Easy Japanese Recipes

How To Make Sushi Rice

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

Sushi Rice is steamed rice that’s flavored with vinegar-based seasonings and it’s only used for making sushi.

If you are here looking for a recipe to make plain steamed rice, see my post on How to Make Rice.

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

Here’s the video on How To Make Sushi Rice on my YouTube Channel!  Enjoy!

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How To Make Sushi Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 rice cooker cups* (540ml) Japanese short grain rice*
  • Water (See Step 5)
  • 2" (5 cm) kombu (optional but it will give nice aroma!)
Homemade Sushi Vinegar (or buy a sushi seasoning)
Sushi Vinegar for 2 Rice Cooker Cups (360ml) of Japanese rice
Instructions
  1. Please note: 1 rice cooker cup is 180 ml. So when you use Japanese rice cooker, 1 cup means Japanese rice cooker cup.
    Sushi Rice 0
  2. 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.
    Sushi Rice 1
  3. Now use your fingers to gently wash the rice by moving in a circular motion.
    Sushi Rice 2
  4. Rinse and discard water. Repeat this process 3-4 times.
    Sushi Rice 3
  5. Let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes.
    Sushi Rice 4
  6. Transfer the rice into a sieve and drain for 15 minutes.
    Sushi Rice 5
  7. Gently clean the dashi kombu with a damp cloth but leave the white powdery substances which contribute to the umami flavor in dashi. Do not wash the kombu.
    Sushi Rice 6
  8. 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.
    Sushi Rice 7
  9. To make sushi vinegar, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. You can also put the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute, or till sugar is dissolved. Set aside to let it cool.
    Sushi Rice 8
  10. When the rice is cooked, moisten sushi oke/hangiri (a round, flat-bottom wooden tub) or a large bowl with water so the rice will not stick. Transfer the cooked rice into the sushi oke and spread out evenly so the rice will cool faster. While it’s hot, pour sushi vinegar over the rice.
    Sushi Rice 9
  11. With a rice paddle, slice the rice at a 45 degree to separate the rice grains instead of mixing.
    Sushi Rice 10
  12. Then gently flip the rice in between slices. Repeat this process till rice is cooled.
    Sushi Rice 11
  13. Keep the rice covered with a damp towel (or paper towel) until ready to use.
    Sushi Rice 12
Notes
1 rice cooker cup is 180 ml, not same as 1 US cup. 1 cup will make 2 cups of cooked rice.

Please use Japanese 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).

You can buy sushi oke/hangiri here.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Sushi Recipes

Now with Sushi Rice, you can make all kinds of sushi recipes!  Enjoy!

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.

Editor’s Note: Photos updated in November 2013, Video added in November 2014.

110 comments

Leave a Comment


4 + = eight

  • jackie March 18, 2013, 3:20 pm

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

    Reply
    • 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! :)

      Reply
  • Sankalita April 16, 2013, 10:44 pm

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

    Reply
    • 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. :)

      Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
    • 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. :)

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • 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!

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

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

        Reply
  • 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
    Cheers!

    Paula.

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
      • 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!

        Reply
        • Nami October 13, 2013, 9:22 pm

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

          Reply
  • prissie December 28, 2013, 11:36 pm

    hi how many sushi’s can that make?

    Reply
    • 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. :)

      Reply
  • 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 :)

    Reply
  • Orlando February 9, 2014, 8:19 am

    Learning :)

    Reply
  • 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!

    Reply
    • Nami February 10, 2014, 9:01 pm

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

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • 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. :)

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • 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. :)

      Reply
  • 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! :)

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • 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. :)

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

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

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

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

      Reply
      • 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! :)

        Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
    • 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:

      http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/how-to-cook-rice/

      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… :(

      Reply
  • DANIEL July 24, 2014, 5:42 am

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

    Reply
    • 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. :)

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • chieko March 22, 2015, 2:35 am

      There are a lot of other rolls to make that will hold up well. I love avocado but as Nami said, the avocado will turn brown unless some type of citrus juice, lime or lemon, is added. There are other products that can be bought at the grocery store that contain citric acid, ascorbic acid (vit C), dextrose, etc. to be used to keep fruits/vegs from browning. Personally, a California roll would not be my first choice. I dislike imitation crab (my cats won’t even eat it). If you’re trying to appease an American palate, I’d lean towards a Philadelphia roll. That will keep well if pre-made the day of the party. Smoked salmon is preserved. Just don’t let the nori become soggy. Simple vegetable rolls like kappa maki (cucumber) are easy to make and will be liked by the vegetarians out there. Variations can include adding takuan (daikon pickle), beni shoga (red pickled ginger), green onion, or other Japanese pickle. This way one doesn’t have to worry about fish going bad. Main thing is to keep rice from becoming hard (yes, Nami!) and nori becoming too damp. Hope this helps!!!!

