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Learn how to make sushi rice at home that turns out perfect every single time! You are only a few steps away from perfect sushi rice and, thus, delicious homemade sushi rolls!

sushi rice in a blue bowl
Table of Contents

It is indeed a little challenging to make sushi rice perfectly, but the good news is, it can be learned. With a few tips and this detailed homemade sushi rice recipe, including step-by-step pictures, you will master this Japanese art! I believe in you!

I have been making homemade sushi for years and have perfected the rice preparation over time! From too hard, too mushy, and other fails – I have experienced them all.

But today, my sushi rice turns out perfectly every single time! Let me show you how YOU can master it too, and start enjoying delicious homemade sushi rolls!

vegan sushi rolls on a plate

The rice turns out soft yet with a firm bite and sticky enough to turn it into a pretty homemade sushi roll or nigiri. You can use this recipe for homemade vegan sushi or use it for your favorite sushi recipe! It also tastes incredibly delicious with this poke bowl!

⏲️ Rice Cooker vs Stovetop

If you are inexperienced with cooking sushi rice, I highly recommend using the rice cooker method! It’s easier than the stovetop method and leaves less room for error.

So, a rice cooker is your first step towards perfect sushi rice. You don’t need an expensive one. A simple and cheap rice cooker for USD 20 will do! If you cook rice every other week, you can up your game with this middle-class rice cooker.

Experienced cooks can use the stovetop method. It’s a bit trickier and leaves more room for error, but with a little experience, it will taste as good as at your preferred sushi restaurant.

Be aware that the rice-water ratio is different for both methods:

Rice Cooker Ratio: 1:1.25 → 1 Cup of Rice + 1.25 Cups of Water

Pot Ratio: 1:1.1 → 1 Cup of Rice + 1.1 Cups of Water

homemade sushi rice in a blue bowl

🍙 Best Rice For Sushi

Short-grain white Japanese rice or medium-grain Californian rice is the one you are looking for if you wish to get that typical soft yet sticky sushi rice texture. Outside of Japan, the bag is usually labeled with “sushi rice”. You can get it in your local grocery store within the Asian aisle or in a dedicated Asian shop. Later offers large bags at a more affordable price.

Keep your hands off all other types of rice! It doesn’t work with basmati or jasmine rice.

🍶 Sushi Vinegar Seasoning

Sushi rice has a slightly sweet-sour aroma that comes from a seasoning mixture made with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Those three ingredients are cooked in a saucepan, and as soon as the sugar is fully dissolved, it’s poured over the cooked rice for its dedicated flavor.

I recommend preparing the sushi vinegar seasoning at home. Ready-to-use mixtures, labeled as sushi vinegar, are available at almost any grocery store. However, those never taste as good as the homemade version.

🍚 How Much Rice Per Person

1 ½ cups (300g) uncooked rice is enough for about 4-5 thick California rolls or 7-8 medium Maki rolls. Depending on your appetite, this is enough for 2-4 people.

Calculate more generously if you are unsure about the amount of rice you need. Sushi rolls can be wrapped in plastic wrap, refrigerated, and served the next day. They taste almost as good as freshly made. Leftover rice can also be used to make poke bowls the next day.

🛒 Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

Sushi Rice Ingredients
  • Sushi Rice → The best rice for sushi is Japanese Short Grain Rice!
  • Rice Vinegar → It’s used to flavor the rice! If possible, I recommend using high-quality unseasoned rice vinegar from the Asian store!
  • Sugar & Salt → To season the vinegar mixture!

👩‍🍳 Visual Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner! 😉 → Watch the recipe video to see how easy it is to make at home! 🤓

  • Rinse Rice: Place the sushi rice in a large bowl and wash the rice under running cold water until the water runs clear. → Move the rice in a circular rotation using your hand to speed up this process.
  • Drain Rice: Carefully discard the water (use a sieve if you want).
Sushi Rice Recipe Step 1
Sushi Rice Recipe Step 2
  • Cook Sushi Rice in a Pot: Place washed rice with 1 ⅜ cups (330ml) water in a pot. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  • With the lid on, bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to the minimum and let it cook for 8 minutes. → Do not open the lid while cooking!
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the rice sit for another 10-15 minutes with the lid on.
Sushi Rice Recipe Step 7-8
  • Cook Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker: Place washed rice with 1 ½ cups + 1 tbsp (375ml) water in the bowl of a rice cooker. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  • Start cooking. Use the “sushi rice” method if your rice cooker has that option.
  • Once the rice is cooked, switch off the rice cooker and leave the rice to sit for another 10-15 minutes in the rice cooker. DO NOT OPEN THE LID!
Sushi Rice Recipe Step 3-6
  • Make Sushi Vinegar: Meanwhile, add rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, switch off the heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Season Rice: Place cooked rice in a large bowl, pour over the hot vinegar mixture, and toss until well combined.
  • Cool: Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel to prevent the sushi rice from drying out. Let it cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
  • Serve: Use the rice to make your favorite sushi recipe or delicious poke bowls. Serve with this homemade pickled sushi ginger and wasabi paste!

