3 cups Japanese-style short grain rice
(look for Calrose rice);
3 cups cold water (or according to your rice cooker instructions); 1/2 cup rice vinegar; 4 tablespoons fine sugar;
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil;
fresh salmon, (as much as needed);
1 green onion, chopped;
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (mix of
black and white sesame seeds);
wasabi as needed; alfalfa sprouts for decoration.
Recipe: Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear. Let the rice stay and soak in a bowl with 3 cups of water for 15-30 minutes or until it turns opaque. Strain the rice again and put it in a rice cooker with the 3 cups cold water. (You can skip this step with the soaking, but in this case you should add 1/2 cup of water more). Turn the rice cooker on and cook the rice. You shouldn't open the lid until the rice is ready. When the light of the rice cooker indicates that the rice is ready take the pot out of the cooker and let it rest for ten minutes before lifting the lid. Use the plastic spatula that comes with your rice cooker to turn the rice, using a slashing motion, and fan it until it coold down a bit, or about 5-10 minutes. Mix the rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil together and pour the mixture in the rice.
Mix well with the spatula and let the rice rest for at least 1 hour before using it. In the summer you can cool down the rice in a fridge for about 30-45 minutes, if outside is too warm. In the winter it's better if you don't refrigerate the rice. This rice recipe yields enough sushi rice for about 50-55 pieces of nigiri sushi. To make the nigiri, prepare as many rice balls as needed and shape them with the palms of your hands into thumb sized pieces. Smear a little wasabi on each nigiri. Slice the salmon against the grain to 1/4-inch thick and 2.5-inches long pieces and top the nigiri rice. Garnish the salmon nigiri sushi with chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger. Tip: It is very important that you use very fresh salmon and handle it in a sanitary way, if you want your salmon nigiri to look like the one from my picture. Check my other sushi recipes, here.
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.