Rice can be a little confusing. It’s a starch-heavy food, which can lead to some texture trickiness—too dry or too sticky and you’re not going to be loving it. Sushi rice is a short grain rice, which is even starchier than a long-grain rice (those run on the fluffy side in general). Making sushi rice requires us to hit the perfect note of both sticky and fluffy. That’s why we’re going to take you through it step-by-step—so you can ensure your sushi rice is perfectly cooked and pillowy soft.
How to make sushi rice begins with choosing your rice at the grocery store.
Nishiki is a huge producer of sushi rice out of California. (Fun fact: did you know most sushi rice is produced outside of Japan, because they don’t like to export their crop!) So we’re using Nishiki to teach you how to make sushi rice, but if you need a sub, that’s okay too. Just make sure you’re purchasing another short grain rice like arborio (the one you use for risotto). While we’ll go over how sushi rice is traditionally seasoned later, the beauty of this sushi rice is that you can really season it any way you’d like if you want to use it for something besides sushi.
Check out our Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl recipe for some tips on how to turn this sushi rice into a delicious avocado rice. Any seasoning you’d like to do happens after the cooking process though, so let’s get to it.
We’re going to make this pretty straightforward so you feel confident with how to cook sushi rice FOREVER.
- Combine 2 cups sushi rice, 2 cups + 2 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar in a pot.
- Bring it all to a simmer over medium heat. Once you’ve hit that simmer, reduce the heat as low as you can go so you don’t hit a boil.
- Cover the pot and cook at that lowered heat for 20 minutes. After your 20 minutes cooking time is up, turn off heat and leave rice sitting with the lid on for at least 10 minutes to let the magic happen and allow any excess moisture to absorb.
Pro tip: if you’re cooking something else to accompany your rice, use the time while the rice cooks to get your other prepping and cooking started.
Now that you’ve got gorgeous, pillowy sushi rice before you, let’s talk seasoning. If you’re going to season sushi rice traditionally, you’ll add a mixture of rice vinegar, salt, and sugar after you’re done cooking. Check out how Bon Appetit does it in their recipe for Sushi Rice with Miso-Caramel Glazed Salmon.
Like we mentioned before, this rice is versatile as all get out so if you want to move beyond the traditional, remember to check out the avocado rice in our Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl recipe. It’s mixed with California-grown avocados (that we’ll teach you how to perfectly prep) and nori (that we’re dying to get you more familiar with) for a real tasty, satisfying side or base.
Congrats: you now know how to make sushi rice! Simple and delicious. Let us know how it goes.