Making sushi rice at home couldn't be easier and it's an essential step for making homemade sushi. Follow our step by step instructions for how to make sushi rice that is perfectly seasoned and also lots of sushi recipes to use it in.
This easy sticky sushi rice recipe is all done on the stove and following our instructions will get you perfectly cooked rice every time. An essential first step in making your own maki, hand rolls and so much more, you just need a few ingredients to make it.
What is sushi rice?
Sushi rice is a very sticky, firm, short-grain white rice that is used in sushi recipes. It is seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar and salt to give the perfectly seasoned sweet and salty rice that will cling to your sushi ingredients.
Why you will love it
- Easy - This is really simple to make and once you have a big batch of it cooked, then there are so many ways to use it.
- Versatile - There is SO much you can do with sushi rice and we are excited to share with you all our favourite sushi recipes.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Sushi rice - You will see this in Japanese supermarkets or the world food aisle of your local supermarket. It is a Japanese style short-grained white rice. When cooked it gets really firm and sticky. Don't substitute it for other rice, as it just won't work.
- Water - Fresh, cold water that the sushi rice is cooked in.
- Rice vinegar, salt and sugar - This is what the sushi rice seasoning is made from. It just gives it the perfect balance of sour, sweet and salty. You could leave it out, but it's really worth this extra step. Some stores actually stock "sushi vinegar" which is a bottle with rice vinegar, salt and sugar mixed into it already, but it usually has other additives so we give that a miss.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make sushi rice - Step by step
One: Put the rice into a fine sieve and rinse under cold water for 4 minutes. Use your hand to gently turn the rice round until the water runs clear.
Two: Put the rinsed rice and the water into a large pan with a tight fitting lid. Put on a medium heat until the water begins to simmer - about 6 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and cook until all the water has absorbed. This will take around 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat but keep covered. Let the rice steam in the pan for 10 minutes.
Three: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat over a medium heat until just simmering. Remove from the heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
Four: Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl. Pour over the vinegar mixture. Use a wooden spatula to chop the seasoning into the rice. Then carefully fold it into the cooked rice.
Five: Cover the rice with a damp towel and leave to cool before using it to make sushi. Make sure the towel is in contact with the rice.
Sushi rice seasoning
Although this is optional, we really think it's worth this extra step for perfectly flavoured rice. Some rice vinegar, sugar and salt is all you need. Make sure you are adding it to hot rice.
It's not just the seasoning mixture itself that is important, but how you add it to the rice. You don't want to mix it in, because that can cause the rice to go mushy.
Don't use a spoon, but used either a rice paddle or a spatula and cut into the rice and fold it over. You don't want to smush the rice. You just need to allow the vinegar mixture to mix in and for the steam to be released.
How to use sushi rice
To make sushi of course, and when it comes to recipes we have got you covered! We have a whole range of sushi recipes for you to try:
Traditionally sushi rice is also served as a side to a main dish like chicken or fish.
If you are using this to make sushi, then use it straight away. However, you can transfer it to an air tight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, do not skip this step. This removes any remnants of bran and any extra starch that's still on the rice from the milling process.
No, the sushi rice cools as you fold the seasoning into it. You then need to leave it to cool before adding it to nori to make sushi.
This recipe uses 850g/4.5 cups raw rice. Once cooked that will equate to 2.6kg/13 cups of cooked rice. This amount of cooked sushi rice is enough for 26 full rolls.
Leave the rice to cool in a bowl with a damp towel over it, with the towel touching the rice. This stops the rice from drying out as it cools. Leave it until it reaches room temperature, which will be about an hour. If you need the rice to cool quicker, then you can spread it out on a large plate so it's flat and it will cool quicker.
You need around 100g/0.5cup of cooked rice per sushi roll, depending on how thick or thin you want it.
More rice recipes
How To Make Sushi Rice
- 850 g (4.5 cups) Sushi rice
- 1 litre (4 cups) Water
- 60 ml (0.25 cups) Rice vinegar
- 4 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- Put 850 g Sushi rice into a fine sieve and rinse under cold water for 4 minutes. Use your hand to gently turn the rice round until the water runs clear.
- Put the rinsed rice and 1 litre Water into a large pan with a tight fitting lid. Put on a medium heat until the water begins to simmer - about 6 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook until all the water has absorbed. This will take around 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat but keep covered. Let the rice steam in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add 60 ml Rice vinegar, 4 teaspoon Sugar and 1 pinch Sea salt. Heat over a medium heat until just simmering. Remove from the heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl. Pour over the vinegar mixture. Use a wooden spatula to chop the seasoning into the rice. Then carefully fold it into the cooked rice.
- Cover the rice with a damp towel and leave to cool before using it to make sushi. Make sure the towel is in contact with the rice.
- Rice typically triples in weight and volume once cooked. To work out how much raw rice you will need for a recipe, divide the amount of cooked rice by 3.
- For the best texture rice, let the rice soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes before you start cooking it. This lets the rice rehydrate and gives the best texture. We skipped this step though as it does add to the process time. If you do this, then don't add as much water as we have, because the rice will get too mushy.
- Do NOT lift the lid when left to steam. It needs this full steaming time.
- Instead of sugar, you could use honey for a natural sweetener.
- It might not look like a lot of water, but it is the right amount.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.