If you know much about sushi, you’re likely aware of the vinegared rice that is used in everything that is attached to the name. Be it a roll, a nigiri, or a chirashi, be it filled with fish, pickles, or spam, it’s not sushi unless it’s made with the mix of rice and vinegar that the Japanese know as sushi rice. However, don’t let this make you think that you can manufacture your own sushi simply by combining rice with the vinegar in your cupboard.
In order to make proper sushi rice, you need to use proper sushi vinegar. This is a far milder form of vinegar than common white vinegar, which can seriously overpower the subtle tastes associated with sushi. A sushi chef makes sushi vinegar by combining rice vinegar with sugar, sake, mirin, or something else that can serve to sweeten the final product. This concoction is then sprinkled over cooked rice and mixed in until it takes on the proper sticky consistency to make up the sushi we serve at our Japanese restaurant in Bothell.