Simple (but delicious) Sushi Rice
Our favorite method of making sushi rice was inspired by Mark Bittman's recipe for Basic Short Grain Rice in his classic, "How to Cook Everything".
Put the rice in a large bowl and fill it with cool water. Gently rinse the rice with your hands - you'll see the excess starch cloud up the water immediately. Drain the water and repeat until the water is clear. Drain well in a fine mesh sieve or colander.
Put the rice, 2 ½ cups of water and salt into a medium pan and allow to sit for about half an hour. (The rice will absorb quite a bit of water).
Place the pan on high heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn off flame and allow the rice to rest, covered for about 10 minutes.
1/3 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin
After rice is on the stove and cooking away, combine the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and mirin in a small pan and heat over medium until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
When the rice is done cooking, place it in a very large bowl. Using a large spatula or wooden spoon, quickly fold the rice around the bowl. The idea is to cool it down quickly. Sprinkle some of the vinegar-sugar mixture over the rice while continuing to fold the rice repeatedly. Continue until the mixture has been evenly absorbed and the rice takes on a glossy sheen. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to use, up to two hours.
You can use this rice to make any variety of sushi from norimaki (rolled sushi) to chirashi (scatter-style) sushi to nigiri (Tokyo-style).