Knowhow-Now Article

How to Prepare Sushi Rice at Home

By Suzanne Jones

Suzanne Jones

A lot of people think of sushi rice as mysteriously difficult to prepare. Actually, this is far from true. Though this is specially prepared rice, the base for all types of sushi, it is actually easy to cook even in an ordinary kitchen.

Materials and Ingredients

In order to prepare simple, homemade sushi rice, you will need a rice cooker and a broad wooden spoon called a rice paddle. If a paddle is not available, any broad plastic or wooden serving spoon will do.

In order to have enough rice for 5 to 6 persons, you will need to boil 3 cups of Japanese rice or short grain rice with 3 ½ cups water. You can use a rice cooker to do this and the end product will turn out fine.

To flavor the rice you will need 1/3 cup rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. It is said that in addition to the salt and sugar, the best sushi chefs will use about half a tablespoon of dashi to flavor the vinegar. If dashi is available, you might want to use it. If, however, you are thinking of replicating the sushi served in most restaurants, in all likelihood dashi was not used to flavor the vinegar.

It is important to use short grain rice for this preparation because its high amylopectin content makes it sticky. In contrast, long grain rice has more amylase which makes it fluffy instead. The stickiness of short grain rice is necessary for the sushi to keep its shape.

If short grain rice or Japanese rice is unavailable, you can substitute a mixture of sweet rice and long grain rice instead. Try using 1 cup of sweet rice for every 3 cups of long grain rice. This should render the resulting rice sticky enough to use in making sushi.

sushi is great

A Procedure Made Simple

  1. Start with your flavored vinegar. Prepare it by putting together the rice vinegar, the salt and the sugar. Begin cooking the mixture over low heat just until the sugar dissolves. Once it does, remove the mixture from the fire and cool.
  2. Wash the rice until the water is almost clear and has lost most of its starchy appearance.
  3. Combine the rice and the water; let it rest for around twenty minutes then cook.
  4. Once the rice is done, allow it to sit in its steam for 20 minutes before transferring it to a wooden or glass bowl. Metal bowls are not good to use because of the possible reaction of the metal to the vinegar.
  5. Spread the rice on the bowl and drizzle the flavored vinegar over it. Using a shamoji or a rice paddle, gently but quickly cut and fold the rice to thoroughly distribute the flavored vinegar. If you do not have a shamoji, a spatula or a large plastic serving spoon will do.
  6. Now here is the tricky part: while you are mixing the rice and the vinegar, use a fan and keep fanning the rice. This is supposed to help the rice acquire an attractive sheen.
  7. Once you have mixed everything thoroughly, the rice is ready for use as the base for your sushi. It is best to use the sushi rice right away.

Usually, 3 cups of uncooked rice will yield a little less than 5 cups of cooked rice although this quantity can vary. Each cup of cooked rice will yield about 3 to 4 rolls depending on their size. Allowing 3 rolls per person, the 5 cups of cooked rice should be enough to make at least 5 sushi lovers very happy.


It is important to use short grain rice for this preparation because its high amylopectin content makes it sticky. In contrast, long grain rice has more amylase which makes it fluffy instead. The stickiness of short grain rice is necessary for the sushi to keep its shape.

sticky rice is best for sushi

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