Sushi is nothing without shari. The importance of shari is evident in the careful cooking process of the rice.
Importance of Shari
Shari is Japanese short-grain rice that’s been flavored with rice vinegar and salt. The mixing is traditionally done in a round wooden tub called a hangiri. A wooden paddle, called a shamoji, is used for the mixing. Shari is also referred to as gohan, sushi-meshi or su-meshi.
Making Sushi: The Process of Cooking Shari
Although rolling sushi and obtaining the ingredients can be a challenge, making the perfect shari for your sushi is perhaps the most difficult.
To create it, you need 105 ounces of uncooked rice, 10 tablespoons sugar, 7 tablespoons of salt, 12 cups of water and 1 and a half cups of rice vinegar.
Throughout the process, monitor the cooking carefully. Wash the rice thoroughly, but not forcefully, to avoid cracking the rice. Don’t use hot water. After rinsing with more water, repeat the process three times.
Next, soak the rice in water for 30 minutes to one hour. Then, cook it in an electric rice cooker or stove top pot with water. While the rice cooks, combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cook until the rice the water.
Let the rice stand for 15 minutes, then place in the hangiri and mix in the vinegar concoction. When stirring, avoid pressing the rice.
Some of the vinegar will evaporate as the rice cools, so your shari will end up tasting a little milder than when you first added this ingredient.
Eating Sushi: How Do I Know if the Shari is Ready?
Rice is essential to sushi and other Japanese foods, and knowing when your shari is ready takes patience and experience. As a first step, use Japanese rice. Using long-grain rice varieties, basmati rice or jasmine, rice isn’t effective.
The rice shouldn’t be too mushy and not too dry. Mushy rice will ruin the texture of sushi, while dry rice won’t be sticky enough to keep your sushi rolls together. If you use shari that isn’t in top form, you may still enjoy all of the health benefits of sushi, but the taste and texture of your dish may be unappealing.