of rice is determined by the amount
of time from harvest and must be
considered in the preparation.
Harvested late Oct. to Nov., new-crop
rice has 15% moisture and retains its
moisture content for four months. By
late March, it is considered old-crop
rice, which contains 12% moisture. The
rice's moisture content determines the
amount of liquid used to prepare the
sushi rice. Rice meant for preparing
sushi will be labeled as new-crop or old-crop rice on the bag.
Vinegar was originally used to ferment
rice and to prevent fish from going
bad. During the Edo period in Japan,
between 1603 and 1868, people began
to mix the vinegar with rice and various
other ingredients, a practice that is still
widely used today.
Using this age-old Japanese
methodology of making sushi rice may
seem complicated at first, but you will
soon realize it is no more complicated
than making regular rice. The key
to properly prepared sushi rice is to
exercise patience to thoroughly rinse the
rice and then let it dry completely.
BY DEGREES proper sushi rice
Proper Sushi Rice
Article by Andy Matsuda, CEO/Chief Instructor, Sushi Chef Institute
Photography by Sushi Chef Institute
Proper sushi rice is essential to a great sushi experience. One of the main components is a
well-guarded secret among sushi chefs
known as sushi-zu, which is an aged
mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and kelp.
As sushi becomes more mainstream
across the world, the Sushi Chef
Institute wants to share this sushi secret
with western chefs.
Sushi rice is made of medium/short or
short-grain rice, but what makes sushi
rice unique is the act of washing and
rinsing the rice to remove excess starch
prior to cooking. The moisture content
Master sushi chef and sushi
chef instructor at Sushi Chef
Institute, Torrance, California.
above: A neta is joined
with sushi rice and a
dollop of wasabi to
create Nigiri sushi.