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perfect sushi rice

2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
¼ cup rice vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Rinse the rice with cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs very clear. Drain well. Cook the rice according to package directions.
Make the sushi vinegar. While the rice is cooking, heat the rice vinegar, sugar and sea salt together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture nearly reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
Season the rice. Once the rice is cooked, transfer the rice immediately to a large mixing bowl and drizzle it evenly with the sushi vinegar. Use a spatula to very gently fold the rice — more of a slicing and lifting motion, rather than stirring and smooshing — until the vinegar is evenly mixed into the rice.
Cool. Cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel so that it is touching the surface of the rice, which will help prevent the rice from drying out.
Let it cool on the counter (or in the refrigerator) until it reaches room temperature.
Serve. Use the rice immediately in a recipe, or transfer to an airtight food storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.