Here is the basic recipe for making the vinegared rice essential to all sushi recipes. There are three keys to achieving the best taste and texture: (1) Use short-grained rice, preferably the Japanese-style rice grown in California (Ko-kuho Rose, Blue Rose, and Kotobuki are among the most readily available brands). (2) Use freshly cooked rice, still warm and therefore more receptive to absorbing the seasoned vinegar. (3) Do not refrigerate the seasoned rice. Sushi rice is a naturally preserved food (in fact, that is how it became popular in Japan, centuries before refrigeration was possible) and will keep well for many hours in a cool room if covered with a clean damp cloth and/or clear plastic wrap. If refrigerated, it will turn hard and crusty and any attempt to warm it up will result in mushy, tasteless rice.
© 1988 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.