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Uncomplicated stove-top sushi rice for making everyday maki at home. This is the straightforward recipe I've been using for home-made sushi for over a decade. Most important rule - DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. One cup of dry sushi rice makes enough to use approximately three large nori sheets for 18 to 24 maki rolls, or two large nori sheets for 12 to 18 inside-out California-type rolls. Proportions are close to perfect so multiply as required. Proportions are - 1 cup dry sushi rice: 1.3 cups water: 8 teaspoons rice wine vinegar: 4 teaspoons sugar: 2 teaspoons salt. Of course there are many ways to complicate it like adding mirin and pieces of kombu (kelp) but rather save your energy for finding delicious ingredients and making beautiful, fresh easy sushi at home.
- Rinse and swirl sushi rice in a good quality pot that takes about 4 times its volume; drain in a strainer or sieve. Do this three times and return the rice to the pot. Add the cooking water.
- Bring the rice and water to the boil on high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to the lowest setting, place the lid tightly on the pot, set your timer/cellphone/watch to 20 minutes and DO NOT REMOVE THE LID FOR EVEN A MOMENT.
- In the meantime make the sushi-su (rice vinegar mix). Mix the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl and microwave for a minute or so. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Also use this time to prepare your other ingredients.
- When your timer goes off after 20 minutes turn the heat to zero, STILL DO NOT REMOVE THE LID, and set your timer/cellphone/watch to another 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes YOU MAY REMOVE THE LID! and turn the rice out into a large bowl - glass, ceramic, wood or plastic only.
- When it has cooled for a few minutes use a large blunt implement such as a flat-ended wooden spoon to make some gentle but deep incisions into the rice and pour half the sushi-su all over and into the cooling rice.
- Gently turn the rice with your implement taking care not to make it stickier. Make a few more incisions, and pour the rest of the vinegar. Turn gently again as you allow the sushi rice to cool to body temperature before starting to make your sushi.
- Bonus tip 1: While making sushi keep a bowl of clean slightly warm water next to you and frequently wet your hand as you spread the sushi rice onto the nori (with nori rough-side up) to prevent it sticking to your hand.
- Bonus tip 2: Make everyday sushi with ingredients you already have on hand. Vegetarian maki rolls are fabulous and can include carrot (shavings or fine sticks), avocado (thinly sliced), cucumber (thinly sliced lengthwise, small Mediterranean cucumbers are best with lower water content than English cucumbers), sesame seed (dry-toasted), spring onion (green onion or scallion), sweet red, orange or yellow pepper (pimento, finely sliced lengthwise), firm juicy-fleshed fruit such as strawberry and melon, and of course wasabi and Japanese Kewpie Doll mayonnaise.
- Bonus tip 3: Only dip in Kikkoman soya sauce. Tens of thousands of sushi chefs around the world can't be wrong.