Learning how to make sushi rice at home has never been easier! With a combination of water, konbu, rice, and my recipe for sushi vinegar, you’ll have a hangiri full of sushi rice ready to make any sushi roll you’re craving.
Sushi rice is the basic building block for many Asian recipes, specifically sushi variations and rice bowls. Making sushi rice (the right way) can really make or break your sushi roll; everything from texture to taste!
But, no worries. I am going to share how to make sushi rice- the authentic way.
Why You Will Love Learning How To Make Sushi Rice
Making sushi at home can be so much fun! In fact, when you gather all the ingredients for a bunch of different types of sushi, you can have a sushi-making party. Everyone will laugh and have a blast making memories. Then, in the end, you get to eat what you made.
Don’t be scared or intimated. It might seem complicated at first, but once you learn tips and tricks, you’ll discover how easy it actually is.
In today’s post, not only will I share the recipe, but I will also answer all of your questions, such as:
- What’s the best kind of rice to use to make sushi rice?
- How do I cook it?
- What’s the secret behind a perfect bowl of sushi rice?
I’ll also share cooking tips and substitution ideas along with my favorite sushi recipes!
Let’s get started!
What Is Sushi?
Sushi can mean many different things, depending on where you are for. But, when the first sushi was introduced, it meant as a method of preserving fish utilizing rice fermentation. Japanese people started to eat preserved fish with rice after the Muromachi era. What we call Sushi is a bit different from its origin.
So-called “寿司(sushi)”, the Chinese character was used as a phonetic equivalent in the Edo period. Furthermore, the word “SUSHI” is derived from Su-me-shi. The middle sound “me” was dropped later and became “su-shi”.
Su means vinegar, (me)shi means rice. Therefore, sushi is vinegar rice!
Ingredients Needed To Make Sushi Rice
The consistent ingredient in almost all sushi rolls is obviously the rice. It’s vital that this is made well, so whatever type of sushi you choose to make will turn out super delicious!
To help you make sure that your sushi is always the most delicious it can be, I’m sharing with you the perfect sushi rice recipe!
Note: For the full list of ingredients, scroll down to the bottom of this post and check out the recipe card.
What’s the best kind of rice to use to make sushi rice?
To make perfect sushi rice, you need to use the appropriate rice variety. For making sushi you need to use short-grain rice, Japonica preferably, “Koshihikari”. Long grain rice, such as Jasmine rice or Basmati rice, is not suitable because they are too dry for making sushi. Furthermore, they are not sticky enough to keep the sushi shape.
You can get Koshihikari rice from Japanese grocery stores, supermarkets, and online stores. Choosing the right type of rice and cooking the rice properly can improve any homemade rice to restaurant-quality sushi rice.
How do I make sushi vinegar?
Don’t forget to make the sushi vinegar (Sushizu). This is important! It’s quick and easy to make consisting of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. This is what gives it so much flavor and helps it all stick together.
Now, you can use a bottle of ready-made sushi vinegar. However, you can make your own sushi vinegar mixture easily from just the three ingredients I mentioned.
Tip: To learn how to make it, scroll down to the recipe card and follow the instructions listed
If you can’t find any rice vinegar, you can substitute this with:
- Champagne vinegar
- White wine vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
How much rice do I need to make for a whole sushi roll?
It can sometimes be difficult to eyeball how much rice you actually need to make your favorite sushi roll at home.
The standard size of a sushi roll is 8 inches (21cm) long and about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. It is determined by the size of a Nori seaweed sheet. The nori seaweed’s standard size is 7.5 x 8 inches (19 x 21 cm). The size of sushi rolls that you can purchase from a sushi takeaway is usually ½ of one full-sized roll.
1 cup (240ml) of prepared sushi rice weighs about 5 oz (150g). You need 1.5 cups of prepared sushi rice to make a standard full-sized roll. This final prepared sushi rice includes a sushi vinegar mixture.
To further help you, I have gone ahead and prepared a useful calculator for you to determine how much rice and other ingredients you need to make a full-sized sushi roll (8 inches long).
How To Cook Rice For Sushi
Now that you know all of the ingredients you need to make the sushi rice, let’s talk about how to cook it!
