Sushi rice forms the foundation of various sushi creations, including rolls, nigiri, and bowls. Knowing how to make sushi rice is essential for creating authentic and delicious homemade sushi. In this article, I will guide you how to make sushi rice properly.

1. Frequently Asked Questions

1.1. What Can I Substitute Rice Vinegar With For Sushi Rice?

If you don’t have rice vinegar on hand, you can try substituting it with a combination lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to achieve a similar flavor profile. Here’s a possible substitution for rice vinegar in sushi rice

1.2. Should Sushi Rice be Soaked Before Cooking?

You don’t need to soak sushi rice before cooking. Unlike some other types of rice, sushi rice typically just need rinse to remove excess starch and then cooked directly. This allows the sushi rice to maintain its desired texture and stickiness, which is crucial for making sushi rolls and other Japanese dishes.

1.3. What Can I Use Instead of Sushi Rice?

If you don’t have sushi rice available, you can substitute it with other short-grain rice varieties such as arborio rice, calrose rice, sticky rice or even pearl rice. These rice types have a similar sticky and tender texture that works well for making sushi.

2. How To Make Sushi Rice


  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 2 – 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Measure & Rinse the Rice: Start by measuring 2 cups of sushi rice using a measuring cup and place the rice in a large bowl. Next, rinse the rice under cold water to remove any excess starch then drain.

Cook Sushi Rice

  • Rice Cooker Method

Transfer the rinsed rice to the rice cooker’s inner pot. Add 2 1/4 cups of water to the pot. Start the cooking process.

Once the rice cooker has finished cooking, let the rice sit in the pot for about 10 minutes to steam. Then, transfer the cooked rice to a large, flat bowl or a wooden sushi rice tub.

  • Instant Pot Method

Transfer the rinsed rice to the Instant Pot’s inner pot. Add 2 cups of water to the pot.

Close the Instant Pot with the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to the sealing position. Select the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” setting and set the cooking time to 4 minutes on high pressure.

Once the cooking time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for about 10 minutes. Then, carefully turn the pressure release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure.

Once the pressure has been fully released from the Instant Pot, open the lid. Transfer the cooked rice to a large, flat bowl or a wooden sushi rice tub.

  • Stovetop Method

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rinsed rice and 2 1/4 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Allow the rice to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Avoid removing the lid or stirring the rice during this time to ensure even cooking.

After 15 minutes of simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes. This allows the rice absorb any remaining moisture.

Once the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a large, flat bowl or a wooden sushi rice tub

Prepare the seasoning: In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove it from the heat.

Season the rice: Drizzle the seasoning mixture over the cooked rice while it is still hot. Gently fold the rice and mix it with a wooden spatula or rice paddle. Be careful not to mash the rice grains. Continue mixing until the seasoning is evenly distributed and the rice has cooled down to room temperature.

Let it rest: Once the rice is seasoned and cooled, cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

3. What To Do With Cooked Sushi Rice ?

Sushi Rolls (Maki): Use sushi rice as the base for making sushi rolls. Place a sheet of nori (seaweed) on a bamboo sushi mat, spread a thin layer of sushi rice on top, add your choice of fillings (such as fish, vegetables, or seafood), and roll it tightly. Slice into bite-sized pieces and serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Nigiri: Create nigiri sushi by shaping small mounds of sushi rice into bite-sized portions and topping them with slices of raw or cooked fish, shrimp, or other seafood. Mold the rice gently with your hands and press it slightly to adhere to the topping. Add a touch of wasabi between the rice and topping for extra flavor.

Chirashi Sushi: Make chirashi sushi by placing a layer of sushi rice in a bowl or plate and topping it with a variety of colorful ingredients such as sashimi (raw fish), cooked shrimp, omelet strips, cucumber, avocado, or pickled vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds, nori strips, or chopped green onions.

Sushi Bowls (Sushi Donburi): Create sushi bowls by placing a generous portion of sushi rice in a bowl and topping it with your favorite sushi ingredients, such as sliced raw fish, cooked shrimp, crabmeat, tamago (Japanese omelet), vegetables, and soy-based sauces or dressings.

Onigiri: Shape sushi rice into triangular or cylindrical shapes to make onigiri, which are portable rice balls often filled with ingredients like pickled plum, grilled salmon, or seasoned cooked vegetables. Wrap the onigiri with a strip of nori to hold it together and provide extra flavor.

Sushi Salad: Use sushi rice as a base for a sushi salad. Combine the rice with diced vegetables, cooked seafood, and a dressing made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Toss gently and serve as a refreshing and flavorful salad.

With the guides shared in this guide, you now know to create perfectly seasoned sushi rice. Just practice and a little creativity, you can become a master of sushi rice and enjoy the joy of homemade sushi anytime you desire.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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