How to make sushi rice - the full recipe.

Preparing the sushi rice might look complicated and pedantic at first, but as you go along with it you might notice that it's just like making ordinary rice, only with rice vinegar added to it, and a bit of Japanese methodology.

I've de-complicated the requirements into five simple steps:

  1. Choosing right

    Wouldn't you say that the Japanese have already thought of everything? Well, they did. They even made a special rice for sushi, they call it "shari", some folks simply call it "sushi rice". And they even took the time and effort to make it round, so that you can find it easily in the supermarket. Here is how a bag of sushi rice should look like.

  2. Measuring and preparing the rice

    Wash the rice (1 cup = 3 rolls) with running water for 1-2 minutes until there is no more starch coming out of it. After you are done washing, take the rice and place it gently in a pot, add a little bit more water than rice ( the ratio is about 1.15:1 in favor of the water). Don't put too much water, or you'll get dough instead of rice.

  3. Cooking the rice

    sushi-rice

    The rice should be cooked on high heat at first, stir every minute or two, until the water boils. Then, lower the heat to minimum and cover the pot. Stop stirring, the rice will handle itself from now. Why? That is just the Japanese way...
    After 6-8 min, check the water level - If there is no more water, only bigger grains of rice in the pot, that means the rice is ready. If not, check back every minute, making sure not to burn the rice at the bottom.

  4. Taking out the rice

    There are a few important issues to keep in mind while taking the rice out of the pot. You think I'm kidding right? Well I'm not. First, use only a wooden spoon to handle the cooked rice. A metal spoon will damage the rice, and can also react with the vinegar we'll add later. Second, don't scrape the rice out from the bottom of the pot. If it comes out easily, good, if not - leave it be. The rice at the bottom is dry and burned so it won't taste so good. Use a wooden or plastic bowl to put the rice in to chill.

  5. Seasoning the rice

    In order for the rice to taste like sushi rice (and not like an ordinary rice), you need to add rice vinegar to it right after you take it out of the pot.

    How is this done?

    1. For 3 cups of (uncooked) rice, use ½ cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt.

    2. Mix together in small pot, on medium heat until all solids are mixed in.

    3. Pour mixture on rice and stir well.

    4. Let rice cool down for a few minutes until it is within the room temperature. Don't put the rice in the fridge to make it cool faster - that will damage the rice. You can however use a fan, A/C or put it by the window.

     


  6. Please, be social!


 

Comments   

 
+5 # Magical 2013-09-05 16:44
Quoting Indre:
Hello,
would you explain me please, how much is 1 cup of rice? How can I measure?

Thanks.
If you don't live in America and have acces to thier cup sized measuring cups just use a cup/glass that takes about 225 ml water. My usa/metric combined container takes that much so that should give you an idea for the amount. the most important bit is to use the same sized container to measure it all.
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+5 # Magical 2013-09-05 16:40
Quoting emily:
Quoting Indre:
Hello,
would you explain me please, how much is 1 cup of rice? How can I measure?

Thanks.


With a measuring cup, sweetie.
Not everyone uses American measuring cups - many countries use scales.
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+2 # Corey 2013-08-30 02:20
Can some one please clarify this for me? So uncooked rice makes a lot more cooked rice. So let's say I start with 3 cups uncooked and end with 4(never cooked tone before so idk) does the seasoning say to add the given portions to 3 cups of final cooked rice? Or to the original amount you started with? So if I started with 3,ended with 4 I just add the portions for 3 cups to the cooked 4

Thanks :D
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-18 # emily 2013-08-18 23:55
Quoting Indre:
Hello,
would you explain me please, how much is 1 cup of rice? How can I measure?

Thanks.


With a measuring cup, sweetie.
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+1 # Indre 2013-08-12 12:12
Hello,
would you explain me please, how much is 1 cup of rice? How can I measure?

Thanks.
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0 # Kay 2013-08-06 07:49
Quoting anna:
Umm, my rice isnt cooking...


