According to Japanese tradition, aspiring sushi chefs must spend years perfecting their sushi rice before they're even allowed to cut fish. So consider this a head start.
Step 1: Rinse rice Place the rice in a mesh strainer and rinse it under cold running water. Pick out any debris you might find in the rice, such as weird little pebbles or odd-looking grains of rice.
Step 2: Soak rice Place the rinsed rice in your 2-quart pot and fill the pot with water until it's about one inch above the rice. Let this soak for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse rice again Place the soaked rice back in the strainer and rinse it again under cold running water until the water runs clear.
Step 4: Boil rice Place the rinsed, drained rice back in the saucepan and add 2 1/4 cups of cold water. Cover the pot, place it over high heat, and bring it to a boil.
Step 5: Turn down heat Once at a boil—you'll see steam and bubbles escaping from under the lid—turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting.
Step 6: Let rice simmer Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes. Set a timer and don't lift the lid to check on the rice until it goes off.
TIP: If there's still water in the pot after 20 minutes, put the lid back on and let the rice cook a few more minutes until all the water is absorbed.
Step 7: Boil mixture While the rice is cooking, place the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar in the smaller, 1-quart pot and bring it to a boil on medium high heat, stirring regularly until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the konbu to the vinegar mixture and turn off the heat. Set the pot aside to cool.
Step 8: Let rice sit Once the rice has absorbed all the water, turn off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes with the lid still on.
Step 9: Spread out rice Dump the rice into a large non-metal bowl and spread it out with a wooden spoon so it will cool down faster.
TIP: Don't scrape the bottom of the pot—any dried, crusty bits of rice will add a funny flavor and texture to your sushi.
Step 10: Pour mixture Remove the konbu from the cooled vinegar and slowly pour the mixture over a spoon into the cooked rice, gently stirring and tossing to combine and cool it.That's it; you've just saved yourself years of practice!
FACT: The average American eats about 27 pounds of rice a year, while the average Asian eats about 400 pounds.