Preparing Sushi Rice at Home

Sushi rice is the building blocks that will make your sushi rolls taste good that’s why its very important not to rush through any process during the rice making, if you do you will end up with inadequate sushi rice and as a consequence your sushi will not be as good as it should be.

To cook sushi rice from home there is one essential piece of equipment you should have to cook sushi rice and that indispensable machine is a rice cooker, don’t worry you can get one very cheap. the one I use cost me about 25$, here is a good example of a cheap rice cooker I found online : Panasonic rice cooker 30$.

Now its true you can cook sushi in a pan over the stove, but its so much more easier to cook it in a rice cooker trust me.


Step 1: Washing the rice

Start by measuring out the rice you want to cook my recommendation is about 80 grams of uncooked sushi rice per sushi roll. Also I recommendation you should always cook more rice than you need because rice is quite cheap and its better to have too much left at the end then to need to cook more in a hurry since it takes a long time to prepare the sushi rice.

Place the rice in a washing bowl then wash thoroughly with cold water using your hands to rub the rice together making it release any excess starch, keep washing the rice till the water runs clear, this should take 5-7 washes.

Don’t rush the rice washing as its very important to clean all the starch out of the rice to not get what the Japanese call “smelly-rice” which is no good to make sushi.


Step 2: Cooking Sushi Rice

Place the rice in a sieve to let the water from the washing drain out, then place the rice in a rice cooker (I cannot stress the necessity of a rice cooker enough).

Add 150% water to your 100% rice , so for 100 grams of rice you add 150ml of water.

Close the rice cooker then start it, once the rice cooker stops cooking leave the rice in the cooker with the lid closed for another 10 min, at no point during the cooking should you remove the rice cookers lid.

note: If you rice has some issue and for some reason it seems to mushy or to dry, you can adjust the amount of water you use to correct this issue, if its too mushy add slightly less water next time you cook, if its too dry then add a little more water next time.


Step 3: Seasoning the Sushi Rice

Place your cooked sushi rice in a large bowl, traditionally a large wooden bowl known as a “Hangiri” or “Oke” is used, the wood of the Hangiri helps absorbed any excess rice vinegar always giving you perfectly seasoned sushi rice. If you don’t have a hangiri don’t worry you can still use a large plastic container just make shore its very large and shallow preferably with a flat bottom.

Now you want to add “Sushi rice vinegar” this will season your rice making it taste delicious. You can either make your own using the recipe on the right or you can buy ready made Sushi rice vinegar here.

You want to add 15ml per 100g cook sushi rice, for this just assume that the uncooked rice has doubled in weight, don’t go trying to weigh the hot rice. Its best to add the sushi rice vinegar as fast as possible so that the mixture can be absorbed by the hot rice.Although I said add the seasoning mixture fast I don’t mean to poor it over carelessly, its essential to use a spatula when pouring the mixture to evenly cover all the rice so that you don’t have patches of strong taste and other spots with non at all.

After adding the mixture you want to start separating the individual rice grains while gently mixing them around so they all get a chance to absurd the sushi rice vinegar.

When mixing the rice allot of it will all get stuck to your spatula or spoon that’s why I recommend you get a non-stick spatula, although not essential it will come in handy if you start making sushi rice on a regular basis, here’s a good example of a cheap non stick spatula.


Step 4: Cooling the rice

Once the sushi rice is seasoned you want to cool it down to body temperature, for this you can use either a hand fan or a electric fan, just remember to turn the rice over to cool it down uniformly.


Step 5: Storing

Its best to use the rice straight away but in any case you will want to move the rice to a large bowl and then cover with a damp towel, this is done to prevent the top layer of rice drying out.

How long can you store the sushi rice? in my experience sushi rice is like pasta you really don’t want to eat old pasta, none the less you can still make sushi roll with it up to 8 hours after making it, as long as you stored in a warm environment like for example a rice cooker on the keep warm setting.



  • Rice Cooker
  • Large Bowl (Hangiri / Oke)
  • Spatula (non-stick)
  • Hand Fan
  • Cloth / hand towl


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