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Why does every sushi rice recipe call for vinegar?


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2 hours ago, FeChef said:

Salmon is my favorite, It is draped over rice, and nothing else. I can taste slight salt, and slight sugar

 

If someone is salting and sugaring your sashimi, you need to change restaurants.

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4 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

Okay, but if you order a bowl of rice on the side it isn't usually vinegared, right?

 

Right.

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@FeChef maybe it's the aroma?  When you combine the mixture (rice vngr, salt, sugar?) it can be strong and linger a bit.  Maybe affects your pallet?  Our little girls don't like it so I make it away from them to avoid an "eeew what's that gross smell?".   Other than that I don't get the aversion.  Done well, it's delicious on it's own. 😋  

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1 hour ago, Eatmywords said:

@FeChef maybe it's the aroma?  When you combine the mixture (rice vngr, salt, sugar?) it can be strong and linger a bit.

 

I think this is the issue. Hot vinegar can have an outsized strong aroma. After time passes  it does dissipate and really rice wine vinegar is very mild at 4% acidity. The seasoned vinegar can be made in advance and cooled off that should minimize some of that smell although it will come back a bit when it hits the warm rice. once the rice is cooled and ready for use, it should be barely noticeable. You can make the sushi rice an hour or two ahead of time and keep it in a tupperware at room temp covered with a damp towel ready for use

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Put the rice seasoning in a spray bottle with a fine mist and lightly mist the rice as you fold and fan. It will more evenly coat the rice and also add less seasoning. Most people are far to heavy handed with the seasoning.

 

Also make sure the rice is well washed before cooking. 
 

you really don’t need much seasoning.

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Isn't the vinegar (of whatever version) meant to give the 'explosive" feel in the mouth.  That's why its served in single bite size pieces, so it can be put in the mouth whole. (the whole thing should fill the mouth completely)  It is about the experience of the slight acidic hit in the sinuses and why it needs to be very mild vinegar, but then the other flavors actually are enhanced because the sinus are clear.

(Sort of like wasabi without the tears)

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21 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

If someone is salting and sugaring your sashimi, you need to change restaurants.

Sorry. I am not a expert in all types of sushi. I meant Nigiri. And yes they add salt and sugar to the rice. Both are very subtle, but again, i can not detect vinegar. 

 

I am just going to omit vinegar completely. If i have to, ill sub it out for water. With the salt and sugar, i see no reason it would change the texture.

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Just now, FeChef said:

Sorry. I am not a expert in all types of sushi. I meant Nigiri. And yes they add salt and sugar to the rice. Both are very subtle, but again, i can not detect vinegar. 

 

I am just going to omit vinegar completely. If i have to, ill sub it out for water. With the salt and sugar, i see no reason it would change the texture.

 

Sushi isn't sashimi!

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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4 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Sushi isn't sashimi!

 

Right. I live in Hawaiian Japanese land. The grocery store stuff is puke-worthy. We have excellent raw fish in many styles including Korean. My niece (the Aussie) always chats up the sushi chef and we get fun stuff as well as pristine fish where he explains catch location and how cut (off menu treats) .  This is her favorite close by if we are playing around. Otherwise - off to the big fish market and simple raw fish. https://fisherman.gumlet.com/public/okaneumi/ilovepdf_merged.pdf?width=500

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9 hours ago, Eatmywords said:

@FeChef maybe it's the aroma?  When you combine the mixture (rice vngr, salt, sugar?) it can be strong and linger a bit.  Maybe affects your pallet?  Our little girls don't like it so I make it away from them to avoid an "eeew what's that gross smell?".   Other than that I don't get the aversion.  Done well, it's delicious on it's own. 😋  

This is a big part of it. Pretty much all the recipes tell you to heat the vinegar up to help dissolve the sat/sugar. The usual reaction "eww whats that smell"

But again, the vinegar taste always ends up overwhelming. 

