UMAMI BOMB SAUCE
This is a "holy moly" kinda sauce that you'll want to put on everything sushi related. It's like an amped up teriyaki sauce with the power of MUSHROOMS.
A handful of dried porcini mushrooms (easily subbed out for dried shiitake or other punchy shroom)
Raw, unrefined muscovado sugar (the really dark molasses-y stuff)
A thick dark soy (the Chinese stuff is great)
2 inches of ginger, minced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Rice Wine Vinegar
Orange peel (optional)
Dried Chilli Flakes (optional)
Roasted Sesame Seed Oil
For Sushi Rice:
1 cup of Sushi Rice, well washed
1/4 cup of Mirin
1/4 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
On a low heat in a non-stick frying pan or a pot, add a lug of sesame oil, and then put the in the ginger and garlic while still cool. Slowly bring to a gentle sizzle, and still regularly until the garlic starts to brown. Add in the mushrooms, and saute they for 2-3 minutes, then add about 400ml of cold tap water. Bring to a simmer, and add about 3-4 tablespoons of the soy sauce, and then about 2 heaped tablespoon of muscovado sugar. Stir those through and continue to stir. At this point, you can a a little sprinkle of chilli flakes for a kick (about a teaspoon- the chilli isn't the main event here) and a couple of bits of orange peel, giving it a delightful citrusy kick!
Simmer it down until it is thick-ish, like a thin, free-flowing syrup. Give it a taste - the flavours should lead with earthy mushroom hit, backed up a deep soy flavour, and a sweet layer from the sugar. Time to season - yes, we're adding salt. The soy is for flavour, and the salt is there to accent it. A couple of pinches of sea salt should do the trick. A few grinds of pepper. Taste again - we went easy on the soy in the first round, do you think it could do with some more? Add some until you find the right balance. Turn the heat right down, and add a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and stir it through.
At this point, you can strain it out, or you can leave it all in there and let the flavours slowly deepen.
For the sushi rice: RICE COOKER. Cover with water up to the first joint of your index finger, with your finger touching the top of the rice (i usually find this is okay, or a ratio of 1:1.3 for a slightly more accurate reading). Two pinches of sea salt. Cook. When done and with the rice still steaming, mix the mirin and vinegar, then fold in HALF that mixture - at which point I taste it, and then incrementally add more until I'm happy with it. (the taste i prefer is sour with the mirin sweetness coming in behind - I dont use sugar in my sushi rice, though you can use a couple teaspoons of sugar instead of mirin if you prefer). This should make the rice nice and glossy.
Put your desired toppings on, douse with the sauce and serve. Also its pretty great for dipping instead of basic soy.