When one learns to cook, one of the first lessons inevitably learned is the very important skill of cooking rice properly. Seemingly simple -- boil water, add rice, simmer, cover, turn heat down -- this starch can cause surprising problems, whether it's burning the bottom of the pan or sticking together in a glutinous mass.
But eventually, we all get the hang of it in our own particular ways, adding butter and salt in the proper increments and knowing the appropriate time to lift up the lid.
It's not quite as easy, however, when it comes to sushi rice. In addition to new ingredients required, like sugar, vinegar and konbu (seaweed, which is shown in the video above, but not required), there's also the next steps after the rice is done -- putting together the sushi, of course.
While this video showcases sushi rice made with an ordinary pot, a rice cooker is always a great investment -- after all, you can also use it to make pasta or soup.
SEE: A beginner's guide to sushi:
<em>Makizushi</em> is sushi rolled up using a bamboo mat. It is typically wrapped in <em>nori</em> (dried seaweed), but sometimes in a thin egg omelette, soy paper or thinly sliced cucumber. The sushi is cut into six or eight pieces. Maki rolls are easier to eat with the fingers. Fillings include cucumber, carrot, avocado, tuna, salmon, crab, etc. You will find a wide variety of rolls in American-style sushi. There are four main types of maki rolls: futomaki, uramaki, temaki, and <strong>hosomaki</strong> (pictured), which is about 1 inch in diameter and has one filling with nori on the outside.
<strong>Futomaki</strong> is about 2 inches in diameter and has two or more fillings of raw vegetable and cooked or raw fish with nori on the outside. Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotoosvanrobin/5765122258/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">FotoosVanRobin, Flickr</a>.
<strong>Uramaki</strong> is like futomaki in that it has two or more fillings, except the nori is on the inside with the rice on the outside. Uramaki was developed in the United States at a time when Americans didn't like to see the seaweed. Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpeters/3453506891/" target="_hplink">Geoff Peters 604, Flcikr</a>.
<strong>Temaki</strong> is a large cone of nori filled with ingredients spilling out of one end. Temaki is best eaten with your hands as soon as it is made, since the nori gets soggy quickly. Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpeters/3453505837/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Geoff Peters 604, Flickr</a>.
<strong>Nigiri</strong> is hand-formed sushi using a mound of rice topped with a slice of fish or seafood, called the <em>neta</em>. Typically the sushi chef will put a dab of wasabi in between the rice and fish, so no additional wasabi is needed. Nigiri is traditionally eaten with the fingers. Only the fish side should be dipped into soy sauce. Do not mix wasabi into the soy sauce when eating nigiri. Popular nigiri include salmon, tuna, cooked shrimp, mackerel. Certain toppings might be attached to the rice with a strip of nori -- you will find this with nigiri made with octopus, eel, squid, and egg omelette. Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/photoskate/5687849070/" target="_hplink">photoskate, Flickr</a>.
Sashimi And Chirashi
<strong>Sashimi:</strong> sliced raw fish served without rice. Sashimi should be eaten with chopsticks. Wasabi can be mixed into the soy sauce. <strong>Chirashi:</strong> or "scattered sushi" is a bowl of rice topped with sashimi and vegetable garnishes.
<strong>Gunkanmaki</strong> is a type of nigiri. It's a hand-formed clump of sushi rice wrapped around with a wide strip of nori and filled with roe, oysters, sea urchin, etc. Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/takaokun/4343357348/" target="_hplink">takaokun, Flickr</a>.
WATCH: How to Make Hand Roll Sushi
Put together hand roll sushi that looks like it was done by a professional.