There’s nothing more fun than learning how to make your own sushi at home! Once you learn the technique, there’s no limit to the delicious flavor combinations you can create. But before you start rolling, you need all the proper supplies and ingredients. At the top of the list is to know the best Sushi Rice Brands.
Did you know that rice can literally make or break your sushi roll? If you’ve been trying to make sushi at home with little success, it may be time to try a different brand of rice. High-quality sushi rice has a very sticky consistency, holds its shape, and can easily be manipulated into balls or rolls for nigiri or maki sushi rolls. Using other varieties of rice can lead to frustration and messy sushi rolls.
What’s the Best Rice for Sushi?
Sushi rice is a special type of rice known as su-meshi (酢飯) in Japan. Su-meshi is white, short-grain rice that differs from other types of rice due to its extra sticky consistency. This premium grade of rice can easily be shaped and rolled without falling apart. After cooking sushi rice, it is seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, leaving the rice fluffy yet firm. Then you can use it in your favorite sushi rolls like Dragon Roll Sushi, Boston Rolls, or Spicy Tuna Sushi Rolls.
How to Cook Sushi Rice
Step 1: Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear.
Step 2: Add it to the rice maker together with water. Cook according to the instruction.
Step 3: Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar and mix well.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook on the stovetop: Place the washed and drained rice in a medium saucepan and add cold water. Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to medium and cover with the lid. Cook until the water is absorbed about 8 minutes. Then reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes covered.
How to Make Sushi Rolls
- Lay out the bamboo mat with an optional piece of plastic wrap on top. In the meantime, set aside a small bowl of vinegar water to dip your hands to prevent sticking.
- Cut off 1/3 of the nori seaweed sheet using kitchen scissors. Then place the remaining nori sheet towards the bottom of the mat, shinning side facing down.
- Take 3/4 cup of cooked rice and evenly spread over nori while leaving 1/2 inch at the top of the sheet. Wet your fingers in the vinegar water to spread the rice in a thin layer.
- Place the fillings such as avocado and shrimp sweet on top of the rice.
- Place the thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and lift the edge up and over the filling.
- Roll the bamboo mat away from you and press the rice and filling together. Use the bamboo mat to continue rolling until reaching the blank nori on the edge.
- Peeling the mat back away as you continue to roll, so that the nori can be rolled into a cylinder. Press the mat gently so that the roll won’t fall apart when you cut it.
- Place the roll on a cutting board and use a long sharp knife to cut off the edges on each side. Then cut each roll into 6-8 pieces. Serve with optional soy sauce and wasabi.
What is Japanese Rice?
In Japan, there are many types of rice in cultivation. The Japanese short-grain rice is often referred to as Japonica rice. Uruchimai is a very popular kind of Japanese rice that is quite sticky in texture and is able to be easily picked up with chopsticks. This kind of rice is also used to make Sake, a rice-based Japanese liquor.
Is Jasmine Rice Sushi Rice?
Jasmine rice is a popular variety of rice often used in Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine. Jasmine rice is long and slender and has a unique aroma and flavor that distinguishes it from other kinds of long-grain rice. Jasmine rice is not the same as sushi rice and should not be used for making sushi. Because Jasmine rice is not sticky and does not have the right texture and consistency, your rolls will simply fall apart. Stick to authentic sushi rice.
Best Sushi Rice Brands
Koshikikari is a very popular variety of Japonica rice that originated in Japan in 1956, but is now also cultivated in the United States. This short-grain rice is quite ideal for making sushi due to its sticky consistency.
2. Tamanishiki Rice (or Tamaki Gold)
Tamanishiki Rice or Tamaki Gold is a super-premium short-grain rice that is popularly used to make sushi. This rice was originally cultivated in California, making it easier to source in the States.
3. Lundberg Family Farms Organic Sushi Rice
This Japanese-style sushi rice was cultivated in California by Lundberg Family Farms. It’s gluten-free, non-GMA, and certified organic by the USDA. This short-grain sushi rice can easily be sourced online.
4. Nishiki Sushi Rice
The Nishiki brand offers an affordable option for authentic sushi rice. This is medium-grain rice was grown in California and can be sourced online.
5. Botan Calrose
Milled in California, Botan Calrose Rice is an affordable option for your next sushi night. Many online reviewers compare this rice to the varieties grown in Japan.
6. Kokuho Rose
Here is another California-grown premium rice that is ideal for making sushi. This medium-grain rice is gluten and wheat-free and is certified kosher.
7. RiceSelect Sushi Rice
This short-grain sushi rice has a slightly sweet flavor and a very sticky consistency. Besides sushi, RiceSelect sushi rice can also be used for making rice puddings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using “regular” white rice, basmati rice or Jasmine rice is never a good idea for sushi. Sushi rice has unique qualities that make it more ideal for rolling and shaping. Regular rice is not as sticky and does not have the required consistency. You will experience lots of frustration if you try to make sushi with regular rice.
Calrose Rice is a special variety of sushi rice that was developed in California (hence the “Cal” in the name). This rice was developed by a Japanese-American back in 1948 and has been a popular option ever since. Calrose Rice is medium-grain sushi rice that is inexpensive and easily sourced. Go ahead and pick up a bag of Calrose Rice for your sushi recipes.
Though medium-grain rice may be used, short-grain rice is still the most ideal option for making sushi. Koshikikari is an authentic Japanese short-grain rice that is often considered the best for sushi. More affordable short-grain options such as Tamanishiki Rice are grown in California.
There are many places to easily source authentic sushi rice. Of course, you can visit an Asian cuisine store or the Asian aisle in your favorite supermarket. For even more convenience, sushi rice can be purchased online at major retailers such as Amazon.
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How to Cook Sushi Rice Recipe (+Best Sushi Brands)
- Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear.
- Add it to the rice maker together with water. Cook according to the instruction.
- Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar and mix well.