When it comes to cooking, rice is a very common dish, but a very difficult dish when you start your first culinary efforts. It is a staple in many cultures around the world, and one of them is sushi rice.
It will not teach you how to cook, but will guide you through the best options to acquire the most suitable variety of rice to prepare the best sushi, as if you were an authentic Japanese. Stay and join us, discover the necessary information, the advantages, disadvantages and everything you need to know in this article .
The most important thing to know
- Sushi rice, also known as sumeshi, shari, Japanese rice or Japonica rice, is rice that is physically shorter and more rounded in appearance. It is a high starch cereal and its consistency when cooked is slightly sticky or glutinous, which allows it to be cooked in rolls and eaten with chopsticks.
- To cook rice for sushi, it’s not enough to go out and buy any rice. There are 2 types of Japanese rice for sushi, one called Uruchimai and the other known as Melochigome, a division based on the difference in starch composition.
- To choose the best rice for sushi, some important points must be considered, as successful selection is the key to cooking and getting sushi with the cooking, consistency and unique flavor of this delicacy.
Shopping Guide: What You Need to Know About Sushi Rice
In this section we will focus on a deeper understanding of what sushi rice is, what its qualities are, and also discuss its disadvantages. The more we master the subject, the better chance we have of success in buying the right rice.
What is sushi rice and what are its advantages?
Basic ingredient of Japanese cuisine. It is the basis of one of the most representative dishes in the country and is very popular internationally, so much so that it has been tropicalized depending on the country. The taste for sushi has spread so much that it is no longer exclusive to restaurants, chefs or Japanese natives, today anyone can prepare it.
The key is to know which rice to use, cook it correctly and then form the rolls as desired. The characteristic rice of this dish is a short and slightly sweet grain that when cooked reaches a glutinous level that allows the preparation of sushi rolls, preventing the rice from separating.
Among the advantages obtained with this rice is the concentration of starch which it has in compassion with other rice, has fewer calories than others, provides fiber and promotes intestinal digestion and is cholesterol free and its amount of saturated fat is low.
Urichi Mai or Monchigome sushi rice – What to look for
Sushi rice is divided into two groups. Urichi Mai and Mochigome have variables that may seem minor, but that make a big difference in preparation and results.
Urichi mai . This is the most common and widely produced type of rice in Japan. It is round and two types are derived from it for cooking sushi, one is hikari and the other is koshihikari.
Once cooked, they are tender, moist, with a very pure translucent color and a sticky consistency that allows them to be rolled into rolls and eaten with chopsticks.
Mochigome . It is another variety of sushi rice, very similar to Urichi Mai, it is the roundest and thickest, in addition to resulting after cooking in a sticky rice, perhaps the most agglutinated of all, which makes it ideal for cooking rice cakes called mochi and to add other ingredients.
How much does sushi rice cost?
If you’re looking to buy sushi rice, you’ll be surprised at the prices, as you don’t need a big budget, unless you need to supply this raw material to a restaurant for a big feast.The price is determined by the brand, its origin, the grams or kilos of the package and the store where it is purchased.
|Physical characteristics||Rounder, short, translucent grain||Rounder, whiter, larger grains|
|after cooking||Sticky, the softest and most humid of all||Sticky, the softest and most humid of all|
|exhaled dishes||Sushi, everyday dishes, Sake||Mochi, Mirin (sweet sake) and wagashi sweets|
It won’t be a surprise if you can cook the best rice at home if you follow these tips, as this dish has its science from the moment it is purchased. This guide is intended to help you make the right choices for your feast.
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The brands ranked as the standard of preference in the American market for this rice are Nishiki and Kokuho Rose, both grade B.
Better quality are available Tamaki Gold and Tamanishiki, both grown in California, the first a Koshikikari variety and the second a mixture of this and another variety called Yuma Gokochi.
If you can’t find any of these brands, it’s a good idea to look for “First Cultivation” or “New Variety” or “Shinmai” on the packaging, meaning it’s the best rice harvested in the fall.
It is of paramount importance to locate the issue and expiration date of the product, it is part of the safety standards that a product gives us to be consumed.
On the other hand, the older the sushi, the harder it is to cook it and get the perfect texture; it will need more water to soften it before it can be cooked. It is advisable to check that the rice has not been harvested for more than a year.
As part of the steps to be taken to cook sushi rice, it is often necessary to wash it. This procedure should be kept in mind when buying the rice you are going to choose, as there is already a pre-washed option.
Pre-washed rice . There is a new rice on the market that is pre-washed rice, which means that it does not require any normal rinsing, a process that is done before cooking to remove the starch that is present in standard short grain white rice.
non pre-washed rice . The most traditional rice, which requires washing before the cooking process, which among other functions helps to remove excess bran and facilitates adherence when creating the rolls. The purchase or not of the pre-washed product will depend more on the recipe and personal taste.
To make the rice of your dreams you can use a rice cooker or a traditional sticky pot. The process can vary from one to the other, so you should choose the most suitable one according to the prescription and how much you want to be involved in the procedure.
The rice cooker . There are simple and more sophisticated models. According to its functions, it is possible to almost put rice in the appliance and forget about it, as it can soak, cook and steam without help. In addition to other environments such as keeping warm, cooking normal rice, sushi rice, etc.
Adhesive-free cooker . This is a traditional pot that is used with a lid. The procedure is entirely manual and the pan is used to steam the rice while it is under the care of the person in charge until it is cooked properly.