When you make sushi rice, there are some kitchen tools that will make the job so much easier. Here are some of my favorites that I used.
I usually use a Rice Cooker any time I need to make rice. It cooks the rice evenly and it requires every minimal cleanup!
Even so, it is important to use a little less water than normal to cook the rice when using a rice cooker. You need less water because the rice will be combined with vinegar mixture and will absorb this too.
It is also important not to use the cup that comes with the rice cooker because they are all different sizes. To follow the recipe accurately, use a standard measuring cup (240ml).
Tip: If you don’t have a rice cooker, see my post on “how to cook rice (the Japanese way)” You need 10 % less water for sushi rice. Also, don’t forget to add a piece of Konbu (kelp). Konbu will give the rice a subtle fragrance, glossiness, and deep umami kick!
“Hangiri “, “Sushi-oke” or “Handai” are names for a Japanese wooden tub. It is a shallow and flat-bottom wooden tub used to make rice in Japan. You need to let it soak in water before you use it so that it will not soak up the vinegar for the rice and avoid the rice sticking to the tub.
Tip: If you do not have access to this type of tub, you can substitute it with a large mixing bowl. Do not use the rice cooker bowl, especially for mixing the vinegar in. The acidity of the vinegar will damage the rice cooker bowl!
“Uchiwa” is the name of the Japanese fan. Of course, it does not have to be this type. However, in order to make the rice shine, you need something to cool the rice down quickly while you are combining the vinegar with the rice.
Tips To Avoid Mushy Sushi Rice
Have you ever made a batch of sushi rice but ended up with a mushy pile of goo? We’ve all been there! That’s why I wanted to make this helpful guide for you all. Learning how to make sushi rice correctly is important because mushy rice will definitely not work for sushi.
To avoid this catastrophe, follow these four tips.
- Make sure the rice is hot when you pour the vinegar on top so that the rice turns out nice and shiny.
- Don’t stir and squish the rice while mixing in the vinegar; you need to “cut” it into the rice.
- Use a fan to cool the rice as you “cut” the vinegar into it, so the rice is shiny.
- Cool to room temperature and cover the rice with wet kitchen cloths to avoid the rice getting dry. Do not keep it in the fridge!
Sushi Recipes To Make At Home Using Sushi Rice
Now that you know how to make sushi rice, it’s time to use it in some sushi recipes!
Sushi is such an essential part of Japanese cuisine and is probably the most famous and popular Japanese food. If you master how to make the perfect sushi rice, you can successfully make any sushi type.
Here are a few sushi variations I recommend trying to make. If you are looking for more, take a look at this sushi guide!
- Makizushi (rolled sushi),
- Chirashi-zushi (Scattered sushi),
- Oshi-zushi (pressed sushi),
- Temaki zushi (hand-rolled sushi),
- Temari-zushi (sushi balls)
- Sushi donuts
If you like this recipe for sushi rice, please rate the recipe and leave comments below.
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How to Make the Perfect Sushi Rice
- Hangiri/a wooden tub
- Japanese fan
Sushi Vinegar (Sushizu)
- 4 tbsp Rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups Uncooked sushi rice *1
- 1.8 cups of water
- 1 strip of Kelp (about 5 cm/2inch) *2 or I tsp Konbu dashi powder
- Wash the rice a few times or until the washing water becomes clear. Drain the washing water and place the rice in a rice cooker.
- Add the kepl strip and water and cook the rice as per your rice cooker instructions. *3
- While the rice is cooking, in a small pot, heat the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt together to make the sushi vinegar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Moisten the wooden tub with water and wipe excess water off with a cloth.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove the kelp strip (if you used a kelp strip) from the rice and place the rice into the wooden tub. Pour the sushi vinegar over it and mix to flavour the rice while fanning it to cool down the rice.
- While the rice is hot, pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice.
- Turn and mix to flavour the rice with rice spatula (called Shamoji) while fanning it to cool down the rice.
- While fanning with the Japanese fan (called Uchiwa) make sure that you are not mashing the rice, rather more like cutting motion.
- All the rice to cool at room temperature and place a moistened cloth over to avoid getting dry.
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