Which rice?: Choose the best one for sushi

Welcome to the Module 1!

In this module, you learn the most primary and essential skills, techniques and knowledge to make a top-quality sushi. This is the "crystallized know-how" that every sushi chef needs to understand and master. We advise you, therefore, to be mindful of each small detail in this module and not to hesitate to discuss any tiny questions with your mentor.

This module is designed as a preparation module for the assignment (making top-level sushi yourself from scratch) in the Module 2. To achieve to make a high-quality piece of sushi and maximize your learning through the assignment, it is essential to fully understand this module before you proceed to the Module 2.

The content of this module

1.     Which rice?: Choose the best one for sushi

2.     Rice: Measure, wash, cook and season

3.     Knives for sushi

4.     Fish: Buy, store and prepare for sushi

5.     Nigiri: shape a rice ball and combine with fish & presentation of sushi

1.     Which rice? This is the best one for sushi

Many people believe that rice is boring, and sushi is all about fish. They are however totally wrong. Rice is the most important ingredient of sushi, not fish.

This means, if you prepare sushi rice right, it immediately takes your sushi to the next level. That’s why in this module we learn how to cook rice in a right way before anything else.

There are a lot of varieties of rice in the market. If you just go to the local super market without any advice, you would probably wonder around among plenty choices of rice labeled “sushi rice”.

Rice has three major grain types: short, middle, and long grains*. Short-grain rice, especially “Koshihikari” strain is often chosen for sushi rice because of its perfect balance of resilience (hardness), stickiness, and savory taste. (*: you will learn more about the different types of rice in the Module 3.)

Below listed the major brands suitable for sushi. They are mainly a strain of Koshihikari or of its kind. Depending on where you are based, they are available online and/or at an Asian shop. If you cannot find the suitable one, do not hesitate to consult with your mentor. Remember, rice is the single most important element. Do not just buy any random rice only because it is labeled “sushi rice”.

Sushi rice available in Europe

1. Yume-Nishiki (grown in Italy) and 2. Minori (grown in Spain) are both Koshihikari rice grown in Europe. 3. Kagayaki (grown in California) is also available in some part of Europe.

Sushi rice available in U.S.A

Here are the examples of California grown Koshihikari rice widely available in the U.S. These are also available in amazon.com.

1. Tamaki Gold, 2. Nozomi, 3. KOSHIHIKARI and 4. Kagayaki are California grown Koshikikari rice.

5. Tamanishiki is also a California grown rice that uses two strains of premium quality short grain rice: Koshikikari and Yume-Gokochi. The combination of the two creates both great flavor and a wonderful texture.