Sushi rice in hangiri.

Sushi Rice

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: japanese rice, rice, sushi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6 cups

Learn how to make sushi rice perfectly every time with step-by-step pictures and a video tutorial. All you need is simple ingredients such as sushi vinegar, sugar, salt and dashi kombu. Once you master the secret of making the rice, you will be ready to dish up all kinds of mouth-watering sushi recipes!



Homemade Sushi Vinegar (or buy "sushi seasoning" - see Notes):

  • cup rice vinegar (80 ml)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (You can use 2 Tbsp if you want to cut down on sugar)
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt)


  1. Gather all the ingredients. 

    Sushi Rice Ingredients
  2. Please note: 1 rice cooker cup is 180 ml. So when you use a rice cooker, 1 cup means a rice cooker cup.

    Sushi Rice 0
  3. 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.
    How To Prepare Sushi Rice 1
  4. Now use your fingers to gently wash the rice by moving in a circular motion.
    Sushi Rice 2
  5. Rinse and discard water. Repeat this process 3-4 times.
    Sushi Rice 3
  6. Let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes.
    Sushi Rice 4
  7. Transfer the rice into a sieve and drain completely.
    Sushi Rice 5
  8. 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
  9. Put the rice in the rice cooker bowl and add water (not hot or warm) 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. If you cook rice without a rice cooker, water should be about 540 ml. Place the kombu on top of the rice and start cooking.

    Sushi Rice 7
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. With a rice paddle, slice the rice at a 45 degree to separate the rice grains instead of mixing. At the same time you need to use a fan to cool rice so the rice will shine and doesn't get mushy.
    Sushi Rice 10
  13. Then gently flip the rice in between slices. Repeat this process till rice is cooled.
    Sushi Rice 11
  14. Keep the rice covered with a damp towel (or paper towel) until ready to use.
    Sushi Rice 12

Recipe Notes

Rice: 1 rice cooker cup is 180 ml, not the same as 1 cup (US 240 ml). 1 rice cooker cup will make 2 rice cooker cups of cooked rice. Please use short grain rice for sushi. 


Want to make less sushi rice? If you want to use 2 rice cooker cups (360 ml) instead of 3 cups, you can adjust sushi vinegar ingredients as following: 4 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp kosher salt.


Sushi Vinegar: There is a convenient Sushi Seasoning available at Japanese/Asian grocery store. 


Equipment you will need:



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.