Skip to Content

Sushi Rice

If you can make regular rice, you’re already on your way to perfect sushi rice at home. You’ll add unseasoned rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for sushi rice for all your bowls and rolls.

Categories:

homemade sushi rice seasoned with salt, rice vinegar and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Cooking Sushi Rice At Home Is Super Easy

Sushi rice, like going out for sushi, can seem like a luxury reserved for a restaurant. We were happy to discover that cooking sushi rice at home is easy and straightforward, and a technique that we’ll be incorporating into our cooking repertoire. Sushi rice seasoning requires three basic ingredients: sea salt, unseasoned rice vinegar, and sugar. Once you’ve perfected this easy sushi rice, you can of course use it for making sushi rolls and nigiri, but it’s also great subbed in many dishes where you would use plain white rice. It adds a nice textural and flavor component to simply cooked fish and meats.

raw sushi rice, salt, unseasoned rice vinegar and sugar in bowls on the counter to make sushi rice

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

Start Making Homemade Sushi Rice Now!

Good news! You’ll need a few simple ingredients and tools to make the best sushi rice in your own kitchen. What kind of rice is used for sushi? Look for Japanese short grain white rice, which is often labeled as “sushi rice” for mainstream grocery stores if you’re not shopping at a specialty Japanese market. Japanese rice is more glutinous, which means that it has more starch because it hasn’t been as highly polished. In general, short grain rice is more glutinous than long grain rice–think arborio rice versus basmati rice! We’ve found that our grocery store reliably carries the brands Kokuho Rose and Nishiki. It’s also important to buy the correct type of vinegar. Look for unseasoned rice vinegar, which has a relatively low acidity (apple cider vinegar will work if you can’t find it). Marukan rice vinegar is the mostly widely available brand in the United States. Once you have these ingredients squared away, you’ll just need sugar and salt from your pantry.

homemade sushi rice in a serving bowl made with salt, sugar and rice vinegar

How To Make Sushi Rice

For this recipe, our cooking method involves using a saucepan with a fitted lid on the stovetop. You can definitely cook the rice using a rice cooker if you have one.

  1. Is sushi rice a 1:1 ratio? Yes! In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in two cups of rice and the salt, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed, 17-18 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine vinegar and sugar. Microwave for 1 minute until sugar has dissolved.



    How to season sushi rice: Transfer the rice to a large shallow bowl. Add in vinegar mixture and gently stir using a spatula or a rice paddle until vinegar is fully incorporated. If using the rice to make sushi, spread rice on a large baking sheet and allow it to cool to room temperature. Sushi chefs cover the cooked rice with a lightly damp cloth to prevent it from drying out as they make sushi. Now you’re ready to make California rolls and all of your other favorite rolls!

homemade sushi rice made with salt, sugar and unseasoned rice vinegar spread out on a baking sheet to cool

Leveling Up Your Sushi Game

Although you can find quality sushi rice at the grocery store, there’s an entire world of specialty rice growers offering premium sushi rice, including some really great farms in California if you’re looking to support domestic growers. If you get excited about specialty tools, another way to level up your sushi rice making at home is to invest in a wooden hangiri and a rice paddle. The hangiri is the traditional tool used for cooling sushi rice, and a rice paddle helps to delicately season the rice. Even without these specialty tools and ingredients, we think you’ll be able to make the best sushi rice at home following our basic recipe.

homemade sushi rice made with salt, sugar and unseasoned rice vinegar in a serving bowl with a wooden spoon

Tools You’ll Need

Recipes To Accompany Your Perfect Sushi Rice

If you’re not planning on making rolls and nigiri with your sushi rice, you could use sushi rice in any of the following recipes:

Are You A Pro At Making Sushi Rice?

Now that you’ve made this basic sticky sushi rice recipe and maybe some delicious fish or veggies to go with it, we want to see your work. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Sushi Rice

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 348

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sushi rice (or other short grain white rice)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or 3 teaspoons pineapple juice

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice and salt, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 17-18 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine vinegar and sugar. Microwave for 1 minute, or until sugar has dissolved.

  3. Transfer the rice to a large shallow bowl. Gently stir in the vinegar mixture using a rubber spatula or rice paddle until fully incorporated. Spread the rice mixture out on a sheet pan and let cool completely before using (see Note).



Note: Spreading the rice out speeds up the cooldown time and also allows it to slightly dry out which makes for the perfect rice to use when making sushi rolls.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories348
  • Protein7 g
  • Carbohydrates79 g
  • Total Fat1 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium290 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Sushi Rice

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

or
  • Linda

    I purchased 12 one cup bowls of precooked sticky rice to make sushi rice with. I had no idea it was precooked. I would like to know if I can safely add sugar white rice vinegar, and salt just as if I had cooked it myself? Will it still taste like and make sushi rice?

    We don't think it would turn out the same, sorry Linda!

  • Jenn

    Came out perfectly made sushi bowls for lunch and they were great!

    Thanks Jenn, glad you loved it!