To make your Japanese vinegar rice for sushi called sumeshi or shari, it is important that it is prepared to perfection. Here is our recipe and the utensils you need:
- The sumeshi or shari : Japanese vinegar rice
- Utensils to prepare your Japanese sushi rice
- A hangiri, a large wooden container essential
- The recipe of Japanese rice with vinegar in a pan
- Our tips to make a success of your Japanese rice
The sumeshi or shari : Japanese vinegar rice
Vinegar rice is widely used in Japan. It is the base of maki and other nigiri. It is essential to make this rice to perfection so that your sushi will be the best possible.
To make your sushi rice called sumeshi “酢飯” or shari “しゃり” in Japanese, it is important that it is vinegarized and carefully prepared with Japanese rice.
This rice is not made in a few minutes in a pan, it requires a little time and attention. But the result is clearly worth it!
Utensils to prepare your Japanese sushi rice
1 A large salad bowl:
To prepare and wash the rice in clear water, choose a large bowl for easy stirring.
2 A colander:
To rinse and spin the rice properly, choose a large strainer so that the water can drain off quickly.
3 A pressure cooker:
If you have a rice cooker, you can use it to cook sushi rice. In Japan everyone is equipped with a pressure cooker for practical reasons. If you make rice regularly, it is really an essential appliance.
4 A pan:
A good old pan with a lid will also do, but be careful not to miss the cooking! You will have to be careful on this side.
5 A Hangiri with a damp cloth:
It will be necessary to have a hangiri to spread the rice and let it cool down in good conditions. A damp cloth is also needed to moisten your hands, the hangiri and the wooden spatulas so that the rice does not stick to it. Always use a damp cloth when working with rice.
6 A rice fan or spoon:
The rice fan or “uchiwa” “内輪” is a flat fan made of silk or paper stretched over bamboo branches. It is used to cool the rice. You can always use a sheet of paper if you don’t have a fan.
7 A rice spatula:
The rice spatula is used to spread and separate the rice without damaging it. It is made of plastic with cross grooves to prevent the rice from sticking to the spatula. There are also wooden spatulas, which have to be moistened first to prevent the rice from sticking to the spatula.
The rice spatula is essential in my opinion because it does not crush the rice compared to a metal spoon. If you don’t have one you can use a wooden spoon.
A hangiri, a large wooden container essential
A “Hangiri” “半切り” or a “handai” “飯台” or a “sushi oke” “桶” is a large circular flat-bottomed wooden mould in which the rice is spread after cooking, to cool and separate it. It must be washed and dried after use as it can become mouldy and discolored. Its size varies from 30 cm in diameter for individuals to 1 meter in diameter for restaurants.
2 strips of copper surround the hangiri which ensures a great solidity to the whole. The hangiri can also be used for the presentation of raw food such as Shabu Shabu or other dishes.
Its wide and shallow shape allows the rice to cool quickly and evenly. You can moisten it to prevent the rice from sticking. The storage of sumeshi rice in a hangiri will be better. If you don’t have one, use a shallow and flat dish.
The recipe and utensils to prepare Japanese rice, sumeshi or shari
- 16 lb of Japanese round rice (450g)
- 60 cl water
For the sushi vinegar: (there are ready-made ones in liquid or powder)
- 5 tbsp of rice vinegar
- 1,5 tablespoon of sugar
- 1,5 teaspoon of salt
- Rinse the rice in a bowl and fill it with water.
- Stir the rice by hand and drain the water. Repeat this operation several times (3-4 times) until the water is almost clear.
- Let the rice drain for at least 30 minutes in a colander.
- Place your rice in the pot with the 60 cl of water, bring to a boil covered, then turn down the heat for 12 minutes still covered. Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes covered.
- While the rice is cooking, you can prepare the sushi vinegar: just mix the vinegar, sugar and salt and heat it until the sugar is dissolved.
- Once the rice is cooked, spread it out in the hangiri with the rice spatula. Slice the rice evenly to separate the grains and keep it from clumping while sprinkling it with the rice vinegar. Lift and turn the rice as if you were stirring in egg whites.
- With the rice fan, cool the rice but not too much or it will become hard. If you do steps 4 and 5 simultaneously, you will get a shiny and slightly sticky rice.
- Then keep the rice under a damp cloth so that the rice does not dry out.
Our tips to make a success of your Japanese rice :
For sushi vinegar, there are ready-made seasonings, so you don’t have to buy rice vinegar, or add too much salt or sugar. We advise you the Tamanoi Sushinoko which was recommended to us by our Japanese friend and which allows you to have a delicious rice. It is a sachet and the seasoning comes in powder form.
Just put at the last step, when your rice is cooked and hot, a big tablespoon of this powder for 200 grams of cooked rice. Then mix with your rice spoon while cooling it with your fan in the hangiri.
You are now ready to prepare delicious Japanese recipes!