Sushi Lessons: Why Rice Matters

ic: Proper looking sushi rice

When we talk about rice, we’re talking about a very important piece of any sushi experience. Japanese chefs will spend their entire careers perfecting their rice because they feel it’s that important. Not only do they want it to be perfect, they want their own spin on it. Think of how competing burger joints will have their own take on fries, and they’ll stand by the notion that theirs is the best. Same idea.

For most of us (especially home cooks,) it doesn’t have to be a lifelong pursuit. Like so many things in life, it really just comes down to having balance. In the case of sushi rice, you’re looking for a proper mix of sweet, salty, and savory. While it’s not as simple as cooking up some Minute Rice, good sushi rice is attainable with some simple instruction and a little practice. (Your first hints… The finished rice should be soft, sticky, and the same temperature as your body.)

In addition to proper preparation, rice choice is incredibly important. In Japan, the very best sushi rice is known as Koshihikari, and it’s harvested in Niigata on the west coast of the country. It’s loved by Japanese chefs for its moist, silky-smooth texture. Luckily, we don’t have to go to Japan to find great rice. I’ve found a California equivalent that yields excellent results at a very reasonable price. The best part… you can get it right here in the valley.

Proper rice with careful preparation is essential when you make your sushi. The good news is great sushi rice is available locally. The great news is rice preparation is where I start my classes. Book a class with me now, and the very first thing you will learn is how to make great rice and where to find it. Once you know the basic steps, you’ll quickly be producing rice that your friends will swear was prepared by a pro chef.

Chef Mallory Soule

Sushi Chef

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