I was taught in a sushi class to leave it for 12 minutes. I usually find for this quantity of rice, I give it 15. But at home I don't usually use the proper sushi rice, which maybe cooks faster.
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-5 # Kay 2013-08-06 07:46
Quoting Ilya Karnaukhov:
1/2 cup of vinegar for 3 cups of rice? Is this right?? I made it this way but the rice is incredible sour :s


3 UNcooked cups of rice makes quite a lot of cooked rice. I think you may have misunderstood the instructions.
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+1 # Kay 2013-08-06 07:42
Quoting Xavier:
Is the rice wine vinegar mandatory. A Korean friend uses Sesame Oil instead.


Vinegar (preferable rice wine for authenticity but any good quality white vinegar will do) is absolutely necessary if you are making sushi rice. Sesame oil (which is not a vinegar, and is very strongly flavored) probably makes delicious Korean rice, but that wouldn't be sushi.
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+2 # Xavier 2013-07-14 20:54
I just went through many different recipes and also recommendations from a few friends and was wondering:

Is the rice wine vinegar mandatory. A Korean friend uses Sesame Oil instead.
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+6 # Paulina P. 2013-07-01 07:19
Quoting Jc:
Ok say I only make 1-2 cups of rice how much vinegar would I need??


For 2 cups:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt

For 1 cup:
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt

Hope it helps!
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-3 # Hawks 2013-06-14 19:57
How far in advance can you make the rice? How do you preserve the cooked rice
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-1 # nasht00 2013-06-04 13:57
The instructions on the package for the sushi rice says to leave the rice out to dry for like one hour after rinsing it. Is that necessary??
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-6 # Vincent 2013-05-05 13:08
Quoting Jc:
Ok say I only make 1-2 cups of rice how much vinegar would I need??



Just do the math :-)
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-5 # Jc 2013-04-20 18:16
Ok say I only make 1-2 cups of rice how much vinegar would I need??
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0 # Lydia 2013-04-20 15:39
Thank you really much for this recipe, because my dad is going to make sushi for us this vacation,and I am so excited,also by the way my dad don't know how much ingredients for the rice to put in!SO THANK YOU very much for this!
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0 # anna 2013-04-19 22:41
Umm, my rice isnt cooking...
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-2 # gee 2013-04-05 08:48
hello. can i use normal rice instead of japanese rice?
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+19 # Rob 2013-03-30 17:29
1/2 cup vinegar to 3 cups of uncooked rice worked great for me. Of course this meant about 6 cups of "cooked" rice, when all was said and done. perhaps some of the folks above were mixing that up?
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-1 # Dom 2013-03-27 17:07
Too much vinegar. i would say 0,15 of cup is enough, not half
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+6 # James 2013-02-24 07:47
Really useful page. I found that 1/2 rice vinegar was too much, it made the rice go quite brown and bit too sour.. I'll try 1/3 cup next time and add a bit more sugar as well! Apart from this, the sushi was very tasty!

Thanks
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-1 # Ilya Karnaukhov 2013-02-17 11:50
1/2 cup of vinegar for 3 cups of rice? Is this right?? I made it this way but the rice is incredible sour :s
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+3 # Jhon 2013-02-08 00:56
Thank you so much for this recipe! My rice became an incredible sushi rice :) I have to admit I changed a lil bit the order but it's ok :P
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+2 # David 2013-02-07 16:10
Thank you for this, I have always wondered how to make sushi rice and I am glad I have found a way to make it so simply. Thank you very much
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+7 # shawn 2013-01-09 23:58
Quoting guest:
is regular vinegar okay ?

I find the taste of the rice vinegar to be different enough that I would stick with that. I have not tried to make this with regular vinegar but it seems like it would be lacking something.
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+3 # Mouse 2012-12-23 16:48
Quoting Andy:
You can add ordinary rice so that it will not be much sticky.

