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sushi rice in hangiri to show How to Make Sushi Rice

How to Make Sushi Rice

Master how to make sushi rice like Japanese people do at home, and you’ll open a world of recipe options. Thankfully, sushi rice is easy to make. Read on to learn how to make an authentic Japanese sushi rice recipe step by step!
Author: Akiko @ MIKLIA
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Japanese, Vegan, Vegetarian
5 from 3 votes
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Servings: 4 people



  • cups Japanese short grain rice (note 1) (450g: can yield about 4¾ cups or 990g)
  • 2 cups fresh water (473ml)
  • 1 kombu (dried kelp: 2 inch square size)

Sushi vinegar seasoning

  • cup rice vinegar (78ml)
  • cup sugar (30g: I use beet sugar or cane sugar.)
  • teaspoons sea salt (15g)


1. Rinsing rice

  • Add running water to rice in a large bowl and remove the water. Repeat this one more time. This should be done fast.
  • Rub rice gently. Scoop up rice by hand and gently place it back in the bowl, folding it into the rest of the rice. Repeat this five times. This should be done quickly. Avoid breaking the rice. (note 2)
  • Rinse with running water and pour the water out. Repeat this two to three times.
  • Drain water completely with a sieve. Transfer the rice into the rice cooker or a pot. Add water and soak rice in it at least for 30 minutes before cooking. (note 3)

1-a. Cooking rice in a rice cooker

  • Add kombu, and push the button to start cooking rice for sushi.
  • After rice is cooked, allow to sit for 5 minutes.

1-b. Cooking rice on stove top

  • Add kombu.
  • Put the pot on the stove and put the lid on it. Turn on medium to high heat and bring water to a simmer. Then turn it down to low and keep cooking for 13 minutes. Then turn the heat off, and allow the rice to sit for five minutes.

2. Making sushi vinegar mix

  • Combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt with a whisk in a small bowl while rice is cooking. Allow sugar to dissolve in the rice vinegar.

3. Seasoning rice

  • Remove the kombu. Transfer rice into the center of a wooden tub (hangiri or a large bowl) while it's still hot. Pour sushi vinegar mix over the rice.
  • Start fanning with a fan, and extend the rice with a rice paddle (shamoji), towards the edge of the tub. Flatten the rice.
  • Cut the rice with the paddle and gently fold rice to combine with the vinegar mix while fanning. Don't over mix.
  • Coverup the wooden bowl with a cotton cloth, to avoid the sushi rice from drying out.
    That's it! Enjoy sushi!

Recipe Notes:

  1. Japanese short grain rice, uruchi mai, is recommended to use for sushi rice. They are non sticky rice. Koshihikari, Hitomebore and Akitakomachi are popular brands and are best for sushi rice. They are available from a local Japanese stores or online. Nishiki and Kokuho Rose are available at Japanese and Asian stores. 'Sushi rice' is available at regular supermarkets. 
  2. Rice absorbs the water quickly, and you need to throw away the water before it’s absorbed.
  3. If water is slightly white and cloudy after rinsing, no problem. Leave it. These contains some of the nutrition and umami of rice in it. 
  4. Sushi rice should be enjoyed within a day. If you really would like to save it, transfer it into an air-tight container. Make sure sushi rice has cooled down completely. Keep it in the fridge for three days.
  5. Important - Make sure NOT to season rice in a hot rice cooker. Always transfer cooked rice into hangiri or a large bowl for seasoning. Otherwise sushi rice gets mushy and overly sticky. It's not sticky.  
Hangiri (need to soak with water for 30 minutes before to use, or use a wooden tub or use a large bowl)
Shamoji (wooden flat paddle or use a large spatula)
Nihon tenugui (Japanese towel or use a clean cotton cloth)
How to use sushi rice
Serve this sushi rice with pickled sushi ginger or make kappa maki (cucumber sushi roll), oshinko roll (pickled horse radish), inari sushi (fried tofu pocket sushi), temaki (hand roll sushi). Try Kewpie Mayo with vegetables for sushi too.  
Keyword: how to make sushi rice, sushi rice
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