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How to make sushi rice (Video)

Struggling to get your sushi rice just right? Let me guide you through the process so you can savor delicious homemade sushi.

How to Make Sushi Rice

Crafting sushi might seem straightforward—all you need is sushi rice, vinegar, seaweed, and fish and/or vegetables. Yet, while the basics are easy to grasp, mastering the art of sushi is a different tale. Becoming an itamae, a sushi master in Japan, demands years of dedication, perseverance, and, most importantly, ample practice.

Those immersed in the art of sushi spend years perfecting the shari (sushi rice). Without impeccable rice, they aren’t permitted to progress and handle the fish. Fear not, even without achieving sushi mastery, with the insights I’m about to share and a bit of practice, you’ll soon be rolling your own sushi at home, delighting family and friends.

What do you need to make sushi?

Sushi Rice

Rice is a sushi cornerstone. Surprisingly, sushi refers to vinegar-seasoned rice rather than, as commonly believed, fish.

What kind of rice should I use?

For top-notch sushi rice, opt for “sushi rice” (japonica variety). It’s medium-grain and, when prepared as I’ll guide you today, yields a sticky enough rice for nigiri, easily picked up with chopsticks. Among sushi masters, koshihikari is a favored variety.

Should I Wash Rice?

Absolutely! Though it might seem like an extra step, washing rice is crucial. Japanese rice boasts more starch than other varieties, and thorough washing removes excess starch. Otherwise, the leftover starch can make the cooked rice overly sticky.

Rice Vinegar

Japanese vinegar, made from rice, is milder than its Western counterparts. It’s a key ingredient in preparing awasezu, the mixture used to season sushi rice. To make it, combine rice vinegar with kombu seaweed, sugar, and salt.

Once the sushi seasoning is ready, add it in a 1:0.25 ratio. For every 1 cup of rice, add 1/4 cup of the vinegar preparation.

Soy Sauce

Known as shoyu in Japanese, soy sauce originated in China. Traditionally, it’s crafted from boiled soybeans and roasted wheat grains with added kōji (aspergillus oryzae).

There are different types of soy sauce in sushi restaurants:

  • The first is the house soy sauce.
  • The second is nigiri sauce, also known as sweet soy sauce.
  • For lean fish and clams, mild soy sauce is often used.
  • Finally, we have the eagle sauce.

Each restaurant has its version, and nigiri sauce is often applied by the chef when preparing nigiri.


Nori is the most common seaweed in sushi, used in maki, gunkanmaki, and as a garnish in chirashi. Consider getting kombu seaweed, essential for rice preparation and dashi.

Get ready to elevate your sushi game!

How to Make Sushi Rice
Print recipe
5 from 5 votes
Struggling to get your sushi rice just right? Let me guide you through the process so you can savor delicious homemade sushi.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Accompaniment, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Easy | Easy, Rice, Sushi
Cooking method: Olla
Servings: 6 Maki Rolls
Calories: 231kcal

Recipe Equipment

  • Olla
  • Hangiri
  • Espatula de madera


  • 2 Cups Sushi Rice
  • 2 Cups water
  • 0,5 cup Sushi vinegar (0.25 cups for each cup of rice)

Sushi vinegar

  • 105 Ml rice vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Piece Kombu seaweed 10 cm


Wash the rice

  • Put the rice in a bowl. Add a little water and using your hand, wash the rice. When the water turns whitish, remove it and repeat this process about 3 or 4 more times, until the water starts to come out clear. (see note 1)
  • Let the rice soak for about 30 minutes. This is the perfect time to prepare sushi vinegar.

Sushi vinegar

  • In a pot, add the rice vinegar and heat it up.
  • As soon as it is hot, turn off the heat and add the sugar and salt and mix.
  • In a bowl, add the Kombu seaweed. If, like mine and it looks like it has white powder, don’t worry, it’s normal, it’s called mannitol and you can remove it with a paper towel dipped in a little water.
  • Add the vinegar mixture and let it rest for a minimum of an hour. (see note 2)

Cooking the Rice

  • After 30 minutes, strain the rice and let it rest for a few minutes to release the excess water. This one has gone totally white
  • Add the rice and the same amount of water as we put rice. Cover and cook over high heat.
  • When it starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook for about 12-13 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed.
  • This is the perfect time to put the wooden sushi bowl, known as a hangiri, and the wooden spatula to soak.
  • After this time, turn off the heat and WITHOUT lifting the lid, leave it for about 10 more minutes. If you have a vitro, I recommend that you set it aside.
  • As soon as it is ready, pour the rice into the hangiri. Spread the rice and, using the spatula, separate any accumulation of rice.
  • Add the sushi vinegar. A trick to distribute it evenly is to use the spatula and pour the vinegar on top of it, as you can see in the video.
  • At this point, separate the rice creating lines, then gently flip it over on top of the separated rice and repeat. While cooling the rice with the spatula, use a fan with your other hand to make this a faster process. The rice is ready when it cools down to about 40º C.
  • Cover the rice with a damp cloth and use it for our favorite dishes.



  1. As Japanese rice contains much more starch than other varieties, it needs to be washed to remove excess and achieve optimal rice texture. Don’t skip this step, it’s very important.
  2. You can store sushi vinegar in an airtight container in the fridge. If you are not going to use it that same day, after a few hours, remove the kombu seaweed.
  3. If you don’t have one, you can use a wooden, glass, or ceramic container.


Calorias: 231kcal | Carbohidratos: 51g | Proteina: 4g | Grasa: 1g | Grasas saturadas: 1g | Sodio: 73mg | Potasio: 48mg | Fibra: 2g | Azúcar: 1g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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