Our sushi rice recipe is an easy tutorial for perfect authentic sushi rice at home without any fancy equipment. Sushi rice is good for more than just sushi. Use it for poke bowls or with grilled meats too.
Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
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Ingredients & Substitutions
Sushi rice has just a few ingredients but a very specific flavor and texture.
- Short Grain White Rice- There are over 40,000 varieties of rice. Sushi, like risotto, is a dish that requires a rice variety with specific characteristics therefore I recommend only using rice that is specifically labeled sushi rice.
- Water- I prefer to use water from the filter to keep the taste clean and pure.
- Rice Vinegar- We don't recommend substituting other types of vinegar and be sure not to accidentally grab the seasoned rice vinegar as it will alter the flavor.
- Sugar & Salt- Pretty simple. I use raw cane sugar and kosher salt.
- Kombu- Optional, but I recommend trying a batch with and without to see if you like the extra savory flavor. Personally, I like using it when making sushi or poke with raw fish but when using sushi rice with vegetables I prefer to make it without the kombu.
Sushi rice is a general term for any short grain or medium grain polished white rice that is only slightly sticky. Typically, from Japan. Sometimes called Pearl rice, Glutinous rice, or Japanese rice. Short-grained rice contains a high percentage of starch when compared to other varieties, and this is why the grains are perfectly sticky
The rice vinegar adds a very slightly sour flavor that is part of authentic Japanese cooking, the sugar adds sweetness to balance out the sour.
A member of the kelp family, kombu is a dried seaweed that is used as an ingredient to provide dishes with umami flavor, nutrients, and minerals. Dried kombu is used in broths, beans, and, of course, sushi rice!
It is available in most large supermarket chains in the US. However, as you can see from our photos- they are often sold out.
In addition to being used to make sushi, this type of rice is good for poke bowls, as the base for any stir fry, or grilled meat.
Sushi rice is best eaten the day it is prepared. However, we have had great luck using in lunch bowls that are eaten cold (really room temperature).
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Also, allow your rice to cool before placing it in the fridge and allow it to return to room temperature before using it.
It is also common to keep sushi rice on your counter covered with a wet towel overnight, or up to 12 hours.
How to Make at Home
- Rinse the Rice- This is the most important step to getting the proper texture. Not too sticky or gooey. So, don't skip it! You need to rinse the rice until the water runs clear, it could take 3 washes. It might take 6. It will vary greatly from bag to bag. The picture below was 4 rinses.
- Cook the Rice- Either on the white rice setting on your rice cooker or on the stovetop. The key is to follow the water to rice ratio listed in the recipe and NOT the water to rice ratio listed on the bag. The recipe will likely use less. After the cooking time, let the rice set. Don't open the lid.
- Add the Vinegar Mixture- Some recipes say you have to use a wood bowl and paddle. I find a wide shallow ceramic bowl with a wood spoon is fine. The vinegar mixture should be warm and the goal is to coat each grain. Use short slicing motions to incorporate the mixture into the rice.
- Cool the Rice- Let it sit on the counter or fan it to speed up the process.
Tips & Tricks
Sushi rice is easy to make at home. But that doesn't me we don't run into issues from time to time. Here are few ideas to help you achieve your perfect sushi rice!
Perfect sushi rice is slightly sticky, a little toothsome, and each rice grain visible, not mushed.
- Avoid using the rice before it has cooled. This will cause it to become mushy.
- Most rice brands will tell you to add more water than this recipe calls for. Too much water will also cause the rice to become mushy.
- Don't rush the resting process, too short and the rice is undercooked, too long, it is overcooked.
- Don't overfill your pot. You want 2 or so inches at the top to allow for steam to form. Otherwise, you will have pockets of uncooked rice.
- Be careful when washing the grains. Too furious of washing can cause the grains to break apart. This will create globs in your rice.
- Again, be careful when adding the vinegar mixture. Aggressive stirring will cause lumpy rice.
- If using kombu, use a damp paper towel to gently wipe off the dust.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make perfect sushi rice at home. Let us know in the comments how you plan to use your rice!
- Mixing bowl- wood, glass, or ceramic
- Mesh strainer
- Saucepan with lid or rice cooker
- 2 cups Japanese or sushi rice
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 2" square kombu, optional also called dried kelp
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Place the rice into a large mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, quickly drain the rice and repeat until the water is clear. This will take 3 to 6 rinses.
- Drain the rice in a colander.
- Combine the rice, kombu, and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan* and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce the heat to the low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard the kombu.
- To make the sushi vinegar mixture combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds.
- Transfer the rice into a large mixing bowl, Use a nonmetallic bowl to prevent any interaction with the rice vinegar. Add the vinegar mixture. Fold the mixture through the rice using a slicing motion, being careful not to crush the rice. Try to coat each grain of rice with the vinegar mixture.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before using.
- Sushi rice can also be made in a rice cooker using the 'white rice' setting.
- Kombu is a great addition if you can find it. As you can see from the pictures I didn't have any on hand. Most major grocery store chains carry it but is often sold out.