 

I am going to start omitting it, or drastically cutting the vinegar with water. If a recipe calls for 2 cups cooked rice and 1 TBSP vinegar, im going to cut it to 1 tsp vinegar and 2 tsp water. (just an example)

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2 minutes ago, heidih said:

 

Right. I live in Hawaiian Japanese land. The grocery store stuff is puke-worthy. We have excellent raw fish in many styles including Korean. My niece (the Aussie) always chats up the sushi chef and we get fun stuff as well as pristine fish where he explains catch location and how cut (off menu treats) .  This is her favorite close by if we are playing around. Otherwise - off to the big fish market and simple raw fish. https://fisherman.gumlet.com/public/okaneumi/ilovepdf_merged.pdf?width=500

I am land locked. But we do have a Grocery chain (Wegmans) that prides themselves with quality produce/meat. They have a live sushi bar where they make any sushi to order. Top quality sushi grade salmon, tuna, even A5 japanese beef ($220/lb yikes). 

Anyway. we order sushi and nigiri from this grocery a lot. 

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6 minutes ago, FeChef said:

I am land locked.

 

Oh land locked is not a problem. Some of the best fish I had several years ago was in McCall, Idaho. Cash, sourcing and demand =  the marketing trifecta. Ski all day and indulge in excellent seafood at night. 

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Wegmans does not season their rice properly, it is pretty tasteless compared to what you get at a Japanese restaurant. But if your family is accustomed to that flavor, you should prepare to please them. Authentic or not, if they don’t enjoy it, why waste your time and money.

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

 

Right. I live in Hawaiian Japanese land. The grocery store stuff is puke-worthy. We have excellent raw fish in many styles including Korean. My niece (the Aussie) always chats up the sushi chef and we get fun stuff as well as pristine fish where he explains catch location and how cut (off menu treats) .  This is her favorite close by if we are playing around. Otherwise - off to the big fish market and simple raw fish. https://fisherman.gumlet.com/public/okaneumi/ilovepdf_merged.pdf?width=500

 

I do enjoy grocery store sushi rolls. I also enjoy the sushi from the revolving (kaiten / conveyor belt) sushi restaurants. I also enjoy sushi from a sushi bar / restaurant (made to order or omakase). Expectations are different for each source of sushi.

 

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2 hours ago, Bernie said:

Isn't the vinegar (of whatever version) meant to give the 'explosive" feel in the mouth.  That's why its served in single bite size pieces, so it can be put in the mouth whole. (the whole thing should fill the mouth completely)  It is about the experience of the slight acidic hit in the sinuses and why it needs to be very mild vinegar, but then the other flavors actually are enhanced because the sinus are clear.

(Sort of like wasabi without the tears)

 

@Bernie, I don't know about "explosive" or sinus-clearing, but I do think the vinegar taste should be present in nigiri. I like the vinegar flavor, probably more than most people do.

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1 minute ago, MokaPot said:

 

@Bernie, I don't know about "explosive" or sinus-clearing, but I do think the vinegar taste should be present in nigiri. I like the vinegar flavor, probably more than most people do.

I think in sushi, there should be almost no taste or smell of vinegar. Its all about what it does to the mouth. Like a lot of Japanese cuisine, there are lots of subtle aspects, like presentation, beauty, even mood (relaxation or excitement).

The very first time I experienced this "pop" (its actually hard to put into words) it was so different to what I had experienced/tasted before, I was amazed that a chef could actually do that sort of thing. Then I started to understand why there is such a concentration on technique.

Even when particular flavors are felt during eating is important, the order the ingredients actually hit the taste buds is important. The order of eating and drinking all change the experience.

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23 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

If someone is salting and sugaring your sashimi, you need to change restaurants.

Well,no. Salmon in particular is lightly salted and sugar cured for sashimi. Lightly. 

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Oh Lor - now I have to hit the book storage in the morning. Between the natural gas smell in here and the book avalanche - I may expire.  Gas Co. has been notified and sniffer coming out.  If you get a free hour watch East Side sushi. Some great scenes I think @liuzhou may have mentioned it.   

 

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