Easy Japanese Recipes

How To Make Sushi Rice

How To Make Sushi Rice | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Sushi Rice is vinegared rice only used for making sushi, and this is not regular steamed rice.  If you are making just plain steamed rice, here’s a post on How to Make Rice.

How To Make Sushi Rice | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

How To Make Sushi Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 cups
  • 3 rice cooker cups* (540ml) of uncooked premium Japanese short grain rice*
  • Water (See Step 5)
  • 2" (5 cm) kombu [optional - but it will give nice aroma!]
Sushi Vinegar
Sushi Vinegar for 2 Rice Cooker Cups (360ml) of Uncooked Rice
  1. Put rice in a large bowl. Rinse the rice and discard the water immediately. Rice absorbs water very quickly when you start washing, so don't let the rice absorb the unclear water. Repeat this process 1-2 times.
  2. Now use your fingers to gently wash the rice by moving in a circular motion.
  3. Rinse and discard water. Repeat this process 3-4 times.
  4. Let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes. Transfer the rice into a sieve and drain for 15 minutes.
  5. Put the rice in the rice cooker bowl and add cold water to just under the 3 cup line. If your rice cooker has "Sushi" option, add water to 3 cup line for "Sushi". Since you add sushi vinegar to the rice, rice is on the firm side. Place the kombu on top of the rice and start cooking.
  6. To make sushi vinegar, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved (or you can put the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute). Set aside to let it cool.
  7. When the rice is cooked, moisten a large bowl with water so the rice will not stick. Transfer the cooked rice into the bowl and spread out evenly so the rice will cool faster. While it’s hot, add sushi vinegar over the rice.
  8. With a rice paddle, slice the rice at a 45 degree to separate the rice grains instead of mixing.
  9. Then gently flip the rice in between slices. Repeat this process till rice is cooled.
  10. Keep the rice covered with a damp towel (or paper towel) until ready to serve.
1 rice cooker cup is 180 ml, not same as 1 US cup. 1 cup will make 2 cups of cooked rice.

Please use short grain rice for making sushi.

There is a convenient Sushi Seasoning available at Japanese/Asian grocery store. You make regular steamed rice, and add the seasonings after rice is cooked.

Instead of kombu, you can add ½ tsp. Konbucha

If you don't have a rice cooker, please follow How To Make Steamed Rice (in a pot).

Update: Photos updated in November 2013

Now with Sushi Rice, you can make all kinds of sushi recipes:)

California Roll

Inari Sushi | JustOneCookbook.com

Temaki Sushi (Hand Roll) | JustOneCookbook.com

Temari Sushi

Dragon Roll | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Spicy Tuna Roll | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Yellowtail Roll (Negihama Maki) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Go back to How To | Home.


Leave a Comment

9 + = eleven

  • jackie March 18, 2013, 3:20 pm

    Great recipes, my first time viewing your website, will continue to do so. Thank you.

    • Nami March 18, 2013, 8:33 pm

      Thank you Jackie! I’m glad you found my blog and thank you for checking out my recipes! :)

  • Sankalita April 16, 2013, 10:44 pm

    Darn! Seaweed is not available in the place i live………………..:-(

    • Nami April 18, 2013, 10:53 am

      Hi Sankalita! Do you mean Kombu in the recipe? You can skip it if you cannot find it. It adds nice aromatic flavor, but it is okay without it! I’ll update the recipe mentioning that it’s an option. :)

  • Markus July 4, 2013, 5:01 pm

    Hello great recipe. I tried it and it was good, however, I’m just wondering how to make sushi rice for 1 kilo of rice. I mean the amount of water and the vinegar mixture. I have a huge family to feed. We’re going to have a family reunion and almost everyone wants a bit of sushi. Thanks Nami.

    • Nami July 6, 2013, 6:57 am

      Hi Markus! 1 kg of rice is about 6.5 Japanese rice cooker cups. My sushi rice is for 3 rice cooker cups, so you can calculate the portion accordingly. :)

  • Nikki Romero August 5, 2013, 7:01 am

    Hi Nami!

    I tried it (with the spicy tuna) and we all loved it! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! :) I have a small family though and have some leftover sushi rice. How do I keep it? Do I just leave it in the bowl covered with the damp towel until tomorrow? I’m assuming the vinegar acts as a preservative. Or can I store it in the ref and reheat when I’m going to make sushi again?

