How To Make Sushi Rice

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

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

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Sushi Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 cups
Homemade Sushi Vinegar (or buy a sushi seasoning)
Sushi Vinegar for 2 Rice Cooker Cups (360ml) of Japanese rice
  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
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 |

Temaki Sushi (Hand Roll) |

Temari Sushi

Dragon Roll | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Spicy Tuna Roll | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Yellowtail Roll (Negihama Maki) | Easy Japanese Recipes at

How To Make Sushi Rolls with Video & Step-By-Step Photo Tutorials | Easy Japanese Recipes at

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

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    • 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. :)

  1. Markus

    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.

    • 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. :)

  2. 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?

    • 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!

  3. Paula

    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


    • 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

        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!

    • 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. :)

  4. 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 :)

  5. 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!

  6. Maureen Shilling

    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

    • 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. :)

  7. Jack Chase

    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?

    • 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. :)

  8. Renee

    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! :)

    • 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

    • 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. :)

  9. fatema

    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.

    • 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… :(

    • 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. :)

  10. Georgie

    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?

    • 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!

    • chieko

      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!!!!

    • 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! :)

    • 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!

  11. 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.

    • 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! :)

  12. margie

    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! :)

    • 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”. :)

  13. Brian

    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.

    • 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. :)

  14. watanabe Daniel

    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 .

    • 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! :)

  15. Hana

    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 .

  16. sishitha

    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

    • 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! :)

  17. Freda Brown

    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?

    • 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!

    • mistercadillac

      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.

  18. Rachel Hunt

    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!!

  19. rccao

    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!

  20. Chieko

    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!

    • 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! :)

  21. Anna

    Hi, Nami! First I just want to say your blog is really amazing! Secondly, yesterday I attempted to make asparagus sushi for the first time. It was beyond successful thanks to your recipe! I’m so excited to try more of your recipes. Thank you sooo much for posting pictures with your recipes; it’s very helpful. :)

  22. Shan

    Hi Nami! I hope this rice will taste as good as it looks :)

    Unfortunately my rice cooker, which we usually use for basmati rice, doesn’t have any marks on the inside at all. Therefore i don’t know how much water i have to put in it. Could you tell me how much mililiters of water that would be?

    And my second (and third) question:I never cooked rice before, so how long do i have to cook the rice? My rice cooker has 5 different options and i would suggest to choose the lowest one to avoid the rice getting burned on the bottom. Am i right?

    • Hi Shan! I don’t use basmati rice so I’m not familiar with the right amount of water for it. However, if you use Japanese short grain rice, usually 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) for 1 cup (240ml). Both rice is quite different, so I’m not sure how we can convert… I think you can try 1 cup water for 1 cup rice and adjust from there.

      What are the 5 options on your rice cooker (what brand and model?)? Depends on the quality of rice cooker, there is no burn on the bottom. My rice cooker never gives burnt rice. Hope this helps…. :)

      • Shan

        Hi Nami, thanks for the quick response!

        You misunderstood something. I want to cook japanese short grain rice and not basmati rice, but we usually use our rice cooker for cooking basmati rice. That’s why I mentioned it. I apologize for being unclear :)

        The 5 options decide how long the rice will cook and are used to make the (basmati) rice crispy on the bottom. Because of that i feared that the japanese rice could get “crispy” on the bottom as well. However, if you could tell me how long I have to cook the short grain rice I am a happy man.

        PS.: You wrote in your recipe that 1 cup of rice is 180ml, but now you said 1 cup equals 240ml
        What’s the right one?

        Sorry for the long post!

        • Hi Shan! Ohh so sorry, it’s my bad. I understand now. First of all, 1 “Japanese rice cooker” cup is 180 ml (and it’s for Japanese rice cooker). However, if your rice cooker is not Japanese and didn’t come with the “rice cooker cup”, don’t worry about it. Just treat 1 cup as 240 ml. I make the recipe here:

          Once the water is boling, we cook rice on low heat for 12-13 minutes.

          Japanese rice cooker cooks rice (slowly) for 45 minutes but I don’t think your rice cooker does the same. The rice cooker has non-stick coating so it doesn’t get burnt. Hope my answer helps…

  23. Barbara

    Hi Nami! I made kimbap the other day and want to have a shot at Japanese sushi – I want to make it for me and my mum’s packed lunch but as I already have to wake up early in the morning to go to uni, I can’t really see myself waking up even earlier to cook rice. Is there a way I can make the rice the night before and reheat it in the morning so I would only have to prepare the sushi filling?

    Can I freeze the rice and reheat it in the morning? If I can, it’s better to add the vinegar after reheating it right? I find that refrigerating rice makes it hard and even after moistening & microwaving it’s never really as nice as it originally was.

  24. Kira Yamato

    Amazing recipe. I love rice now so much. Before I used to hate eating rice but now I love it the Kombu made it smell even better. Once again very amazing. 😀