Updated: Jul 24
In addition to the "Love" I put into our sushi rice, there is one particular ingredient I use when cooking rice.
Yes, not just plain water. It's a special spring water.
This monthly ritual takes me on an hour-long drive along winding roads. My car is filled with plastic water jugs and bottles as I enjoy the spectacular scenery. My favorite time is in the evening when I can witness the beautiful orange sunset—a gift from nature.
I feel excited as I pour the fresh spring water into my small personal water bottle and sip.
Interestingly, the taste of "fresh" water differs from the one sitting in our kitchen for a few weeks. I often wonder what creates this difference. Is it the water's freshness? And what exactly does freshness in water mean? Could oxidization affect the water's freshness? Does it have something to do with the energy of the water? I don't have all the answers. All I know is that there is a discernible difference between fresh water and water that has lost its freshness.
This spring water is exceptional. I use it to cook rice for our private dinners and catering services. You may have noticed that the rice tastes sweeter if you're lucky enough. The water also enhances the mildness of tea and coffee without any bitter aftertaste. Miso soup made with this water has a clean, smooth taste that brings out the ingredients' natural flavors.
Many have asked why my sushi rice recipe calls for "mineral water." The reason is that the type of water you use can truly make a difference.
Cooked rice consists of approximately 60% water, meaning more than half of the rice you consume is water. Naturally, you want to use the best-tasting water possible to cook your rice.
In Japanese cuisine, a phrase embodies this concept of going the extra mile—adding that extra effort. It aligns with the English phrase "going the extra mile" and is a philosophical part of Japanese culture.
The extra effort can be insignificant. It can be any effort, regardless of its size or impact. It's the thought behind it that counts.
In sushi, these extra efforts can include curing horse mackerel with salt for five minutes, smoking salmon for sashimi, or placing pink peppercorns on Tai/Sea Bream nigiri, among others. These seemingly small steps can easily be overlooked, with our minds questioning their significance. However, contrary to our thinking, these small steps always make a difference.
If I walk an extra mile, it may take me an additional twenty minutes. If I were to drive, it would only add a spare minute.
Is it worth spending that extra time to witness the beautiful sunset and see the smiling, satisfied faces of those enjoying my sushi?
I believe it is.
Interested in tasting the sushi rice cooked with the fresh spring water I pick up?
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