Preparation time: 1¾ hours (much of it inactive time)
2½ cups water
Sushi vinegar dressing
5 T rice vinegar
5 t sugar
1¼ t salt
Swirl rice gently in a bowl of water, drain, repeat 3-4 times until water is nearly clear. Don't crush the rice in your hands or against the side of the bowl since dry rice is very brittle.
Gently place rice into a strainer and drain well for 30 minutes.
Gently place the rice into a heavy medium pot with a tight fitting lid (if you have a loose fitting lid use a piece of aluminium foil to make the seal tight). Add 2½ cups of water. Set the rice aside to soak for 30 minutes, during this time prepare the sushi rice dressing.
Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Heat on low setting. Stir until the mixture goes clear and the sugar and salt have dissolved. Set aside at room temperature until the rice is cooked.
Bring rinsed and soaked rice to the boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Do not remove the lid during this process. Turn off heat. Let stand with the lid on, 10-15 minutes. Do not peek inside the pot or remove the lid. During this time the rice is steaming which completes the cooking process.
Moisten lightly a flat thin wooden spatula or spoon and a large shallow flat-bottomed non-metallic (plastic, glass or wood) bowl. Do not use metallic objects since the vinegar will react with it and produce sour and bitter sushi rice. Use the spatula to loosen gently the rice and invert the rice pot over the bowl, gently causing the cooked rice to fall into the bowl in one central heap. Do this gently so as not to cause the rice grains to become damaged. Slowly pour the cooled sushi vinegar over the spatula onto the hot rice. Using the spatula gently spread the rice into a thin, even layer using a 45° cutting action to break up any lumps and to separate the rice. Don't stir or mash rice. After the rice is spread out, start turning it over gently, in small portions, using a cutting action, allowing steam to escape, for about a minute. Continue turning over the rice, but now start fanning (using a piece of stiff cardboard) the rice vigorously as you do so. Having an extra set of hands to help with the fanning is ideal - thanks, James! Don't flip the rice into the air but continue to gently slice, lift and turn the rice occasionally, for 10 minutes. Cooling the rice using a fan gives good flavour, texture and a high-gloss sheen to the rice. The vinegar dressing will be absorbed by the hot rice. Stop fanning when there's no more visible steam, and all the vinegar dressing has been adsorbed and the rice is shiny. Your sushi rice is ready to be used.
Keeping the rice moist:
Cover with a damp, lint free cloth to prevent the rice from drying out while preparing your sushi meal. Do not store sushi rice in the refrigerator leave on the counter covered at room temperature. Sushi rice is best used when it is at room temperature.
2½ cups prepared sushi rice
2 sheets of toasted nori, each sized 7”x8” (17.5cmx20cm)
Six assorted fillings, each filling should be the size of a pencil (see note below)
1 sheet 7”x8” (17.5cmx20cm) of toasted nori (dried seaweed sheets), cut into halves
1/2 Japanese cucumber
2 cups of prepared sushi rice
4 pcs imitation crab meat (crab stick)
Vinegared Water – ½ cup of water combined with a dash of rice vinegar
Various small amounts of sauces to use as the flames of the dragon (or legs of a caterpillar)
Yield: 14-16 pieces of sushi
2 cups prepared sushi rice
8 pairs of assorted toppings, 200 gms/7 ozs total of fish, meat or vegetables (see note below)
1 tablespoon Wasabi (paste, reconstituted powder) or any other paste to adhere topping to rice
Optional Garnishes include pickled ginger and thin strips of nori (for securing non-fish toppings)