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Sushi Rice

Sushi rice also known as Shari, sushi-meshi is a preparation of white, short-grained Japanese rice mixed with a dressing consisting of rice vinegar, sugar, salt and occasionally kombu and sake. The sushi rice is generally cooled to room temperature before being used for a filling in a sushi or else it will get too sticky while being seasoned. Traditionally the mixing is done with a hangiri which is a round, flat-bottom wooden tub or barrel and a woodle paddle. Sushi rice when prepared has a consistency that differs from long grains such as those from India, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam. The essential quality in preparing the sushi rice is its stickiness or glutinousness. Rice that is too sticky has a mushy texture; if not sticky enough, it feels dry. Freshly harvested rice (shinmai) typically contains too much water, and requires extra time to drain the rice cooker after washing. In some fusion cuisine restaurants, short grain brown rice and wild rice are also used. It also comes in a variety called mochigome (sticky rice) which is used for making mochi. Now let’s know what sushi means; sushi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of cooked vinegared rice (shari) combined with other ingredients (neta). Neta and forms of sushi presentation vary, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common in shari. The most common neta is seafood. Raw meat sliced is also served by itself which is sashimi. There are regional variations in sushi rice and, of course, individual chefs have their individual methods. Making an excellent sushi actually starts with making great rice, sometimes called Pearl rice. Sushi rice is the most important ingredient in the sushi. Without well-cooked and well-dressed grains of rice, the best-laid sushi plans can turn into a disaster. It is essential that one uses the correct variety of rice while preparing sushi rice to ensure in getting the perfect consistency and adhesive quality. From about thousands of varieties of rice, sushi rice is exceptionally unique in its ability to bind together and forms the backbone to various types of sushi. All sushi rice is short grain white rice, but it comes in different qualities based on grain integrity. Sushi rice is a white, short-grain variety, which means the grains are very small and almost round. Short-grained rice contains a high percentage of starch when compared to other varieties, and this is why the grains are so sticky. While most rice loses its excess starch with a quick rinse under cold water, sushi rice will always remain sticky. For preparing this Japanese sushi rice, firstly wash the rice well with cold water and repeat washing until the water becomes clear. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes. Place the rice in rice cooker and add water. Let the rice soak in the water at least for 30 minutes. Start the cooker. When rice is cooked allow steaming for about 15 minutes. Prepare sushi vinegar (sushi-zu) by mixing rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a sauce pan. Put the pan on low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool the vinegar mixture. Spread the hot steamed rice into a large plate or a large bowl. Please use a non-metallic bowl to prevent any interaction with rice vinegar. It's best to use a wooden bowl called sushi-oke. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold the rice by shamoji (rice spatula) quickly. Be careful not to smash the rice. To cool and remove the moisture of the rice well, use a fan as you mix sushi rice. This will give sushi rice a shiny look. It's best to use sushi rice right away. There are a variety of sushi recipes that one can prepare which includes the chakin sushi, tuna salad sushi, tuna sushi roll, Futomaki etc. The main ingredients of traditional Japanese sushi, raw fish and rice, are naturally low in fat, high in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Do try this amazing recipe which you may not get it at the first time but by experimenting with rice you will find out that each type of rice has it own taste and look when cooked. Of course, it takes time to figure out which rice is easer to cook and which rice suits you best. However, when that happens you will be almost a pro in this field and will know how, when and what to do to the rice when cooking the rice differently. Do click on the below link for detailed recipe at: It is said that sometime in the 3rd century BC, the moist environment was favorable for the crops and very soon rice became the staple of the early Japanese diet. Fermented rice was used to preserve meat, fish and vegetables in what was the prototype for today’s sushi rolls: various vegetables and meats were stored in the center of a block of fermented rice.  Rice fermentation evolved in itself, and eventually rice-vinegar was added to speed the long fermentation process. In the next two thousand years, the style of coupling rice with fish and other ingredients has become big business, finally appearing as the sushi we know and love today. Most seafood’s are naturally low in fat which are predominately being unsaturated and thus containing relatively high levels of Omega-3. Since sushi is often served raw, no cooking fat is introduced during its preparation. Some non-traditional ingredients such as cream cheese and mayonnaise that are sometimes found in Western-style sushi dishes can add significant amounts of fat to a traditionally lean dish. Seafood, egg, tofu and much other variety of sushi fillings contain high levels of protein. Other vegetables wrapped within the sushi also offer various vitamins and minerals.

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