How to make sushi rice

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Sushi is an essential part of Japanese cuisine and is probably the most famous and popular Japanese food. It has so many different variations like basic hand rolls, sushi balls (temarizushi), scattered sushi, and many others.

How to make perfect Sushi RiceThe main part of all these different types of sushi is obviously the rice, so it’s vital that this is made well so whatever type of sushi you choose to make turns out super delicious! So to help you make sure that your sushi is always the most delicious it can be, I’m sharing with you a recipe for perfect sushi rice!


A few tips to make sure the rice turns out the best it can are:Make sure the rice is hot when you pour the vinegar on top so that the rice turns out nice and shiny.Don’t stir and squish the rice while mixing in the vinegar, you need to “cut” it into the rice.Use a fan to cool the rice as you “cut” the vinegar into it so the rice is shiny.

Don’t put the rice in the refrigerator because it will go hard and dry.

How to make Sushi Rice: Washing the Rice

Every time you make rice for sushi, you must wash it. Washing the rice will ensure that it isn’t too starchy. This is a vital step to ensure consistency, texture and flavor. I always do at least three full washes/rinses for every 1 cup of rice I am cooking.

Each rice cooker will come with a metal bowl that has measurements on the inside. Remove the bowl and fill it with the desired amount on rice. I normally make between 2-4 cups at a time. 1 cup of cooked rice makes approximately 3 rolls.

Here’s how you wash the rice:

  • Make sure your rice cooker is clean (if it’s brand new, wash it out before the first use)
  • Add the desired amount of short grain rice
  • Turn on your sink and fill the bowl with cold water until the water covers the rice by at least 1″ or more.
  • With your fingers spread apart, swish your hand around the rice in a circular motion until the water turns cloudy.
  • Then, gently pour out the water without letting any of your rice go down the drain.
  • Repeat the above steps until you have done the whole process at least 3 times (if you are making more than 3 cups, do at least one rinse per cup of rice). The more you wash your rice, the better!

Traditionally, sushi chefs would wash the rice until the water ran clear. But that is a little bit extreme, it could take up to 30 min., and it’s not necessary for good tasting rice. I usually wash my rice until the water is barely cloudy.

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Once your rice is washed, fill the bowl to the marked line that corresponds with the amount of rice you put in. For example: if I added 3 cups of rice, I would fill the bowl to the line marked 3.

**Note: Rice cookers can be vastly different. Some even come with their own, proprietary measuring cup. Please read the manual that comes with your rice cooker before making a batch of rice. If the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker doesn’t use the same measurement system of your country, then use the proprietary measuring cup for measuring your rice – not the measuring cup you already have.

How to make Sushi Rice: Cooling and Seasoning

After your rice has finished cooking, it’s time to pull it out and let it cool down.

While the rice is cooling, it’s time to make the “su.” When you think about how to make sushi rice, most people don’t even consider seasoning the rice.

Su refers to the mixture of rice wine vinegar with salt and sugar. To make it, pour the vinegar into a pot and bring it to a medium heat. Add the salt and sugar and stir until it dissolves. Then, let the su return to room temperature naturally.

Here is the standard ratio for ingredients in su:

  • 4 parts vinegar (let’s say 4 cups)
  • 2 parts sugar (2 cups)
  • 1 part salt (1 cup)

Now it’s time to lay the rice out to cool. You can use either a large bowl, a tray, or the traditional Hangiri (wooden rice bowl).

  • Dump the rice into your container and bring all of the rice to one side.
  • Add Su to your rice. 2 Tbsps per 1 Cup of rice (measured before you cooked the rice).
  • Mix the rice with the su several times, making sure that every grain of rice is covered. This can be easily seen, as the rice breaks up from the clumps.
  • Allow the rice to cool, until you can barely feel any heat coming off the rice (if you use the back of your hand, you will be able to feel the heat more accurately)
  • Occasionally flip the rice, don’t mix it, until the rice is no longer giving off heat

Once you have flipped your rice 3-4 times, your rice should be ready to use! Feel free to following any of these simple recipes for making sushi at home:

  • Salmon Roll
  • Avocado Roll
  • California Roll
  • Spicy Shrimp Roll



Sushi Rice Tips & Tricks

  • Use polished (white) short-grain Japanese rice (japonica) or medium-grain California rice.  These types of rice are often labeled as sushi rice or Calrose rice at the store here in the US.
  • Wash your rice to get rid of the starchy powder that clings to the grains. This starchy powder will prevent proper absorption of the sushi-su and give you less than perfect rice.  To wash rice, place your measured rice into a bowl and cover it with fresh cold water.  Use your hand to swish and stir the rice around and then carefully drain the water (I use a fine-mesh strainer to do this).  Repeat this process until the water runs clear.
  • If you eat a lot of rice, a rice cooker is a wonderful investment because it eliminates timing problems, makes perfect rice, and many cookers offer a warming function that keeps rice fresh ahd warm for 24 hours.  My favorite that I’ve personally used is Zojirushi’s Neuro Fuzzy Logic.  But again, it’s an investment!
  • It is best to mix the seasoned vinegar with the cooked rice  in a sushi-oke or an unvarnished wooden bowl, but you can also use a wide shallow glass or ceramic bowl.  I use a wide shallow glass mixing bowl, because that is what I have on hand.  Do not, however, use an aluminum bowl, as this type of bowl will retain heat differently and give the rice a metallic taste.
  • Prepared sushi rice should be stored at cool room temperature, covered with a moist cloth or plastic wrap. It will keep this way for up to 12 hours.  Do not refrigerate it or freeze it, as this destroys the texture.
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How to Make Sushi-su (Seasoned Vinegar for Sushi Rice)

There are many recipes for sushi-su (seasoned vinegar), but all use the same basic components: rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.  Some recipes also through in a small piece of kombu, which adds more depth of flavor, but this is optional.  I prefer my sushi-su to be not as sweet as some.  Once you make your own, you can adjust the sugar to suit your personal taste!  This recipe makes 1 cup of sushi-su.  I like to make extra sushi-su so that I can use it as a salad dressing (you can add some sesame or olive oil, but I like it without).  It is delicious tossed with baby arugula and then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

Baby Arugula Salad

The sushi-su to rice proportions that I like to use are:

  • 3 cups cooked rice: use 1/4 – 1/3 cup sushi-su
  • 4 cups cooked rice: use 1/2 – 2/3 cup sushi-su
  • 5 cups cooked rice: use 2/3 – 1 cup sushi-su

Sushi Rice

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1 cup rice vinegar3 tablespoons sugar2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 piece kombu, 2-inches square (optional)

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and kombu in a small saucepan.  Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve.  When the mixture is clear, remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool.  Discard the piece of kombu.  Sushi-su can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

How to Make Sushi Rice

1. Transfer the freshly cooked hot rice to a wide shallow bowl.  Pour a small amount of the sushi-su evenly over the rice.  Toss the rice by gently cutting into it vertically with your rice paddle (or spatula), and then lifting the rice and turning it over.  As you do this, fan the rice with a hand fan or piece of cardboard (or get someone to help you).  Add more of the sushi-su and continue the cutting, folding, and fanning process.  Fanning the rice facilitates quick cooling, which gelatinizes the surface of the rice and gives a glossy finish to the rice.   Towards the end, taste the rice occasionally to decide how much of you sushi-su you want to add.

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2. Cover the seasoned rice with a moist cloth or plastic wrap until ready to use.

Now that you’ve got delicious sushi rice, you can start making sushi!

Temaki SushiHere are some ideas to get you started:

The Process

Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe | The Foodie Eats

In a fine mesh strainer – Rinse rice under running water for about 2 minutes, Then let dry for a few minutes.

Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe | The Foodie Eats

Add rice and water to Instant Pot and use rice setting – low pressure for 12 minutes. Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to naturally release – about 10 minutes.

Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe | The Foodie Eats

Meanwhile, in a small bowl – combine white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir until completely dissolved.

Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe | The Foodie Eats

Transfer rice to glass dish.

Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe | The Foodie Eats

Add vinegar mixture to cooked rice.

Instant Pot Sushi Rice Recipe | The Foodie Eats

Then using a wooden spoon, gently mix well to combine.

Please give it a star rating below!

  • 2 cups short-grain Japanese rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  1. In a fine mesh strainer – Rinse rice under running water for about 2 minutes, Then let dry for a few minutes.
  2. Add rice and water to Instant Pot and use rice setting – low pressure for 12 minutes. Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to naturally release – about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl – combine white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir until completely dissolved.
  4. Transfer rice to glass dish. Then using a wooden spoon, gently add vinegar mixture and mix well to combine.
  5. Let cool, the use in your favorite rolls. Enjoy!

Total Carbohydrates 27g 9% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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