    • Nami August 5, 2013, 12:08 pm

      It will depend on the climate you live in. If its cool place you could leave it out covered with plastic wrap but otherwise I recommend you to store in the fridge. :). Glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you very much for your feedback!

      • Nikki Romero August 5, 2013, 5:29 pm

        It’s warm here so I’ll put it in the fridge. Thanks Nami! :)

  • Paula August 5, 2013, 12:33 pm

    Hi from Argentina!

    I wonder if you have this same recipe (meaning your own traditional method) but without using a rice cooker!

    Thanks for sharing lots of beautiful pictures and gorgeous dishes!
    I’m a cook and I just love Japanese culture… it’s always awesome to find people like you, who share their family and/or traditional recipes. :)

    Some day I will visit Japan and eat those wonderful meals in front of those awesome landscapes!!

    Love your blooog :3


    • Nami August 7, 2013, 1:28 am

      Hi Paula! Thank you for your kind comment. I have to make a post on how to make rice without a rice cooker. It’s been on my list to blog, but haven’t had the time to create a post yet… Thanks for reminding me though!

      I hope you can visit Japan one day! Thank you very much for your feedback! xo

      • Veronica October 11, 2013, 10:41 am

        I also would like to have the recipe without the rice cooker (I’m from Uruguay and we don’t really have access to this kind of kitchenware).
        I’m browsing through your blog for the first time and I’m finding really interesting, will definetly come back!

        • Nami October 13, 2013, 9:22 pm

          Thank you Veronica! This is on my top of the list. Thank you for your request! :)

  • prissie December 28, 2013, 11:36 pm

    hi how many sushi’s can that make?

    • Nami January 3, 2014, 5:27 pm

      Hi Prissie! If you make sushi roll, you will need about 1/2 cup of cooked rice per roll (about 1/4 cup of uncooked rice). For nigiri sushi, you can make 3-4 nirigi sushi with 1/2 cup cooked rice. Hope that helps. :)

  • Teresa February 2, 2014, 4:31 am

    Hi, I am from Portugal and here we do not have many chinese stores (not the food ones) and here where I live we have none, so I would like to know if I cand do the fried tofu pockets only with regular tofu… I would buy a block and fry it? Many thanks, I looove ur blog :)

  • Orlando February 9, 2014, 8:19 am

    Learning :)

  • Maggie February 10, 2014, 7:20 am

    I didn’t know I need kombu when cooking sushi rice! I made some sushi at a party one time and back then, the recipe didn’t mention kombu. Was wondering why there’s some flavor missing and now I know why!

    • Nami February 10, 2014, 9:01 pm

      Hi Maggie! Yes, we usually put kombu to make sushi rice. :)

  • Maureen Shilling March 31, 2014, 4:11 am

    Hi Nami
    I have just discovered your site yesterday , I love it , looking forward to trying your recipes , Japanese cheesecake , and the green tea and white chocolate biscuits are on my to do list , also the cucumber wrapped sushi looks devine , cannot wait to try these , Thank you for your beautiful recipes , I am sure I will learn a lot from you ,
    Kind regards , Maureen

    • Nami March 31, 2014, 11:13 am

      Hi Maureen! Thank you for writing and I’m so happy to hear you found my site and enjoy reading! Good luck with the recipes, and I hope you enjoy them. :)

  • Jack Chase April 5, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Ummmm… I may have missed this. But how much water am I to put for a cup of rice if my cooker doesn’t have a sushi rice setting?

    • Nami April 5, 2014, 10:35 pm

      Hi Jack! In Step 5, I mentioned that you need to add cold water to just under the 3 cup line. Because later on you add the sushi vinegar to cooked rice, we need to cook with a little bit less water so the sushi rice won’t be too mushy. Hope this helps. :)

  • Renee May 2, 2014, 11:32 pm

    Hi Nami! So when I made the vinegar mixture, after I tipped it on to the rice, there was some undissolved sugar at the bottom, do I tipp it in or do I just leave it. Thanks, love your blog btw! :)

    • Nami May 5, 2014, 11:18 pm

      Hi Renee! In step 6, we need to completely dissolve the sugar (so we won’t leave any undissolved sugar). Hope this helps. :) Thank you so much for your kind words! xo

  • johnathan May 3, 2014, 1:57 am

    Thanks for the easy to follow instructions, BTW can I ask whats the reason for leaving the rice to soak for 30 mins?