Quoting :
Hi!Great website!!My question: everytime I make sushi rice it turns out to be very sticky. I thought this was normal but recently I saw a professional preparing sushi, and his rice wasn't soo sticky!what am I doing wrong? thanks Chris


You want it to be sticky. If it's sticking to your hands to much, be sure to dip your hands into a mix of water and rice vinegar before handling it. You'll probably need to redip every time you go to grab more rice.
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+8 # Mouse 2012-12-23 16:44
Quoting Mouse:
Can this be made using a rice cooker?


Yes it can! I went ahead and tried it, and it was fine.
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0 # guest 2012-12-23 04:06
is regular vinegar okay ?
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-3 # CJ 2012-08-21 21:08
Great instructions! These are my go-to steps for making sushi using "Calrose" branded rice.

Regarding the vinegar, Asian superstores sell a powdered sushi rice seasoning that contains dehydrated vinegar and seasoning. I find it easier to use that where bottled vinegar can make the rice too wet.
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0 # Mouse 2012-08-20 00:35
Can this be made using a rice cooker?
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0 # Rashkavar 2012-04-21 06:05
With this procedure, what kind of stove are you using? Gas stoves adjust temperature in seconds, while electrics take a long time to heat up or cool off. It is possible to mimic gas stoves on electrics by turning on two burners of similar size - one high and one low, and transfer the pot from one to the other, but it's a tad risky for glass top stoves, since the temperature shock can break the glass.
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+4 # Rashkavar 2012-04-21 06:02
Quoting Guest:
anyway what is rice vinegar ?? kind of acetic acid ?

The term vinegar basically means "wine that has become sour" Thus, rice vinegar is rice wine that has become sour. In other words, Saki that's been around too long. There are also red wine, white wine, port, and numerous other types of vinegar. Acetic acid is just a much cheaper chemical that provides a similar effect. It's like using canola oil instead of olive oil.
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0 # Joanna 2012-01-26 01:02
Thank you!
This site is great!
Makes it less scary to make it at home...
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+2 # beginner chef 2011-12-26 03:12
finally i can make sushi ..
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-3 # ruthy 2011-12-16 22:12
Great site, will try to make sushi when i have some time on my hands. To the dude that put his sushi rice in the fridge for a week, do you know that rice can cause terrible food poisoning, especially week old and reheated and cooled, seriously watch yourself!
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-1 # Jackie 2011-10-08 03:15
Today i'm feeling a little creative, so I thought I'd try making something I've never made before and love, SUSHI! After searching the internet on sushi recipes I started to think twice now as they all looked and sounded complicated... This website has saved my day :) Thanks sushi maker
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0 # sherjil khan 2011-07-15 22:11
thank u very much for a umm nice recipe. specially we do enjoy the language and wording u used. thanx again, i'm gonna make my sushi soon..........
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0 # A1 2011-06-14 09:27
still using this method , always great results
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+7 # yoyomi 2010-07-27 08:55
I just wanted to say that the rice is supposed to be sticky. If it's a problem with you that the rice sticks to your hands when making the sushi, then be sure to wet your hands to keep it from sticking. Otherwise, the fact that the rice is sticky helps to hold your sushi roll together.

Quoting Andy:
You can add ordinary rice so that it will not be much sticky.

Quoting :
Hi!Great website!!My question: everytime I make sushi rice it turns out to be very sticky. I thought this was normal but recently I saw a professional preparing sushi, and his rice wasn't soo sticky!what am I doing wrong? thanks Chris
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-1 # Jenny 2010-05-30 22:58
For excellent results every time I let the rice 'rest' for 15 minutes. I made perfect rice in the microwave under extreme circumstances! Yummy sushi.
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+1 # Brandy 2010-04-27 23:43
I had heard that this process takes decades to master but this seems straight forward and to the point! I wanted to have a sushi party at my house this summer and hope this will help me to make it- instead of buying it out of the stores!!! What a great site! Thank you, can't wait to try these out!
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-17 # Andy 2010-03-08 07:11
You can add ordinary rice so that it will not be much sticky.

