For one of our recent celebrations, I got Ben the gift of a sushi making class in San Francisco. We took the lesson with Chef Kaz who was so much fun & really taught us a variety of sushi skills. We started off by making an interesting Cucumber Seaweed Salad.
Look at how pretty our Cucumber Seaweed Salad came out!
While we were learning how to make the Cucumber Seaweed Salad, Chef Kaz had us start practicing cutting cumbers. It was a fun challenge to learn how to get those long, glorious cucumber strips. You must hold the knife at the proper 90 degree angle and never move it. Instead you rotate the cucumber against the knife.
The next step is to get the sushi rice going.
Use “Short” grain rice, or rice labeled as “Sushi” Rice such as Lundberg Farm Rice (available at Whole Foods). To cook rice, wash rice in water a couple of times. Drain water, put it in a rice cooker, then add water – the rice:water ratio is 1:1.1. Let it sit for at least fifteen minutes in summer and up to thirty minutes in winter before cooking rice. This helps the rice cook better and brings out sweetness from the rice (flavor of rice is in the core) . Using mineral water or filtered water dramatically increases the taste of rice.
1. Use mineral water to wash the rice
2. Let rice sit in water for 15-30 minutes before cooking
3. Use organic ingredients
3 cups Organic Short Grain Rice
Ratio – Rice Vinegar:Sugar:Salt=5:3:1. For example, 5 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt.
1 1/4 cup Marukan Organic Rice Vinegar (Available at Whole Foods Market or Natural Grocery Store)
3/4 cup Organic Cane Sugar
1/4 Sea Salt
In a bowl, put rice and pour mineral water to soak all the rice. Quickly drain water. Repeat one more time.( you can use tap water for the second time, but for the first rinse, use mineral water)
Pick up handful of rice and rub it gently with your hands. Do so with all of the rice.
Pour water (tap is OK) all the way so that all rice is under water. Stir the rice with your hands gently, then drain water.
Repeat steps 2 & 3 one more time.
Put washed rice in a rice cooker, add 3.3 cups of water and let is sit for 30 minutes. This will bring out the sweetness and more flavor from rice. (If you are using a pot, place rice in a pot and add water.)
To mix sushi vinaigrette, add rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix until sugar and salt is dissolved. (you can heat the mixture over low heat if sugar and salt does not dissolve at room temperature.)
Cook rice. Make sure to let the rice cooker sit for at least 15 minutes after the “cooking” light is off. (If you are using a pot, medium high heat for 10-15 minutes or until all the water evaporates. Turn off the heat, let it sit for 10-15 minutes for steaming. Important: never open the lid, as this will release the steam and pressure inside the pot necessary to cook the rice.) 3 cups of uncooked rice should make about 8-9 cups of cooked rice.
In a “handai” (sushi rice mixing wooden bowl) or a stainless bowl, put cooked rice. Using wooden rice spatula, pour sushi vinegar over it and distribute it evenly to the rice.
Mix rice with sushi vinegar in slicing motion to keep the each grain of rice in tact. Avoid smashing, putting too much pressure and mixing too much. We use about 1/3~1/4 cup of sushi vinegar to 4 cups of cooked rice.
Let it cool until rice is about the same temperature as palm of your hand. Turn the rice over to let the other side cool to the same temperature.
As soon as the rice is finished, we were able to assemble our other ingredients and make some beautiful sushi!