      Reply
      • Nami March 23, 2015, 11:53 pm

        Thank you for your advice, Chieko! :)

        Reply
        • chieko March 24, 2015, 1:46 am

          Thanks!

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

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

    Reply
    • 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! :)

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • 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! :)

      Reply
  • joy October 4, 2014, 2:54 am

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

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  • 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.

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

    What is kombu n wasabi? ?

    Reply
  • mjskit November 11, 2014, 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing you recipe for sushi rice Nami! When Bobby and I go out for sushi, he want sashimi and I want sushi because I want the rice. I love it! I’m so excited that I can now make it at home! Have you ever tried making it with Japanese short grain brown rice? I have a bag of that in the pantry.

    Reply
    • Nami November 13, 2014, 8:53 pm

      Hi MJ! Me too, I love rice, so I always prefer sushi over sashimi. :) About the Japanese short grain brown rice, no, I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know how it is! :)

      Reply
  • Danny November 27, 2014, 8:09 pm

    I work in chinese rest.but they make sushi is very bad. I word recipes for me!

    Reply
    • Nami November 28, 2014, 5:01 am

      Hi Danny! I hope you can make good authentic sushi rice following my recipe! ;)

      Reply
  • margie November 29, 2014, 9:05 am

    Hi Nami, I have bottle of sushi vinegar which I rarely use (to make sushi). Do you have any suggestions or recipes using this ingredient aside from sushi? Salad sauce or put it into some cooked dishes? Thanks! :)

    Reply
    • Nami November 30, 2014, 2:21 am

      Hi Margie! Since it’s somewhat sweetened you need to adjust the sweetness but I would use for salad dressing (similar to my wafu dressing) or “sunomono”. :)

      Reply
  • Brian December 23, 2014, 4:55 pm

    This is probably the best sushi rice recipe I have found. I’ve always seasoned the water with kombu, and very few sites ever mention this. I had to take yours seriously. I also season my rice water with a bit of sake. Have you done that? Am i mad? Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    • Nami December 23, 2014, 5:12 pm

      Thank you Brian! Yes you can use 1-2 Tbsp sake too. I omitted sake for this recipe as I have a lot of readers who don’t consume sake (or alcohol) and didn’t want to discourage making sushi. :) I feel sake doesn’t make a huge difference but Kombu does! Happy to know you put Kombu too. :)

      Reply
  • Paul December 27, 2014, 1:20 am

    Hi Nami

    tried to make sushi from a kit with not much success will give your recipe ago cheers

    Reply
    • Nami December 27, 2014, 10:00 am

      Hope you enjoy!

      Reply
  • watanabe Daniel December 29, 2014, 4:23 am

    i work at sushi king , first agemono and then yakimono , after that i went to kaiten , for sushi , now im learning how to make sushi , nigiri-type , gunkan-type , maki-type , need some advice .

    Reply
    • Nami December 29, 2014, 3:52 pm

      Hi Daniel! I’m just a home cook and not a sushi chef specialized in making sushi. Hope you have a great sushi master at the restaurant who can teach you sushi making skills. I can only share some home cook recipes. Thanks for the comment! :)

      Reply
  • Hana December 31, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Happy New Year to you and your family! Why is it necessary to drain the rice after soaking? I have always just soaked my rice in my rice cooker for 30 minutes before cooking .

    Reply
  • AMULYA KUMAR DAS January 9, 2015, 8:44 am

    too good…..