Quoting :
Hi!Great website!!My question: everytime I make sushi rice it turns out to be very sticky. I thought this was normal but recently I saw a professional preparing sushi, and his rice wasn't soo sticky!what am I doing wrong? thanks Chris
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0 # Guest 2009-09-08 02:25
we tried this at home aqnd it worked grerat thanks
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-3 # Guest 2009-09-08 02:24
this was really helpful i liked it alot :)
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-4 # Guest 2009-08-08 15:57
anyway what is rice vinegar ?? kind of acetic acid ?
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-3 # Guest 2009-07-31 12:00
Hi could candrel or sweetner be used instead of sugar? are they tsp or tbp?
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-9 # Guest 2009-07-11 00:29
For 3 cups of rice, use ½ cup of rice vinegar.
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+4 # Guest 2009-05-06 01:55

I used the above recipe and it werked well. i botched the first batch, but learned quickly that u have to really strain the water out of the rice. I used equal parts water to rice and only a quarter cup of vinegar. it werked just fine. as far as everything else it was perfect. it does take some practice to spread the rice out evenly tho.
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+3 # Guest 2009-04-05 23:13

I now see, the rice info is in a seperate page from the sushi preparation/rec ipe
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+1 # Guest 2009-03-24 06:13

can't wait to try it, mmhhhh
 
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-14 # Guest 2009-02-03 15:41

Two tablespoons of salt? Sounds like too much to me. Maybe two teaspoons (tsp)....
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+3 # Guest 2009-01-27 04:38

Hi!
Great website!!
My question: everytime I make sushi rice it turns out to be very sticky. I thought this was normal but recently I saw a professional preparing sushi, and his rice wasn't soo sticky!
what am I doing wrong?
 
thanks Chris
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+1 # Guest 2009-01-22 14:32

hi!! i was just wondering if i could use regular whole wheat short grain rice instead? i know there is whole wheat sushi rice but i can not find it at my grocery store. would whole wheat short grain rice be okay?
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-1 # Guest 2009-01-19 22:26

Great Site! Very empowering, lol Think I have the courage to try cooking sushi rice ... yikes :-P
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+1 # Guest 2008-12-27 18:56

No, you need to use Shari rice - commonly reffered to as sushi rice. It is round, and sticky.
 
You may want to use regular rice, but it just won't taste the same.
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-2 # Guest 2008-12-27 05:58

is common rice okay?
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-4 # Guest 2008-12-10 11:46

Way tha go Luke!
 
Of course chicks digg cooking men, that's what it's all about here!
But seriousley, no harm in that;)
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+2 # Guest 2008-12-03 21:47

Hey!
 
Thanks so much for the info here everyone. I tried to cook my rice properly, but it didnt turn out too well to start with, I think i got a panic on. Anyway, not sure if I didnt wash the rice enough, but it started to look like rice pudding. So, I took it off the heat, put it in the sieve and poured a whole kettle full of boiling water over to get the starch off, then put it back on the heat... I then kept watching it and adding small ammounts of water when it looked like it needed it, and kept trying a bit until it was cooked. Left it for a while in the conservatory to cool and it worked perfectly! I was amazed... The moral of this story... dont be scared of rice!
 
PS. Guys... ive found that girls love a guy who can make sushi (and cook in general) because I was talking to the girl at my local and she said she wanted me to take her some, so I did, and she was most impressed and I got a free beer. No date... yet ;) .
 
L.
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+1 # Guest 2008-09-13 17:17
u could try a chinese food store i live in toronto and im chinese and they have lots of stuff from other asain countries
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0 # Guest 2008-08-12 10:59
Very experimental! nice going!
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+1 # Guest 2008-07-09 15:40
I've made too much sushi rice, and put most of it in the fridge. A week later, I've put it in the microwave, let it cool down, and made another batch of sushi.

