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+ servings
Sushi rice in a white bowl with seasoning
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5 from 4 votes

How to Make Sushi Rice

A rice cooker makes this sushi rice recipe easy and ensures fluffy, light rice every single time. Season cooked sushi rice with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for that signature sweet, sticky texture that will elevate every single recipe you serve alongside!
Prep5 mins
Cook1 hr
Cooling Time10 mins
Total1 hr 5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: best rice for sushi, how to make rice in rice cooker, sticky rice, sushi rice vinegar
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Ari Laing


  • Rice cooker or InstantPot


  • 1 cup short-grain sushi rice
  • 2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt


To cook rice

  • Place rice in a fine mesh strainer, then run under cool water to thoroughly rinse. At first water will look murky or cloudy, but after 1-2 minutes, water will run clear.
    Uncooked rice in a strainer
  • Transfer rinsed rice to the bowl of a rice cooker, then fill to just under designated line with water. See note below. Cook rice according to machine instructions (set to 'sushi rice'), about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the sushi vinegar.
    Cooked rice in a rice cooker

To make suhsi vinegar

  • In a small sauce pan, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then whisk until dissolved. Set aside until rice is cooked.
    Whisked seasoning for sushi rice in a blue bowl
  • Transfer cooked rice into a large mixing bowl, then pour sushi vinegar on top. Use a rice spoon or spatula to gently toss the rice with vinegar, being careful not to squish the rice. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then serve warm.
    Sushi rice in a white bowl with seasoning


  • Sushi rice will keep in an airtight storage container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Do not substitute a long grain rice, such as Basmati or Jasmine rice, as the texture will not be the same. Long grain rice is dryer and will not become sticky the way that short grain white rice will.
  • Do not place hot sushi rice in a refrigerator to cool down. Instead, allow it to rest at room temperature until warm, but not hot, before serving.
  • To make sushi rice on a stove top: Combine rice and water in a large sauce pan, then cover. Bring heat up to medium-high and cook until water simmers. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cook an additional 15-18 minutes, or until rice is soft and tender and liquid has been absorbed. Once cooked, allow rice to rest off the heat, covered, for about 10 minutes before proceeding with recipe to mix in vinegar.
  • To make sushi rice in an Instant Pot: Combine rice and water in the bowl of an Instant Pot, then cover and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Use natural release before opening and proceeding with recipe to mix in vinegar.

For more delicious Japanese-inspired recipes, check out the following:


Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
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