How to Make Sushi Rice for chirashi sushi!

The Michelin starred sushi chef taught us this recipe for the sushi rice of chirashi sushi, serving about 2 to 3 adults.

He gave out his hidden recipe, something that only a sushi chef can think of, and something you don’t see in those classic recipes. First, it might be hard to get at places like a supermarket, but he was telling us that using brown sugar (三温糖) and salt from burning seaweed (藻塩) would give great depth of flavor to sushi rice. If you can’t find them, regular sugar and salt for cooking will do. In addition to that, sushi vinegar on the market already contains sugar, salt and more, so make sure to get komezu (rice vinegar).

And if you would like to make it similar to the taste of a sushi restaurant, obtain Japanese short-grain rice, Koshihikari (コシヒカリ). Along with that, water for cooking rice should be Mineral water as well as soft water. Concentrations of dissolved calcium and magnesium in 1000 ml of water are indicated as numbers called “hardness”. By WHO standards, hardness below 120 mg/l is considered as soft water. If you can’t find it, try to choose Mineral water with the number as small as possible.

(Ingredients)

Rice:360cc

Komezu (rice vinegar):2 tbsp and 5 tsp

Brown sugar:1 tbsp

Salt:1 tsp and 1/2 tsp of which 1/2 tsp should be Salt from burning seaweed

Mineral water:340~350cc

 

The following are tips about cooking sushi rice.

  1. Place the rice into a bowl and pour Mineral water, and then mix it lightly. Leave it for about 10 minutes and let the rice soak the water.
  2. Wash the rice like swirling it gently, trying not to damage the surface of each grain of rice.
  3. After the rice is rinsed twice, transfer it into a strainer once and drain until it becomes whitish (about 30 minutes), and then it will be ready to cook .
  4. Cook rice with the amount of water 2 mm under the mark indicated by the rice cooker.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, let it steam for 10 minutes.
  6. While the rice is cooking, prepare awasezu by combining komezu, Brown sugar , salt, and salt from burning seaweed and mixing thoroughly.
  7. Spread the rice on handai (飯台) or a tray, and distribute awasezu over shamoji (rice paddle) evenly over the rice.
  8. Use a slashing motion with shamoji and spread out sushi rice all over the tray.
  9. Cool down the surface of sushi rice by fanning, as a guide, to temperature you could feel the warmth slightly when you put your hands above the rice.
  10. To cool down the bottom of the sushi rice as well, flip the sushi rice with shamoji.
  11. Once the sushi rice is done, cover it with a damp kitchen towel. Don’t us e plastic wrap. If you don’t have a damp kitchen towel, use damp paper towel.
  12. When you make chirashi sushi, don’t push the sushi rice too hard to squeeze in a container. Try to put it in softly as if letting the air in.
  13. At last decorate toppings as you like. Use soy sauce on seafood to your liking.

We consider these extra efforts make a big effect on your result. Unique to the sushi chef, please try and follow the recipe as much as you can.


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: July 1, 2020

Why doesn’t rice stick to the sushi chef’s hands?

One of the pleasures of sitting at a sushi counter is watching the sushi master work his craft.

He holds the topping between the index finger and thumb of his left hand while simultaneously grabbing the shari (vinegar rice) with his left hand. He gently squeezes the shari and then moves the topping from his left hand to the top of that shari in a fluid motion. This entire process of shaping the shari to the finished piece of sushi takes less than six seconds. Every movement is precise and purposeful.

However, no matter how many pieces the chef makes one after another, you’ll never see a grain of rice stick to his hands. If you or I were to make even one piece of sushi, our hands would be covered in rice. So why doesn’t it happen to them? Their hands don’t look oiled. Perhaps sushi chefs have especially smooth or slick hands compared to us average Joes?

Of course not. This is actually thanks to the vinegar.

The chefs keep a bowl of vinegar close by, which they constantly use to wet their hands. This procedure is called “Tezu” or vinegared water, which both disinfects the hands and cools their palms. When the vinegar evaporates, it takes the heat from the hands with it.

Normally hands reach temperatures of 33-34 degrees Celsius (91-93 degrees Fahrenheit), but sushi chefs cool their hands to approximately 30 degrees Celsius (86 F). This transfers the heat from the hands to the shari, keeping it from getting sticky. In other words, not a single grain of rice sticks to their hands.


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: March 19, 2018

Prior to WWII, there were chefs whose only job was making vinegar rice!

From the end of the Edo period through the Meiji period, rice was cooked using firewood and a pot. It is not easy to get the fire at the right temperature and the rice has to be cooked to the same texture regardless of where it came from or the size of the grains, so at the time the task required a skilled chef. Therefore, there were “Shari-ya” employed by sushi restaurants who specialized in cooking rice. “Shari-ya” focused on this single task and were not involved in the actual making of the sushi after the rice was passed on to the chefs.


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: January 29, 2018