Learn How to Make Sushi Rice with a short-grain Japanese or California variety, vinegar, and a little bit of sugar for rolls or poke bowls. This easy recipe can be made on the stovetop, in a rice cooker, or in the Instant Pot.
Sushi Rice Cravings
Let me see some hands if you crave sushi on a regular basis!!
Recently I have been wanting to eat this delicacy pretty much weekly.
But it wasn’t actually the raw fish in the rolls I was craving as much as it was the slightly sweet and vinegar-soaked sushi rice that my palate wanted more of!
This realization occurred to me when I tried a vegetarian version from our local grocery store instead of tempting fate with the raw fish. (Eeekk!! Yes, I have TOTALLY had the uncooked fish rolls from our local grocery store!)
The Perfect Recipe
What was it about the sushi rice that was so addicting and delicious and made me keep coming back for more?
Ahhh… the answer is actually quite simple – a bit of rice vinegar and a touch of white sugar.
Yup! That’s how easy it is to make it at home.
Making perfect sushi rice at home is relatively easy and only requires a few simple ingredients:
- Rice – Read more below about what type you will need.
- Water – Regular tap water will work just fine, but filtered water is even better.
- Rice Vinegar
- White Sugar
- Oil – Avocado or vegetable oil.
What Type of Rice?
Sushi rice is typically a short-grain or medium-grain Japanese or California variety that has a higher starch content than longer grain varieties. Because of this, it is super important that you rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking.
You can normally find bags of it in your local grocery store on either the grains aisle or in the Asian food aisle. They will typically be labeled “sushi rice”.
A Few Brands:
How to Make
Sushi rice can be cooked on the stovetop, in a rice cooker or in an Instant Pot. All three methods will work, but the stovetop is the most traditional way.
How to Cook:
- Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse rice with running water for 2-3 minutes, or until the water runs clear.
- Add rinsed rice and water to a medium-sized saucepan, to a rice cooker, or Instant Pot.
- Stovetop: Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Rice Cooker: Add to a rice cooker and cook until done. (Use a white rice setting if your rice cooker has that option.)
- Instant Pot: Add to Instant Pot and cook on low pressure for 12 minutes. Let pressure cooker release pressure naturally.
- Combine vinegar, sugar, oil, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar and salt have dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
- Combine cooked rice with sugar-vinegar mixture and toss to combine. (Rice will be slightly wet but will dry out as it cools.)
Do I Need to Rinse?
Yes!! You absolutely do need to rinse sushi rice with water before cooking.
If you do not, the extra starch content on the grains will cause it to clump together too much.
You will likely end up with a pot full of mush instead of slightly sticky and perfectly cooked grain.
How to Season
This recipe is rather simple and gets the majority of its flavor from the type of vinegar used, oil, sugar, and a bit of salt.
- Rice Vinegar – Do not substitute this for any other type of vinegar or even rice wine vinegar. It will taste drastically different!
- White sugar – Once again, regular white sugar is the best to use and I would not recommend substituting it for any other type of sugar.
- Oil – Vegetable or avocado oil are the best to use. Other oils with a strong flavor (i.e. olive oil) will be too overwhelming and will make it taste a bit “off.”
- Salt – Adding salt to your dish is optional and you can add as much or as little as you would like to season it.
Cook’s Tip: If you are using a “sushi vinegar” make sure to read the label – they often already have sugar and sometimes even salt added into them and will drastically affect your finished product.
Recipes to Make
The options are endless, but a few recipe ideas you can make once your rice is cooked:
How to Make Sushi Rice
Learn How to Make Sushi Rice with short-grain Japanese or California rice, rice vinegar, and a little bit of sugar for sushi rolls or sushi bowls. This easy sushi rice recipe can be made on the stovetop, in a rice cooker, or in the Instant Pot.
Place sushi rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse rice under running water for 2-3 minutes, or until water runs clear.
Choose from one of these 3 methods for cooking:
Stovetop: Bring water and rice to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Rice Cooker: Add rinsed rice and water to a rice cooker and cook on a white rice setting.
Instant Pot: Add rice and water to Instant Pot and cook on low pressure for 12 minutes. Let Instant Pot release pressure naturally.
In a separate small saucepan combine vinegar, oil, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Whisk until sugar and salt have dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
Combine cooked rice and sugar-vinegar mixture and toss until rice is well coated. (It will be slightly wet but will dry out as it cools.)
Use to make rolls or serve it up in a vegetarian sushi bowl.
- 1 serving is roughly 1 cup of cooked rice.