You've had great sushi before. But why was it so good? Chances are the rice was a big part of the that experience. But rice is rice, right? Wrong! There are many ways to make perfect sushi rice, but if you already make it in your restaurant, here are 5 steps to improve your Sushi Rice.
A step often missed out due by people trying to save time. We say, get organised! Start 20 mins earlier. It's no extra effort to soak the rice after washing and that extra effort will make your rice better. Drain he sushi rice thouroghly after soaking.
Ever wondered how some sushi bars have rice that is plump, shiny and unbroken? Chances are they have used good rice and have a good chef. But they also may be hiding a dark secret! Many Sushi Chefs use a starch based additive in there sushi rice that protects the grains when cooking so they dont split. This additive is Miora or Miola depending on the translation you read. Click the link for a full description of what it is. Miora is made by a Japanese company called Ohtsuka. Simply add 1g or Miola to 1.4kg of uncooked Japanese rice, stir gently before cooking and let the magic happen.
You might think you're cheating using a rice cooker, or that as a skilled chef you should be able to cook rice in a pot or heavy pan, but you're wrong. Unless you are a 10 year trained Japanese sushi chef you're kididng yourself. And chances are, even those experieced chefs will be using a good rice cooker. Invest in the best rice cooker you can afford. Japanese rice cookers are the best. However any rice cooker is a good start. Buy the best size to suit the production levels you need to make. If you have a larger restaurant you may need a large rice cooker or several mid sized rice cookers. If you only cook smaller batches of rice then a 1-2L home use rice cooker should be fine. Please do avoid the £10-15 ones as we're trying to improve our sushi rice, not ruin it!
Continuity in any restaurant is of the upmost importance, so whatever kind of sushi seasoning you decide on, stick to it. You can use a standardised product like an 18L barrel of Sushi Vinegar or you can make your own sushi seasoning and tweak it to your desired taste. Once you have experimented with your sushi seasoning and have decided on your perfect recipe, write it down and stick to it!
Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan on a low/med heat, dont allow to boil Once the sugar and salt have disolved, remove from heat.
The aim of fanning the rice is twofold. One, to cool the rice quickly and two, to increase that polished shine you see on great sushi rice. Normal proceedure is to remove the cooked rice from the rice cooker and place it in a pre-soaked large hangiri (wooden rice bowl) often anything up to 72cm in diameter! Spread it out with a large non-stick spatula (if using a wooden spatula, soak it in water first so no rice sticks), then fan it and carefully fold the rice as you fan it.
CHEAT: Instead of a fan, use a hairdryer with the blow set to cold, or a simple room fan!
You can always improve, practice makes perfect. Hopefully you can use some or all of our tips to improve your rice cooking. Feel free to ask any more advanced (or simple!) questions below and click the link below to download our amazing FREE E-Book on How to Start a Sushi Bar.