How in the following picture the sushi rice is transparent, and when I made home sushi rice, it would white as snow ?

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I soak rice in water for 2 hours. And by the way, why sometimes even with a good knife, when I cut a sushi roll, the inside ingredients start to fall off and got a bad shape sushi pieces ?

And why sometimes ingredients on top of rice do not stick to it (like mangos or avocado ) ? Is it the rice ? Or some ingredients are making the nori wet.

2 Answers 2


Many questions here!!!

Sushi is simple but very difficult to do properly.

The rice is not transparent; it is only "shiny" (probably doctored for the picture). (well, maybe it is transparent and I have not seen it! :-) )

When you prepare you rice, do you add sugar and rice vinegar ? this will make the rice sticky and lump together so that the rolls do not crumble away. When you roll the rolls, do you apply enough pressure to make a solid roll ? Also, use a sharp and wet/humid knife to cut the rolls and do it in a single stroke (no see-saw movements).

Damp nori gets a little bit sticky; by applying a thin slice of mange or avocado, it should be enough to stick to the nori; also you can use the rolling mat to help "squeeze" the mango or avocado to the nori.

  • I add a little bit of rice vinegar, I usually make 2 cups of rice, and add 1/4 cup of rice vinegar salt and sugar Mar 12, 2016 at 13:50
  • With the nori being to wet, it is probably rice and ingredients making it that way. Or your hands are too wet when forming the rolls. Moisten hands with the sushi rice liquid, or use a combo of water, mirin and sake to keep the grains from sticking to you. I might also add that you should slightly dry out the nori before using it on an low open flame or even on an electric coil. This will make the nori more crispy and keep it from getting too soggy.
    – JG sd
    Mar 13, 2016 at 16:42

Sushi rice traditionally is short grain rice. It should be "new rice" or shinmai "新米", for the best rice. As for looks it should have a sheen but I don't think it should be transparent. When cooking sushi rice, you should wash it well. When washing, put the uncooked rice into a bowl with enough water to cover the rice. Then rub the wet grains together to wash them, this removes any dust or powder from the grains. Then rinse the rice out with fresh water and repeat, till the water is mostly clear.

Then strain the rice out in a colander or some other net or wire basket for at least 30 minutes to an hour, but it should not be soaking in water. You want it to rest and absorb the water, but not too much. Then cook according to your recipe, used bottled or spring water depending on your local water. I will pre soak for just another 10 minutes before cooking. In sushi restaurants they place the uncooked rice in a tightly woven netting. This is used to keep the rice from sticking to the pot while cooking, and to get the rice out all at once.

After the rice is cooked it's taken out and emptied into the traditional wooden (japanese cedar) bowl, hangiri. Where it is seasoned with rice vinegar/mirin/sugar mixture, stirred with a flat spatula (shamoji) and cooled with a fan (uchiwa) till just warm. Ok, now they still use the bowl and spatula, but they use an electric fan to cool the rice. It is then either put back into the rice cooker or it is placed in a wooden lidded tub to keep till it needs to be used.

The sushi rice should be sticky but not wet and it should have good texture, not soft or hard.

If rice is too wet: *soaked too long or washed too much. *too much water when cooking. *wrong heat levels if cooking on stove, too low for too long. *too much sushi rice seasoning if wet type. Helpful to use the wooden bowl as it absorbs excess water/moisture from rice.

Ingredients not sticking, will depend on the rice texture and stickiness. But sometimes it is also the wetness or slickness of the ingredients. Then it might also depend on what type of sushi you are preparing...rolls (maki), hand rolls (ice cream cone looking), or nigiri sushi. I would suggest that you use the first two if things are moving around too much, as they form a container for the ingredients. If doing nigiri or the little blocks of rice with ingredients on top then it might slip off.

  • So I should let the rice rest for 30 minutes after washing it without water ????? Why most chefs let it rest for 30 minutes inside water ? I am now confused. Mar 13, 2016 at 16:20
  • I would say yes, it's the resting part that makes the texture of the rice "al dente" so to speak. After the grains have rested they look a different color, this is probably the only time they are kind of transparent. I would answer that, other chefs have not washed their rice enough to remove the powder coating or they are using a medium grain rice which is not as sticky as a short grain rice. By soaking the longer grain rice, it is absorbing more water to become more sticky, at the expense of rice texture. But I'm just guessing here.
    – JG sd
    Mar 13, 2016 at 16:34

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