Rice used for sushi requires a specific series of steps to make it as authentic as possible. True sushi rice is called meshi. The rice should always be made fresh and cooled to room temperature with a hand fan to maintain its texture. Mixing the rice with a sweet and salty vinegar dressing gives the rice and the final sushi more flavor. Use sushi rice if you can find it in an Asian market, or substitute any short-grain rice.
Add the sushi rice to a deep bowl and cover with water. Stir the rice in the water to rinse. Pour the rice and water through a colander and return the rice to the bowl.
Repeat adding water to the bowl, stirring the rice and draining it two to three more times, or until the water is clear after stirring the rice.
Bring the rice and 1 cup of water to a boil over medium-high heat in the saucepan.
Lower the heat to low and cook the rice for 15 minutes.
Wrap a kitchen towel around the bottom of the saucepan lid. Remove the saucepan of rice from the heat and cover with the towel-wrapped lid for 10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
Warm the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small bowl in the microwave on high heat for 30 to 45 seconds.
Use a spatula to toss the cooked rice with the vinegar mixture. Do not stir the rice, or it will create a gummy texture.
Spread the vinegar-coated rice onto a large plate.
Fan the rice with a hand fan or a piece of paper until it reaches room temperature.
Use the rice immediately and do not refrigerate.