how to make sushi rice

March 6, 2010

in basics,how-to

When I posted about our “sushi night” on my blog before, I mentioned about “Sushi-noko” which was like powdered vinegar to make sushi rice. This time I decided to make sushi rice from scratch with ingredients you can easily get at a regular supermarket. Actually, it’s really not hard to make sushi rice, but the recipe requires you to work really fast. I don’t usually like cooking food that is “time-sensitive” due to my laziness, but freshly cooked sushi rice does taste better than the one made with vinegar powder.

How to make sushi rice

[Vinegar mix for 3 cups of sushi rice] *( ) for 2 cup of sushi
- White vinegar 3 1/2 tbs (2 1/2 tbs)
- Sugar 2tbs (1tbs and 1ts)
- Salt 1 heaping ts (1ts)

EDIT: I forgot to mention a very important thing!
“3 cups of rice” is when measured with a rice measuring cup. (It usually comes with a rice cooker.)
3 cups of rice is 1 cup and a half of uncooked rice with a regular measuring cup.

1 cup of rice measured with a rice measuring cup = roughly a 1/2 cup of rice measure with a regular cup

*I use a regular mixing bowl, but a shallow bowl is ideal for making sushi rice because it’s easier to get the air between the rice and mix.

1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and set it aside.

How to make sushi rice

Don't worry if sugar doesn't fully dissolve right away. Most of it will dissolve while you cook rice.

2. Cook rice with a little less water (about a half of a cup less) than you usually use. In other words, cook rice “hard.” <- This is very important!

When the rice is done, take a deep breath. Because you have to move really fast from here. Step 3 – 4 have to be done in about a minute.

3. Put freshly cooked rice in a wet bowl, pour about 2/3 of the mixture of Step 2 on the rice, and start mixing rice immediately with a wet spatula with slicing motion, folding the rice over from the bottom, so the vinegar won’t stay at the bottom.

How to make sushi rice

Tips: If you have an extra person and a hand fan, have the person fan the rice. I had my boyfriend as a "fan-boy." A fan-person isn't a part of this recipe, but fanning does help dry the rice a lot.

4. If the rice is not soggy, add the rest of the mixture little by little. If the rice starts to get soggy, stop adding the vinegar.

If you aren’t using the sushi rice right away, cover it with wet paper towel or wet cheese cloth until you use it.

Now you have sushi rice for sushi!

Simple but very important tips when you make sushi rice are…
* Cook rice with less water.
* Pour vinegar mixture in freshly cooked rice. (The water in vinegar will evaporate when mixed with hot rice, leaving the vinegary flavor on the rice without getting all soggy.)
* Mix the rice with a spatula with slicing motion. FAST.

I’m no definitely not a sushi chef, and whenever I make sushi, they all have different sizes and shapes. I think that’s the fun part of making sushi on your own. The only thing you want to remember is that make sure to wet your hands before you make each sushi, just like when you make rice balls. Otherwise most of the rice will just get stuck on your hands. Also, try using a little bit of rice first. The rice should be smaller than fish.

How to make sushi rice

Gently hold the rice in your hand.

How to prepare shrimp for sushi

Put fish (shrimp in this case) on the top of the rice, and gently press it down with two fingers. Actually I think I used a little too much rice here. :P

If you’re interested in making shrimp sushi, check out “How to prepare shrimp for sushi.”

How to make sushi rice on my flickr

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.

If you have any questions about any of my how-to’s, please feel free to leave a comment or email me!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

latsamiNo Gravatar March 7, 2010 at 5:59 am

Thanks for sharing this! I always make maki sushi because I always fail at making regular ones…
I use rice vinegar to do the rice, didn’t know you had to add salt and sugar. And to make it easier to flatten (for maki sushi), I only take the amount of rice I need for one roll, and mix it with vinegar, so that the rest of the rice stays hot and easy to flatten.
I’m not a sushi expert, and actually learned how to make sushi from a French guy! So maybe this is all heretic ;)


JuAn666No Gravatar March 7, 2010 at 8:33 am


When you say “Vinegar mix for 3 cups of sushi rice”, that 3 cups of rice is measured cooked or not cooked?

Sorry for the bad english



AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar March 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

Hi JuAn666 and reiner

It’s 3 cups of uncooked rice, and I forgot to mention that it’s measured with a rice measuring cup. (It usually comes with a rice cooker.)

1 cup of rice measured with a rice measuring cup = roughly a 1/2 cup of rice measure with a regular cup

As for “how to wet a bowl”, if you pour water in the bowl and dump it out, it should be fine.


reinerNo Gravatar March 9, 2010 at 11:42 pm


1. the mentioned of “cup” is equal to 240ml?
2. @ step “3. Put freshly cooked rice in a wet bowl…” how to “wet” the bowl?


fuguNo Gravatar July 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

Hi! I LOVE your site. It’s so inspiring!

I do have a question though- you said ” Pour vinegar mixture in freshly cooked rice. (The water in vinegar will evaporate when mixed with hot rice, leaving the vinegary flavor on the rice without getting all soggy.)” Does this mean the vinegar is only for flavor? I really want to make this sort of rice, but I can’t stand that vinegary taste. Would it affect the stickiness if I didn’t add that in?



AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar July 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Hi fugu

The main ingredient for sushi rice is vinegar, and you can’t make sushi rice without vinegar. All sushi (maybe except some American rolls) use sushi rice. So if you’re okay with regular sushi, this recipe should be okay. But it does have very strong vinegar smell when you mix it in rice (the smell will dissipate in the air once you’re done mixing it), so if you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, you might want turn your face away from the bowl when you mix it. Or have someone fan the rice.

Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck!


E.No Gravatar January 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

If you want to cheat at making sushi rice and you just want the rice to be sticky, you can put in a few tablespoons of honey into the hot, freshly cooked rice and let the rice sit, covered, for about ten minutes.


AngelNo Gravatar August 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Hey I love this recipe and use it all the time. I posted a link to it from my blog post about onigiri http://angelsbentoblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/onigiri-bento-in-pink.html
Hope you don’t mind.
Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes with us!!


2amBerNo Gravatar July 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thanks for the awesome recipe! Just wondering, do you need special rice to make sushi? Does jasmine or sticky rice work? If you need something else, where do you think I could get it? I’m eager to try this recipe… XD


AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar July 2, 2012 at 10:19 am

I never used Jasmine rice so I can’t say or sure, but when I Googled it, many people seem to think it’s okay to use Jasmine rice. However in sushi the rice shouldn’t stand out, so I have no idea what the aroma and flavor of Jasmine rice would do to the taste of sushi.


ilalalaNo Gravatar October 16, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Thanks for your upload. It looks pretty simple and easy; I am definitely going to try your recipe!
Keep it up and God bless you!!


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