    Reply
    • Nami January 9, 2015, 9:13 am

      Thanks! :)

      Reply
  • sishitha January 21, 2015, 3:36 am

    hello nami…i always try to cook these japanese recipes but i am not finding the ingredients ,please tell me recipes that can be done easily with the ingredients that are available in india.please……..i am very passionate about ur recipes….and love japanese food

    Reply
    • Nami January 22, 2015, 9:53 pm

      Hi Sishitha! Thank you so much for trying to make my recipes! I really appreciate it. I understand your frustration, but as I don’t live in India, I also don’t know what’s available to you…. Most of recipes should be easy to make, and made by made readers who have limited Japanese ingredient supplies. If you have a specific recipe you want to make, but can’t find the recipe, let me know. I’ll try my best to give you suggestion on substitution. Some recipes might be difficult with substitution or there may be no substitution though. But I’ll try! :)

      Reply
  • Freda Brown January 25, 2015, 1:21 pm

    Hey my name is Freda.My kids and I love sushi so much.I want to try to make it.but we don’t have any stores in Augusta, Ga.that have the ingredients.Can you tell me where can I buy the items?

    Reply
    • Nami January 26, 2015, 3:14 pm

      Hi Freda! Is there any Asian supermarket in your area? To make good (authentic) sushi rice, you will need short grain Japanese rice. You can omit kombu but you will need rice vinegar instead of other kinds of vinegar. If you can find an Asian supermarket, try finding “sushi seasoning”. It’s ready made sushi vinegar you just need to pour over steamed rice. That is the quick way. Of course you can make sushi vinegar from scratch if you can find rice vinegar. :) If you can’t find an Asian store, try Amazon. They usually have some Japanese ingredients. Good luck!

      Reply
    • mistercadillac March 3, 2015, 10:33 am

      Freda, if you can make a trip near Atlanta there are lots of Asian supermarkets. There are even a few Japanese grocery stores that sell nothing but Japanese products. Most are imported from Japan. Let me know if you need some names or addresses of places.

      Reply
      • Nami March 4, 2015, 11:22 am

        Thank you so much for your information! I really appreciate it! :)

        Reply
  • Sunmi January 29, 2015, 6:47 am

    Nice one Nami

    Reply
    • Nami January 30, 2015, 2:07 pm

      Thank you Sunmi! :)

      Reply
  • Rachel Hunt February 27, 2015, 2:11 pm

    hello! I was curious can you substitute The rice vinegar mixture for aji-mirin? I have some of that leftover but didn’t realize I was out of rice vinegar. Also I am making the rice over the stove since I don’t own a rice maker. Thank you so much! Very excited to try this recipe out!!

    Reply
    • Nami February 27, 2015, 2:22 pm

      Hi Rachel! For sushi rice, you will need the vinegar taste… Aji mirin (or Mirin) is basically sake + sugar so there is no vinegar taste to it. Mirin can’t be a substitute unfortunately. :( I’m not sure what kind of sushi you are making but I feel more comfortable suggesting using refuse steamed rice without mirin…

      Reply
      • Nami February 27, 2015, 2:23 pm

        Sorry typo using iPhone… Regular, not refuse.

        Reply
        • Rachel Hunt February 27, 2015, 10:14 pm

          Lol! I figured! Okay! Thank you so much. I will put it off until I can get more rice vinegar. ☺️

          Reply
          • Nami March 1, 2015, 3:32 pm

            Hope you like this recipe! :)

            Reply
  • rccao March 20, 2015, 5:19 am

    What is the ideal moment to put kombu away from the rice cooker? Once the water is boiling? After the rice is cooked? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Nami March 20, 2015, 3:29 pm

      Hi Rccao! When the rice is finished cooking. You open the lid and you can take it out before you fluff the rice. Thanks for asking! :)

      Reply
  • Chieko March 22, 2015, 2:14 am

    I know this sounds “sacrilegious,” but I add my seasonings to the rice before it cooks. It comes out great! My Japanese mother was really surprised when I made some for her. I had watched her make sushi rice so many times, I kept thinking there must be a simpler way! She was watching me in the kitchen and I knew she was thinking, “That’s not how you make it!” But she kept quiet but the look on her face was definitely not believing. So, afterwards, she really enjoyed it. That was a HUGE compliment coming from an old-fashioned Japanese okaasan! Lol! May she RIP! Love you Mom!

    Reply
    • Nami March 23, 2015, 11:57 pm

      Hi Chieko! Haha, I’d be worried too if I see you cook the rice with seasonings inside the rice cooker! Sushi rice has a very particular technique to follow and I don’t think anyone has ever tried changing things up! This is so cool that you gave it a try and found out it works! Thanks so much for sharing your tip! :)

      Reply
      • chieko March 24, 2015, 1:41 am

        Not in rice cooker..stove top!

        Reply
        • chieko March 24, 2015, 1:43 am

          Kazuko, my mother would be laughing now!!

          Reply