Sushi Rice

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 1h 20m

Makes 8 cups

The first step in making sushi is to prepare the rice. It is well worth buying an electric or gas rice maker, as it reduces the process of making rice to the simple press of a button.
The following method is for Japanese-style rice, to which a vinegar dressing is added to make sushi rice.


  • For Rice:
  • 5 cups short-grain rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 1-inch square kombu
  • 1/2 cup sake (optional)
  • Osaka-Style Vinegar Dressing
  • 1/2 cup sushi vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon rock or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar (caster)
  • Tokyo-style Vinegar Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup sushi vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon rock or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar

Companion recipe: California Rolls Tuna Rolls


Put the rice in a bowl that is at least twice the volume of rice and add cold water to near the top of the bowl. Stir the rice briskly with your hands to remove any dirt. Cover the rice with your hands as you carefully drain away the cloudy water.

Repeat the process twice more. By the third time, the water should be clear. (Avoid washing the rice too many times, as it removes starch and nourishment from the rice and also breaks the grains.)

Place the rice in a colander to drain. In summer, it will need about 30 minutes, in winter, one hour. If using an electric rice maker, place the rice and 5 cups water in the rice maker and turn on. Machine will cook the rice and tell you when it is ready.

If using an electric or gas stove, place the drained rice and water (plus kombu for additional flavor, if desired) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. To ensure that the rice grains are properly cooked through, do not remove the lid throughout the entire cooking process. When the water boils, increase the heat and boil for about 3 minutes. If the pot boils over, adjust heat.

Reduce heat to medium and boil for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove lid (water should no longer be visible.)

You may wish to follow the practice of some sushi bars and add sake to the rice before removing from heat. This makes the rice puff up and adds flavor.

Place cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel over the rice, put lid back on and let stand for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking. Remove kombu, if used.

See below for vinegar preparation and combining the rice and vinegar to finish the sushi rice.

Preparing the Vinegar:

While rice is cooking, prepare vinegar dressing, using one of the sets of ingredients listed above. Place vinegar and salt in an enamel saucepan and whisk constantly over low heat until salt dissolves.

Add sugar and whisk constantly to dissolve. Do not let mixture boil. Remove pan from heat when the heat is uncomfortable for your hand. If made ahead of time, keep dressing in a closed jar in the refrigerator.

To combine rice with vinegar dressing: Place hot rice in a wooden rice tub or large, non-metallic, flat-bottomed bowl. Spread the rice evenly around the tub using a rice paddle or wooden spoon. Stir rice to separate grains, slicing paddle across bowl rather than stirring.

Make some space in center of rice and slowly add vinegar dressing in center to distribute flavor evenly. (You may not need to use all of dressing. If you use too much, rice will become mushy.)

Continue lifting and mixing rice with paddle, using a slicing motion. use a hand-held fan again. (Your aim is to make rice slightly sticky, with grains separated and evenly flavored with vinegar dressing.)

Continue mixing and fanning until rice reaches body temperature, then stop. If you let it become colder than this, it will harden. Put rice into a rice holder that has a lid and will keep it warm.

Spread a piece of damp cheesecloth or a damp kitchen towel over the top of rice and put lid on. (If you need to turn rice that is cold on top and hot on the bottom, or that has become overly compresed, cover your hand with this cloth and then turn rice with your hand.

Rice is now ready to be made into sushi. Do not refrigerate rice as it will become hard. Sushi rice will not keep for more than one day.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Periplus. All rights reserved.

RecID 3290

nutrition information per serving

475 calories; 1g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 290mg sodium; 106g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 8g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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