window.
Important tip - Some people prefer their sushi rice less seasoned. Also, there might be differences in strength and flavour between different brands of rice vinegar. If it's the first time you are making sushi rice, and you are not sure, prepare the amount of seasoning described above, but only use half of it. Mix it with the rice and taste. Trust your own senses if you like to use the full amount or not.
That's it, you've made it! For the sake of the internet, please take a moment to share your experience in the comments section below. Did it turn out as you expected? Better? Ask any question you have, someone should be able to answer and it might even help other people with the same question in the future. And most importantly, enjoy making sushi!