Some of the nutritional benefits of sushi rice are that it is cholesterol-free, low-calorie and gluten-free. Sushi rice traditionally is made from short-grained white Japanese rice that when cooked becomes firm and sticky. It is then traditionally cooled in a wooden flat-bottom tub (a sushi oke hangiri). After it is cooled, a mixture of rice vinegar, salt and sugar is added to the rice for flavor. Sushi rice with its basic ingredients is usually very light in flavor to complement its topping.
Short-grained white rice traditionally is used for making sushi rice. The best varieties are Calrose rice, also called Koshihikari or Koshi rice, and a medium-grained rice called Nishiki. Short-grained brown rice, also called Genmai, has become more commonly used for sushi rice because it is richer in vitamins.
A basic recipe--1 cup of sushi rice, 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 1 ½ cups of water, 3 teaspoons of sugar and ¼ teaspoon of salt--has the following nutritional values: 165.3 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 0 g cholesterol, 545.3 milligrams of sodium, 37.9 g carbohydrates, 0.3 g of dietary fiber and 2.2 g of protein.
Firm sticky rice is preferred for making sushi because it retains moisture for longer periods. Also, it is important to remember that rice will not stick together after it has been frozen.
The word "sushi" actually refers to the seasoned rice, not the rice and seafood combination. Over time, "sushi" has become the accepted word when referring to the rice topped with raw fish.
It should be noted the nutrients contained in sushi rice vary greatly depending what it is combined with. For nutrient- and mineral-rich sushi rice, it is best to combine it with vegetables and seaweed or to top it with seafood rich in omega-3s.
- Photo Credit Versatile sushi rice (L. Noguchi)
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