3 cups short-grain sushi rice* (uncooked)
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons dried wakame* (opt)
3 cups water
Put the rice into a large mixing bowl. Add water to about an inch from the top of the bowl, mixing the rice with your hand as the water goes in. Drain of the rice carefully. Repeat this until the water is clear. Drain a final time.
Let the rice sit for 20 minutes.
Place in a saucepan and add 3 cups of water and the wakame (if using). Let sit for 5 minutes. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and cover. Cook for ten minutes. Check if the rice is done by using a rice paddle to push rice away from the bottom (rice should stay when you push it aside, and the bottom should be pretty dry). Let cool for five minutes with the cover on.
During that time, heat the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan until it boils, stir to dissolve, and immediately remove from heat (and be careful to not put your face over the steam - vinegar isn't nose-friendly). Pour small amounts of the vinegar mixture over the rice until it's gone, and fold the rice to mix it in.
To cool the rice rapidly, fan it (I do it with a Tupperware lid). The rice has to be cool to use for sushi.
Besides using this for nori maki (rolled sushi), you can use this for inari (tofu pouches), chirashizushi (scattered sushi - basically a bowl of sushi rice with the other ingredients scattered on top), or if you're daring, nigiri (hand-formed sushi). I like to eat it plain...
* I don't think wakame is typical to put in the rice, but I like the flavor it adds. It's a kind of seaweed that you can typically find in Asian markets. For sushi rice, you can buy it at a regular grocery/ Whole Foods for an arm and a leg, or you can go to an Asian grocery and get it cheap. I used Botan calrose rice (it's not always labeled as sushi rice).