“The sushi was wonderful,” mom said as we walked toward the door after another sushi-for-Mother’s Day brunch. My wife and I knew that wasn’t exactly so and said as much to each other with our eyes. We’d sourced the fish impeccably and cut it competently, neither of which changed the verdict.
“It’s all about the rice,” I said, my wife nodding. It goes back to the origins of sushi. It was the addition of rice to Japan’s much-older raw fish traditions that gave birth to sushi 200 years ago as fast food in Tokyo’s streets. Vinegared rice helped preserve the fish, a useful property on street carts lacking refrigeration. Sushi, then, is first and foremost a rice (not fish) dish.
But our rice was mushy. “We followed the recipe religiously,” my wife said. “We always do.” And yet our sushi rice had never even been serviceable. I’d researched it online and in cookbooks. But there’s one thing I hadn’t done: ask Davin.