Sushi rolls: perfect sushi rice and my sushi su

Perfect sushi rice
For four or fewer rolls, weigh out 150g of rice per sheet of nori. For more than four rolls, weigh out 120g of rice per sheet.

Wash the rice thoroughly in a sieve to remove much of the starch on the outside of the grains. Drain.
Use equal rice to water, and bring to the boil quickly uncovered. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and leave – don’t lift the lid! – for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, move the pan from the heat and leave – still covered, still no peeking – to rest for 10 minutes.

Add sushi su while the rice is still hot and gently separate the grains, then leave until just warm before making your sushi.

Rice weights by this method:

150g of uncooked rice weighs 230g when cooked
200g of uncooked rice weighs 300g when cooked
500g uncooked rice = 900g cooked

Sushi su
There are lots of different recipes for sushi su, but this is my preferred combination – the most traditional, basic recipe leaves out the mirin. You can play around with the ratios of ingredients to suit your palate for sweet, sharp and salty.

The general rule is to season at 1 part su to 4 parts cooked rice, so the below measurements would season 1kg of cooked rice.

200ml rice wine vinegar
50ml mirin or sake
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Combine the ingredients in a small pan and dissolve the sugar and salt over a low heat, then leave to cool before adding to rice.

Note: sometimes you’ll see ‘sushi vinegar’ sold – this is a pre-mixed combo of rice vinegar, salt and sugar. You can use this on its own to flavour rice if you’re in a hurry.

Interesting note: some people maintain that the word sushi is a contraction of ‘su’, meaning vinegar, and ‘meshi’, which means rice.

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