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Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Pasta & Rice, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Sushi Rice

Peanut butter, spicy grape compote, and apple slices

Peanut butter, spicy grape compote, and apple slices

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to us by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen.

Preparation time: 1¾ hours consisting of :-
Rinsing and draining rice: 35 minutes
Soaking rice: 30 minutes (includes 5 minutes making the vinegar dressing)
Cooking and steaming time: 25 minutes
Finishing the rice: 15 minutes


  • 3 cups uncooked short grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • For superior results use equal volumes of rice and water

Sushi vinegar dressing

  • 6 Tablespoons (75 mls) rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons (25 mls or 21 grams) sugar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons (6.25 mls or 4.5 grams) salt
Maguro Nigiri (browned tuna nigiri style)

Maguro Nigiri (browned tuna nigiri style)

Rinsing and draining the rice

  1. 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.
  2. Gently place rice into a strainer and drain well for 30 minutes.

Soaking the rice

  1. 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).
  2. Add 3 cups of water.
  3. Set the rice aside to soak for 30 minutes, during this time prepare the sushi rice dressing.

Preparing the Rice Vinegar Dressing

  1. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Heat on low setting.
  3. Stir until the mixture goes clear and the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  4. Set aside at room temperature until the rice is cooked.

From the chopsticks, clockwise: California rolls, Seattle rolls, ebi nigiri, sake nigiri, tuna roll, maguro nigiri

From the chopsticks, clockwise: California rolls, Seattle rolls, ebi nigiri, sake nigiri, tuna roll, maguro nigiri

Cooking the rice

  1. After 30 minutes of soaking, bring rinsed and soaked rice to a boil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Finishing the rice

  • Turning out the rice

  1. 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.
  2. Remove the dashi konbu (kelp) from the cooked rice.
  3. 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.

  • Dressing the rice with vinegar

  1. Slowly pour the cooled sushi vinegar over the spatula onto the hot rice.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  • Fanning & Tossing the rice

  1. Continue turning over the rice, but now start fanning (using a piece of stiff cardboard) the rice vigorously as you do so. 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. Using a small electric fan on the lowest speed setting is highly recommended.
  2. 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.

* Tip: While the rice is draining, soaking and cooking prepare your rice vinegar dressing, sushi fillings and toppings.

12 comments to Sushi Rice

  • wic

    Wow I love the color of the Maguro Nigiri. Your Sushi looks delicious.

  • What a delicious series of sushi you made for this challenge and such interesting flavour combinations. Peanut butter, spicy grape compote, and apple slices sounds so delicious. And your photos look so professional. Cheers from Audax in Australia. It sure seems like you had a great time making the sushi. Bravo bravo bravo.

  • Those browned tuna nigiri are calling my name! I’m trying that process next time.

  • Wow, what beautiful looking and creative sushi you have made! Peanut butter, spicy grape compote and apple sounds really yummy! And that browned tuna looks so tasty! Congrats on a challenge well done!

  • Gorgeous awe-inspiring sushi! I love what you did with the flavours! Fabulous job on this challenge =D.

  • Oooo so pretty!
    Nice job on the challange and pretty pics!

  • Great job on the challenge. I love your combination for the dessert sushi, great combinations!

  • Very pretty! I particularly loved your browing of the tuna – that was wonderfully done, and the contrast in the meat is gorgeous. Love the idea of the dessert sushi too.

  • Great job! The PB & apple roll sounds especially intriguing!

  • WOW. The seared tuna nigiri is right up my alley and gorgeous! Cooked perfectly, and what a great idea to top the nigiri! LOVE the Cali roll too (I’m into the city rolls, Boston, Philly – now I need to try Seatlle!). Amazing job!

  • Thank you! 🙂

    I had a lot of fun with this challenge!

    @anjelikuh, I actually hadn’t intended the pbj roll to be a dessert roll, although I ended up eating it for dessert. My original intent was to convince my son that it was something he’d want, but he picked the apples out and asked for green beans… oh well. 🙂

    @Lisa, The wikipedia says a “Seattle roll consists of cucumber, avocado, and raw or smoked salmon.”, but here in Seattle, all I’ve ever found is a vegetarian version, and that’s really what I prefer: apples, carrots, and cucumber. I did do a salmon version as well, but my smoked salmon was *incredibly* fishy smelling, and I didn’t really even want it on my plate.

  • Peanut butter, very original! And your maguro is perfectly seared! Excellent job!

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