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 method. Making sushi rice comprises of: Washing, soaking, cooking and seasoning. Let’s review:
‘Sushi rice’ is a marketing term for Japanese short-grain or medium-grain rice. It is shorter and stickier than ‘regular’ long grain rice, and takes different ratios of water. You can not use any other kind of rice rice when making sushi as ‘long grain’ just isn’t sticky and would not hold. Here is how a bag of sushi rice should look like.
Measuring sushi rice
Prepare 1 cup of sushi rice per 3 sushi rolls. Each roll makes up 6-8 little sushi pieces. 2 rolls are recommended per person, depending on personal preferences. Wash the rice (1 cup = 3 rolls) with running Water for 1-2 minutes until there is no more starch coming out of it. For best results, let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes to help soften it.
When 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 1.2 : 1 in favor of the water. That is 20% more water than rice. Don’t put too much water, or you’ll get dough instead of rice.Still not sure? Check out our Quantities calculator.
Cooking the rice
Cook the rice on high heat at first, stir every minute or two, until the water boils. Then, lower the heat to low and cover the pot.
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.
We are here to help with the calculations. Select how many sushi rolls you are making – and the widget will display the quantities. Give it a try!
Taking out the rice
There are a few important issues to keep in mind while taking the rice out of the pot:
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.
Seasoning the rice
Rice vinegar mixed with sugar and salt is essential for giving sushi it’s distinct combination of flavors. If you neglect this part, your sushi won’t quite taste like sushi should. It is not recommended to substitute rice vinegar as most types of vinegar are much too strong. Rice vinegar is quite delicate and blends in perfectly with the rice.
How is this done?
For 3 cups of dry sushi rice, use 0.5 cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Use only rice vinegar! Any other kind of vinegar will taste bad. Alternatively, you could use Sushi rice seasoning powder.
Mix together in a small pot, on medium heat until all solids are mixed together.
Pour mixture on rice and mix well. That should take a minute or two.
Let the rice cool down for a few minutes until it reaches 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.
Important tip – Some people prefer their sushi rice less seasoned. Also, there might be differences in strength and flavor between different brands of rice vinegar. If it’s the first time you are making sushi rice, and you are not sure, prepare the amount of seasoning described above, but only use half of it. Mix it with the rice and taste.
Trust your own senses if you like to use the full amount or not.
Recap the steps in our new video
That’s it, you’ve made it! For the sake of the internet, please take a moment to share your experience in the comments section below. Did it turn out as you expected? Better? Ask any question you have, somebody able to answer and it might even help other folks with the same question in the future. And most importantly, enjoy making sushi!