→ Use a rice paddle or wooden spoon to combine rice and seasoning! Avoid any metal spoon and bowl as they react with the vinegar.

Hint: The rice water ratio when using a pot is 1:1.1 (measured in US Cups)! The rice water ratio when using a rice cooker is 1:1.25, but it can vary depending on your rice cooker! Be sure to check the manual of your rice cooker and modify the ratio if necessary.

I recently switched from a basic rice cooker model to this advanced one. My old rice cooker wasn’t as good, the rice often burned on the ground and therefore needed a little more water to cook rice compared to my new one.

sushi rice in a glass bowl

🫙 Storage Instructions

Always use freshly cooked sushi rice to make sushi! Once refrigerated, it will turn hard and is no longer usable to make sushi. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days and used to make poke bowls or fried rice.

However, you can easily store leftovers if you have already rolled the rice into sushi rolls. Wrap the whole sushi roll (uncut) into plastic wrap and refrigerate for a maximum of one day. When ready, cut the roll, let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature, and enjoy your leftovers.

If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. 

Please follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook or sign up for my free newsletter to never miss the newest recipes. I would be thrilled to welcome you to my community & thank you so much for your support! 💕

📖 Recipe

sushi rice in a blue bowl

How To Make Sushi Rice (Perfect Every Time)

Learn how to make sushi rice at home that turns out perfect every single time! You are only a few steps away from perfect sushi rice and, thus, delicious homemade sushi rolls!
Author : Aline Cueni
4.73 from 44 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :40 minutes
Cook Time :10 minutes
Soaking :1 hour
Total Time :1 hour 50 minutes
Servings : 4 (4-8 Sushi Rolls)
Calories : 283kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) sushi rice
  • 1 ½ cups + 1 tbsp (375 ml) water (if using the rice cooker method) 1 ⅜ cups (330ml) water if using the stovetop method

Sushi Vinegar

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Rinse Rice: Place the sushi rice in a large bowl and wash the rice under running cold water until the water runs clear. → Move the rice in a circular rotation using your hand to speed up this process.
  • Drain Rice: Carefully discard the water (use a sieve if you want)

Cook Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker

  • Place washed rice with 1 ½ cups + 1 tbsp (375ml) water in the bowl of a rice cooker. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  • Start cooking. Use the "sushi rice" method if your rice cooker has that option.
  • Once the rice is cooked, switch off the rice cooker and leave the rice to sit for another 10-15 minutes in the rice cooker. DO NOT OPEN THE LID!

Cook Sushi Rice in a Pot

  • Place washed rice with 1 ⅜ cups (330ml) water in a pot. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  • With the lid on, bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to the minimum and let it cook for 8 minutes. → Do not open the lid while cooking!
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the rice sit for another 10-15 minutes with the lid on.
  • Make Sushi Vinegar: Meanwhile, add rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, switch off the heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Season Rice: Place cooked rice in a large bowl, pour over the hot vinegar mixture, and toss until well combined.
  • Cool: Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel to prevent the sushi rice from drying out. Let it cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature.
  • Serve: Use the rice to make your favorite sushi recipe or delicious poke bowls.

Notes

I recommend using the rice cooker method if you are a beginner.
The rice water ratio when using a pot is 1:1.1 (measured in US Cups)! The rice water ratio when using a rice cooker is 1:1.25, but it can vary depending on your rice cooker! Be sure to check the manual of your rice cooker and modify the ratio if necessary.
Serves: 1 ½ cups (300g) uncooked rice is enough for about 4-5 thick California rolls or 7-8 medium Maki rolls. Depending on your appetite, this is enough for 2-4 people.
Leftovers: Always use freshly cooked sushi rice to make sushi! Once refrigerated, it will turn hard and is no longer usable to make sushi. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days and used to make poke bowls or fried rice.

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Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4.73 from 44 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Even though it was my first time making sushi rice, and cooked the rice on the stovetop, this recipe worked perfectly and the rolls that hubby and I made with this rice, came out great. Thanks!

    1. I think you should be good if just doubling the ingredients if using a rice cooker! 😉

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe that turns out perfect every time! I love the detailed instructions for beginners as different rice preps can be tricky. I use this recipe for my Spam Musubi and it is the perfect rice for that. Thank you

    1. Sugar is an essential part of this recipe and can’t be substituted if you want to achieve the same result. 😉

  3. Hello! I was wondering if you can use an instant pot set on the rice setting just as well as a rice cooker??? I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Danielle, as I don’t have an instant pot (shame on me 😂🙈), I can’t tell you with a 100% success rate that it will work just fine. But if you are used to cooking rice in your instant pot, why not just give it a try?
      Let me know how you decided.
      Aline 💜