Rinse, cook, and season the rice
Measure the rice into a large saucepan and rinse it well until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and add 4-1/4 cups water to the pan. Let the rice soak for 20 minutes. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice steam, covered, for 20 minutes more.
Moisten a shallow wooden bowl with a damp cloth and put the cooked rice in it. Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the mixture over the rice and gently stir with a wooden spoon until the rice glistens. Spread the rice over the bottom of the bowl, cool for 20 minutes. Flip the rice over with the wooden spoon, and cool another 20 minutes.
Photo: Ben Fink