Simple pleasures, right? Growing up in LA, sushi, next to tacos and perhaps, to a lesser extent, the French Dip, is our culinary mascot. The best sushi is scattered across Little Tokyo, Sawtelle, and the valley, with a lot of mediocre rolls in between. Everyone focusses on the fish when it comes to what makes perfect sushi, which is understandable, but the rice is also a major component to the success of the dish. Cold rice, under seasoned rice, refrigerated rice are all sins in the sushi chef’s kitchen. Perfect sushi rice should be slightly warm, pleasantly sticky – but never gummy, and seasoned with balance. I love sushi rice so much, as a kid, I would order it by the bowl full, covered with soy sauce and sesame seeds.
It’s still my go-to comfort food if I’m feeling under the weather, and today I’m adding a bit of chirashi flare, sans the sashimi (chirashi is sashimi over sushi rice). I added avocado and jalapeño, which are very LA, indeed, and finished it with some sesame seeds. It’s so delicious, and consistently a favorite for its simplicity. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons cup sugar
1 tablespoons sake or mirin (a Japanese rice wine)
1 cups short grain/sushi rice, rinsed until water runs clear
1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
jalapeño, thinly sliced
Heat vinegar, sugar, and sake or mirin in a saucepan just to dissolve and combine. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Cook rice according to rice cooker directions. Transfer to large mixing bowl and pour the su (vinegar mixture) over the rice, gently folding to incorporate, letting the rice stand for 10 minutes. Fold again.
Rice should be shiny, not mushy and have a slightly tart/sweet taste. Cover with a warm, wet towel and keep warm.
Scoop rice into a bowl and top with avocado, jalapeño and sesame seeds.