It was a-okay for me.
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+3 # Guest 2008-06-15 00:16
yes it was true
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0 # Guest 2008-06-03 05:10
wait rice pudding that has to taste like rare but ok ill try it
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+2 # Guest 2008-04-24 23:17
i left out the vinegar this time... i was able to use the left over rice to make rice pudding. I followed the same rice cooking process but used milk instead of water. very yummy.
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+3 # Guest 2008-04-20 23:22
Wow, Japanese convenience store. I wish I had one of those near home...
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+3 # Guest 2008-01-29 15:08
why? personally, i like kikko man!<3 Use Eel Juice!
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+4 # Guest 2008-01-29 15:07
why? personally, i like kikko man!<3
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-1 # Guest 2008-01-29 15:05
NO OF CORSE NOT YOU NITWIT
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-1 # Guest 2007-12-31 16:38
Very nice guide but you have a funny way of explaining things...
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-1 # Guest 2007-11-30 13:42
If you can, you should use pot;) But rice cooker is also a good option, and easier to time and measure.
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-2 # Guest 2007-10-13 20:30
Is a rice cooker a good option or should I just use a non-stick pan?
I meant a pot sorry about that.
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-1 # Guest 2007-10-13 20:29
Is a rice cooker a good option or should I just use a non-stick pan?
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-1 # Guest 2007-09-23 22:32
Technically yes! according to :
http://www.foodsubs.com/

you can use Risotto rice instead.
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-2 # Guest 2007-09-20 10:54
u lmao u cant do it with any rice it has to be special rice for SUSHI NOOB !!!!!!!!!
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0 # Guest 2007-09-04 08:53
Can I use common rice in preparing shari?
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0 # Guest 2007-08-21 18:34
Yes, not 100% sure if they have it at key food, but I have it in my neighborhood stop&Shop, and its usually just called sushi rice
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0 # Guest 2007-07-11 01:15
First you gotta clear the rice from all sorts of impurities just lying there waiting for you to cook them in your sushi rice. But you wouldn't do that, right? Right.

I thought everyone does this.
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0 # Guest 2007-06-27 14:08
i re read it and i understand now.
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0 # Guest 2007-06-27 14:07
do you bring water to boil then add water or bring the water to boil with the rice in it on high?
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0 # Guest 2007-06-16 23:55
Rice will get hard if you put it in the fridge.
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+2 # Guest 2007-06-08 22:34
Is rice vinegar and ricewine vinegar the same thing
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0 # Guest 2007-04-30 19:36
I would say because it makes the rice cold and dry, like the way it is when you buy sushi in a pack at the grocery store. Yuck!
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0 # Guest 2007-04-24 14:29
Not at all!!
You only add the rice vinegar after you've finished cooking the rice, while it cools..
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0 # Guest 2007-04-24 02:55
do you put the rice vinegar (1/2) cup in with some water to cover 1.25 (water) to rice and then boil??
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0 # Guest 2007-04-07 04:00
Very good.... Love it

Will try tomorow
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0 # Guest 2007-04-03 16:07
i am A CRAZY asien and i like RICZE
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0 # Guest 2007-03-22 02:45
Why we need to add vinegar to the rice?
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+1 # Guest 2007-03-18 16:30
all i have to say is beware of the kikko-man..
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+1 # Guest 2007-03-17 21:48
lol I want to know why it is so wrong to put the rice in the fridge, without actually trying it myself.
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0 # Guest 2007-03-12 12:35
About 1/2 a cup of vinegar for every 3 cups of uncooked rice.
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-2 # Guest 2007-03-11 22:46
Need to know how much vinegar........ .XD
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0 # Guest 2007-03-08 01:39
soo..i plan on going to a japanese convenience store anyway to buy the necessary ingredients but..i live in new york so are you telling me they sell shari rice in key foods??
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0 # Guest 2007-02-22 22:24
How much rice vinegar?
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