Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make Sushi Rice That Will Impress Your Guests

Sushi is a popular Japanese dish that is enjoyed by people all over the world. It consists of vinegared rice, various fillings, and sometimes seafood. Sushi rice is a crucial ingredient in making sushi, and it must be prepared correctly to ensure the perfect sushi roll.

In this article, I will guide you through the process of making sushi rice using both a rice cooker and stovetop method, as well as sharing the importance of selecting the right rice for sushi, how to wash and soak sushi rice, and common mistakes to avoid.

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Table of Contents

What is Sushi Rice?

Sushi rice is a type of short-grain rice that is specially formulated for use in sushi. It is typically white or off-white in color, and it has a slightly sticky texture that helps it to adhere to other ingredients.

Sushi rice is also relatively low in amylose content, which gives it a firmer texture and helps it to retain its shape when it is cooked. In addition, sushi rice is often treated with vinegar, sugar, and salt, which give it a distinctive flavor that pairs well with seafood and other common sushi ingredients.

What You’ll Need For Making Sushi Rice

Before you get started, you need to have all the necessary ingredients and equipment ready. You’ll need ;

  • High-quality sushi rice : This short-grain rice is different from the regular rice you use for everyday cooking. It’s stickier and has a slightly sweet flavor that complements the other ingredients in sushi. Make sure to choose a reputable brand that’s specifically labeled as “sushi rice.”
  • A rice vinegar : which is used to season the rice and give it a tangy flavor.
  • Other ingredients : You may need include sugar, salt, and kombu (dried kelp), which is used to add umami flavor to the rice.
  • As for equipment, you’ll need a rice cooker or a heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid, a wooden spoon or paddle, and a large bowl for mixing the rice seasoning. With these ingredients and tools, you’ll be on your way to making delicious sushi rice that will be the star of your homemade sushi rolls!

Selecting the Right Rice for Sushi

japanese short grain rice

The first step in making sushi rice is selecting the right type of rice. Not all rice is suitable for making sushi. It’s essential to choose a short-grain variety of rice, which is stickier and more tender than long-grain rice. The most common type of rice used for making sushi is called sushi rice or Japanese rice. It’s a white, short-grain rice that has a slightly sweet flavor and is ideal for absorbing the vinegar mixture used in sushi.

When selecting sushi rice, it’s essential to check the label and ensure that it’s labeled as sushi rice or Japanese rice. You can find sushi rice at most grocery stores or Asian markets. Don’t substitute other types of rice, such as basmati or jasmine, as they have different textures and flavors that won’t work well in sushi.

Step by step how to make Sushi Rice

Step 1 : Rinse the rice and soaking in the water

Step 1 How to make sushi rice-Rinse the japanese rice

Before cooking sushi rice, it’s crucial to wash and soak it to remove excess starch and improve the texture. Washing sushi rice helps to remove any debris, dirt, or dust that might be present on the rice, while soaking it helps to soften the grains, making them more tender and easier to cook.

Step 2 making sushi rice

To wash sushi rice, place it in a large bowl and add water, swishing the rice around with your fingers. Drain the water and repeat this process 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Do not skip this step, as it removes excess starch from the rice and prevents it from becoming mushy. It’s essential to be gentle with the rice to avoid breaking the grains.

Step 2 : Soak the rice

After washing, soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour. Soaking helps to hydrate the rice, which results in a more even cooking process. Once the rice has been soaked, drain it using a fine-mesh strainer.

soak the rice in the water

Step 3 : Cooking Sushi Rice

Rice Cooker Method:

Cooking sushi rice in a rice cooker is the easiest and most convenient method. Rice cookers are designed to cook rice to perfection, and they take the guesswork out of the process. To cook sushi rice in a rice cooker, follow these steps:

  1. Add the washed and soaked rice to the rice cooker bowl.
  2. Add water to the rice cooker bowl according to the ratio of rice to water specified on the rice package. Typically, the ratio is 1:0.85 for sushi rice.
  3. Close the lid of the rice cooker and turn it on.
  4. Allow the rice to cook for the recommended time, usually around 20 minutes.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, let it sit for 10 minutes before opening the lid to allow the steam to escape.
  6. let it cool for a few minutes before fluffing with a rice paddle or fork.
Note : Sushi rice has the same cooking method as normal Japanese rices, but will use less water because of we have to add vinegar after. If you cook it in a 1:1 ratio (like typical rice), then your dish will be too mushy and lose its shape when preparing sushi.

Stovetop Method:

If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook sushi rice on the stovetop. While it requires more attention than the rice cooker method, it’s still relatively easy to do. To cook sushi rice on the stovetop, follow these steps:

  1. Add the washed and soaked rice to a pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Add water to the pot according to the rice to water ratio specified on the rice package. Typically, the ratio is 1:0.85 for sushi rice.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  4. Once the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with the lid.
  5. Allow the rice to cook for around 18 minutes without removing the lid or stirring.
  6. After 18 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit for another 10 minutes with the lid on to allow the steam to escape.
  7. Fluff the rice with a rice paddle or fork and mix in the sushi vinegar.

Step 3 : Season The Rice

making sushi rice

Mix the vinegar with salt and sugar, put it in a microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well until both ingredients are dissolved,.

Then sprinkle of mixed vinegar and mix gently. The vinegar helps to give the sushi rice its signature flavor and also prevents the rice from sticking together. Let the sushi rice cool completely (cover with cloth or cling wrap) before using it to make sushi.

mixing sushi rice

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. For best results, use within a day.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Sushi Rice

To ensure that your sushi rice turns out perfectly, there are a few common mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t skip the washing and soaking step. This step is essential to ensure that excess starch is removed from the rice and the grains are softened.
  • Don’t overcook or undercook the rice. Overcooked rice can be mushy and lose its texture, while undercooked rice will be hard and crunchy.
  • Don’t lift the lid while cooking. It’s essential to keep the lid on the pot or rice cooker while cooking to allow the rice to steam and cook evenly.
  • Don’t overwork the rice. When mixing in the sushi vinegar, be gentle and avoid overworking the rice, which can cause it to become sticky and clumpy.


Making sushi rice is a crucial step in making sushi. By selecting the right rice, washing and soaking it, and cooking it correctly, you can ensure that your sushi rolls turn out perfectly every time. Remember to avoid common mistakes like overcooking or undercooking the rice, lifting the lid while cooking, and overworking the rice. With these tips and techniques, you can make delicious sushi rice at home and impress your friends and family.

Now that you know how to make sushi rice, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and start making delicious sushi rolls at home!

Sushi lovers rejoice – this is the perfect sushi rice recipe! Now that you know how to make sushi rice, it’s time to get creative and experiment with different flavor combinations. Be sure to let us know what your favorite sushi rolls are in the comments below!

Perfect sushi rice recipe

How To Make Sushi Rice

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 cup Japanese short grain rice (150g)
  • 1 cup Water
  • tbsp Rice vinegar
  • tbsp Sugar
  • ¾ tsp Salt


  • Wash the rice in a bowl or strainer until the water runs clear.
    * Do not skip this step, as it removes excess starch from the rice and prevents it from becoming mushy.
  • Soak the rice about 20 mins, and rinse it off
  • Cook the rice in a rice cooker pot with 85% of 1 cup of water.
  • Mix the rice venigar, salt and sugar. Put in microwave in 30 secs, stir well until all ingredients are dissolved.
  • Once the rice is cooked, let the rice sit for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  • In the medium bowl with cooked rice. Sprinkle the mixed vinegar evenly over the rice and mix it gently.
  • Cover with cloth or cling wrap, leave for 10mins.
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