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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Cook sushi rice right, every time, and try these two tasty recipes

Flawlessly cooked rice is at the very foundation of sushi-preparation

Roasted coconut-sweet potato sushi bowls with sesame avocado. Photo by Scott Price
Roasted coconut-sweet potato sushi bowls with sesame avocado. Photo by Scott Price

Once you have perfected your rice-cooking technique, sushi bowls are a stress-free and delicious way to put the spoils of your culinary labour to good use.

Tips for preparing sushi rice

It would be foolhardy to suggest that following these steps will guarantee you faultless sushi rice. They will, however, help you on the way to producing well-seasoned, glossy grains – and that’s really all us amateurs can hope for.

First up, says chef Nobu, pick the right rice: polished, white short-grain sushi rice in this instance.

Preparation is crucial, and this starts with removing the starch. Wash the rice in a sieve under the tap until the water runs clear, then leave to soak for at least 30 minutes – but ideally longer.

Once cooked, it’s imperative that the rice is dressed with sushi-su (seasoned vinegar) while still warm.

There are countless recipes and ratios for sushi-su, although most use the same simple base components: rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Once you become au fait with making your own, you can tweak to taste.

Now comes the difficult part: carefully distributing the seasoned vinegar through the rice, ensuring that each grain is lightly coated yet undamaged by the process. Transfer the rice to a wide, shallow, wood, glass or ceramic bowl (avoid using an aluminium dish as it can impart a metallic taste).

Slowly pour over a little sushi-su and use a flat-headed rice paddle or wide spatula (again avoid metal) to gently toss the rice using a vertical cutting and folding technique.

Be careful during this process – you don’t want to crush or cut the individual grains.

At the same time, fan the rice with a hand fan or a piece of cardboard; doing so helps the rice to cool down more quickly, resulting in a shiny finish.

Once almost all the sushi-su has been incorporated, taste the rice to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Cover with cling film or a clean, damp tea towel until you’re ready to use.

Smoked salmon and sweet chilli cucumber sushi bowls with coriander and lime sweetcorn

Smoked salmon and sweet chilli cucumber sushi bowls with coriander and lime sweetcorn. Photo by Scott Price
Smoked salmon and sweet chilli cucumber sushi bowls with coriander and lime sweetcorn. Photo by Scott Price

Serves 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus standing

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

160g sushi rice

90ml rice vinegar

1½ tbsp caster or granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1 UAE cucumber, peeled intro strips using a vegetable peeler

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 corn on the cob

1 lime, juice and zest

Handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

100g smoked salmon, cut into strips

1 sheet nori, broken into pieces

Method

  • Rinse the rice according to the preparation instructions. Transfer to a saucepan and cover with 220ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 12 minutes more.
  • Make the sushi-su by gently heating 75ml rice vinegar in a small saucepan with the caster sugar and 1 tsp salt, until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat. Drizzle the sushi-su over the rice, following the instructions above.
  • Put the cucumber in a small bowl along with the sweet chilli sauce and remaining white vinegar. Mix well and set aside.
  • Boil the corn for five minutes in salted water. Drain, leave to cool slightly, then slice the corn kernels from the cob and put in a bowl. Add the lime juice and zest and chopped coriander. Mix well and season with black pepper.
  • Divide the rice, cucumber, smoked salmon, sweetcorn and nori between two bowls and serve.

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Read more:

The perfect sushi rice? Chef Nobu Matsuhisa shares his tips

Chef Nobu visits Deira's Waterfront Market

Watch: Two Michelin-starred chefs prepare their signature dishes

‘I like to educate the next generation’, says Japanese celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa

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Roasted coconut-sweet potato sushi bowls with sesame avocado

Serves 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus standing

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato, diced

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut

½ tbsp black sesame seeds, plus extra to serve

160g sushi rice

90ml rice vinegar

1½ tbsp caster or granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

½ avocado, peeled, stoned and thinly sliced

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 sheet nori, broken into pieces

Lime wedges, to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Tip the diced sweet potato onto a large baking tray, drizzle with the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix well and roast for 25 minutes. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut and three quarters of the sesame seeds, and cook for another five minutes.
  • Meanwhile, rinse the rice according to the instructions detailed above. Transfer to a saucepan and cover with 220ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for another 12 minutes.
  • Make the sushi-su by gently heating 75ml rice vinegar in a small saucepan with the caster sugar and 1 tsp salt until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat. Drizzle the sushi-su over the rice following the instructions above.
  • Coat the avocado slices with the sesame oil and remaining rice vinegar. Add a scattering of sesame seeds and season generously.
  • Divide the rice, sweet potato, avocado and nori between two bowls, add the lime wedges and sprinkle over any remaining sesame seeds. Then serve.