    • Nami May 5, 2014, 11:23 pm

      Hi Jonathan! Thank you for checking my recipe! For Japanese rice, we usually let the rice soak for at least 15-30 minutes so the rice have enough moisture inside. Hope this helps. :)

  • Izumi Tetsuya June 13, 2014, 10:25 am

    how to make that black roll …. is it fish skin ….. ?? ….

    • Izumi Tetsuya June 13, 2014, 10:30 am

      if no one wants to answer my question its fine …….. caz its a pathetic one

      • Nami June 14, 2014, 5:37 pm

        The black thing you see is called “Nori” and it’s sheet of seaweed. We use it for making sushi and other things. Hope this helps! :)

  • fatema June 14, 2014, 5:28 pm

    Hi can I cook sushi rice with just coconut milk instead of vinegar? If so, do i need to add anything else to the coconut? Please can you give me instructions on how to cook sushi rice with coconut milk.

    • Nami June 14, 2014, 5:36 pm

      Hi Fatema! Thank you for asking! First of all, “Sushi Rice” in Japan means “vinegared rice” that is ONLY used for making sushi. So if you’re not going to make sushi, this is not the recipe you follow.

      You might want to check How To Cook Rice recipe below:


      I never used coconut milk to cook rice, so I’m not the best person to recommend/suggest how to cook it. Sorry I can’t be good help… :(

  • DANIEL July 24, 2014, 5:42 am

    can we use regular rice instead of japanese short grain rice ?

    • Nami July 24, 2014, 10:11 pm

      Hi Daniel! What’s “regular” rice? Long grain? Technically you should use short grain rice because each grain is stickier than let’s say long grain rice that are more separate from each other. If you try to make sushi, the rice “may” be not stick together. If you can find a small bag of short grain rice, I’d recommend to use it to make sushi. :)

  • Georgie July 27, 2014, 6:47 am

    Please tell me how far in advance I can make California rolls, etc for a cocktail party? If I can prepare ahead of time, how do I cover them?

    • Nami July 28, 2014, 12:08 am

      Hi Georgie! The problem is avocado. You have to squeeze lemon to keep the avocado’s green color longer, but still the avocado turn dark after a day. It doesn’t look as nice when we don’t see green avocado in the rolls. I’d recommend to prepare in the afternoon if the cocktail party is at night. If it’s on the same day, keep it at a cool place or refrigerate especially if it’s summer. I usually put rolls on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and then cover with kitchen towel so rice doesn’t get too cold (and become too hard), before putting in the fridge. Hope this helps!

  • Maria luisa August 11, 2014, 12:43 pm

    I love shabu shabu thanks for the recipe and your siteis very helpful

    • Nami August 12, 2014, 12:25 am

      Hi Maria! I hope you enjoy my Shabu Shabu recipe! Thank you so much for your kind comment! :)

  • Laura Mabee August 24, 2014, 10:18 pm

    Thank you kindly for this recipe. Would this sushi/vinegar rice work well for onigiri as well?

    • Nami August 25, 2014, 9:40 pm

      Hi Laura! We only use sushi rice for making sushi. For Onigiri, we use regular steamed rice (basically the steamed rice before we pour the sushi vinegar to make sushi rice).

      However, if you like that flavor of sushi rice, it’s totally okay. It’s just traditionally we do not use sushi rice for rice ball.

      Hope this helps! :)

  • joy October 4, 2014, 2:54 am

    Hi, I dont have rice vinegar. Can I use other vinegar?

    • Nami October 6, 2014, 12:59 pm

      Hi Joy! Unfortunately I only recommend to use rice vinegar. Other vinegar tastes and smells very different and you probably don’t want to use for sushi rice…. Hope this helps!

  • Tejal shah October 9, 2014, 2:49 am

    I want to make all Japanese recipes. But v r vegetarian so Pls send me all kinds of vegetarian recipes.

  • Tejal shah October 9, 2014, 2:56 am

    What is kombu n wasabi? ?