This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.
Sushi is one of the most popular dishes in Japan and across the world. Sushi Rice is what gives that delicious, irresistible taste to your favorite rolls.
Featured with this recipe
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make Homemade Sushi Rice, the first thing you need to know is that it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. As long as you have the right ingredients and equipment, you can easily create delicious sushi rice at home without spending a fortune.
When I made sushi rice for the first time, it looked perfect, but when I tried to eat it, the rice fell apart. It happened to me, and I know it happens to many people. That’s why I created this simple sushi rice recipe, which uses only four ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. It makes savory, sticky, perfect sushi rice.
Ingredients for Sushi Rice
Believe it or not, you can make restaurant quality sticky rice with just four simple ingredients at home! Here’s all you need:
- Uncooked Rice – Look for a bag that says “sushi rice” on the front. You can find it at most grocery stores either in the Asian aisle or with the pasta and rice.
- Japanese Rice Vinegar – Rice vinegar adds a rich, savory flavor that complements the fish. If you’re in a pinch, substituting apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar is a tasty alternative.
- Sugar – Just basic granulated sugar.
- Salt – Again, just basic iodized salt.
Best Rice for Sushi Rice
The best rice to make sushi rice is a rice called “sushi rice.” It is a short-grain white Japanese rice or medium-grain California rice. It should say “sushi rice” right on the bag. If you can’t find either of those, Calrose rice works well in a pinch. Be aware that not all rice is created equal. Do not use basmati rice or jasmine rice. Neither of these rices are sticky enough for sushi. I can usually find it at the grocery store, but if you can’t find it there, check your local Asian market.
Steps for Making Sushi Rice
- Rinse your rice in a colander until the water runs clear. Then, let the rice drain in the colander for one hour. This step is crucial to the texture of the rice, so don’t skip it!
- Add rice and water to a rice cooker or a large pot. Cover with a lid and cook. See recipe card below for rice cooker and stovetop cooking times.
- While the rice is cooking, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, but DO NOT let it boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- When the rice is finished, spread the cooked rice out onto a baking sheet using a wooden spoon or rice paddle. Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice and mix until all the rice is coated.
- Let the rice cool on the baking sheet, flipping every once in a while.
- When the rice is completely cooled, it is ready to be made into all kinds of sushi!
“This came out great! Easiest instructions to follow! It was so fun making our own sushi at home!” – Suzy
“I was very skeptical of the rice cooking technique, but had never had success with any other method and have nothing but time here in quarantine. It is the best rice I have ever made ever! The texture and moisture levels are perfect. I used bottled sweetened sushi vinegar for the win.” – Pat
Frequently Asked Questions About Sushi Rice
The word sushi literally translates to ‘sour flavor.’ In Japan, people used to preserve fish by wrapping it in fermented rice. The fermented rice would be thrown away when the fish was ready to eat. Eventually, they started adding vinegar to the rice instead of fermenting it to make it last longer. The vinegar-flavored rice tasted good with the fish, so people started eating them together. That was the beginning of sushi! Today’s sushi rice has a sticky texture and it is flavored with sugar and vinegar. This helps to hold the shape of the roll, and the flavors complement the fillings or toppings.
You can give your rice a good soak before cooking with it. Soaking allows the rice to absorb some of the water and helps the grain cook more evenly so there’s a uniform texture in the entire pot of rice.
Obviously sushi is made with raw fish as the main ingredient, but luckily it’s very mild and uses delicious seasonings so the rice doesn’t have an overly fishy taste.
Read Next: 33+ Easy Dinner Ideas
Recipe Ideas and Inspiration
Now that you have a solid foundation, what will you make? The possibilities are endless! Check out some of our favorite sushi rice recipes for ideas and inspiration!
- 3 cups sushi rice It should say "sushi rice" right on the bag. Calrose rice works okay if you can't find sushi rice.
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water with your hand, pour off and repeat 2-3 times or until the water is clear. Rinse a few more times. After the rice is rinsed, let the rice drain in a colander or strainer for 1 hour.
- After the rice has drained, put the rice in the rice cooker with the 3 cups of water, cover, and start.If you don't have a rice cooker place rice and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice rest, covered, for 15 additional minutes.
- While rice is cooking, prepare the vinegar mixture. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat mixture just until the sugar dissolves (do not let it boil). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- When the rice is done cooking, gently spread out the rice over a cookie sheet. Evenly distribute the cooled vinegar mixture over the rice. Gently turn rice over from time to time with rice paddle or wooden spatula so that rice cools evenly. To speed things up, fan the rice each time you turn it over. When rice has cooled to room temperature, it is ready to use for sushi rolls!
Love this recipe?
We want to hear from you! Please leave a review.
I find this recipe the best I have tried so far. Previous tried recipes made the rice too vinegary or too wet. This recipe works. Two thumbs up from my son.
For the nutrition facts. For how many servings is that? And is it calculated for cooked rice with vinegar mixture?
I really enjoy the recipe & always use it! Just wanting to watch nutrition facts on my new health journey.
The nutrition facts are based off of a 1 cup serving of the rice and vinegar mixture. Hope this helps!
Can I store leftover rice in the fridge and use the next day?
It dries out a lot when you store it in the fridge, so reheat it with a damp paper towel or other moisture source. It won’t be quite as sticky but it will taste good!
Can I replace Jasmine rice instead of sushi rice?
No, unfortunately, Jasmine rice won’t be sticky enough. Try Calrose rice instead.
Could I substitute maple syrup for sugar?
I think that would be okay!
Maple flavor will not be conductive to over taste and experience. If you seek purer substitute, use rock sugar (you can buy in Asian supermarket).
The measurements are available in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. Hope this helps!
I can’t get the sugar to dissolve
It sounds like you might need to raise the heat a little bit. It can be fairly hot, it just can’t boil.
I ran out of rice vinegar..can I use distilled vinegar instead .. how about the measurement will it change
Yes you can use white vinegar, just add a little bit of sugar and salt to make up for the seasoning of rice vinegar.
Yesterday was the fist time I made sushi at home. I followed this recipe and it was awesome! The best sushi rice I have ever eaten and it was so easy to make and work with.
Just made this using the stove top directions and calrose rice–turned out perfect!
When it said 6 serving does that mean it makes 6 sushi rolls? If not how many sushi rolls does this make?
Yes I am able to make 6 sushi rolls out of this much rice.
This was my first time making sushi rice and it turned out absolutely perfectly using your recipe! Thank you so much!
I have Marukan seasoned rice vinegar. According to the label, 1/4 cup would have 20g sugar and 1920 mg salt. This is the equivalent of 1.59 T of sugar and .84 t of salt– so you might not need to add much!
I have a questions. I purchased Kikkoman Seasoned rice vinegar for the sushi rice. Do I still need to add the sugar and salt? I’m following your recipe but noticed the vinegar you used isn’t seasoned. Not sure what to do since I’m attempting to make sushi tonight for a birthday dinner.
Yes, I would still add the sugar and salt. The seasoning will just add more flavor, but the sugar and salt are important to the texture of the rice. Hope this helps!
I loved this, a lot easier than I thought it would be and was perfect for our homemade sushi night!
We loved this! It came out perfectly.
worked out perfectly, i added a bit less of the rice vinegar/salt/sugar liquid because I didnt want it too sticky and it was great.
See More Comments