Chef Mitsuhisa Nishio or “Michu” recommends using a sushi rice cooker and seasoning the rice to taste. Start with 1/2 cup of sweetened vinegar for every 5 cups of cooked rice, adding more by the tablespoon if desired.
- 2 cups short-grain Japanese rice
- 1/4 cup sake-mash vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Rinse the rice 5 times, then drain in a colander and let dry for 15 minutes.
- Cook the rice in a rice cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, in a medium saucepan, combine the rice with 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sake-mash vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar and salt and warm over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Transfer the rice to a very large bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the seasoned vinegar all over the rice: Drizzle onto a spatula while waving the spatula back and forth. Using a slicing motion with the spatula, gently separate the rice grains while mixing in the seasoning. Fan the rice while mixing it to help it dry. Wipe down any stray grains from the side of the bowl. Cover the rice with a damp towel to keep warm.
Maki Sushi Fillings:
Crab: Meat from Dungeness, blue or king crabs is best. Pick over the meat for bits of shell.
Tuna: If a piece of tuna is sinewy, simply scrape the meat off the sinews with a sharp knife.
Salmon: Slice salmon across the grain into strips about 4 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.
Cucumber: Seed a cucumber, then slice it—including some of the skin—into a thin julienne.
Avocado: Cut a ripe Hass avocado in half. Carefully strike the pit with the blade of a heavy chef’s knife, then twist the knife to remove the pit. Peel the halves, then cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices.