Sushi rice – a few tips

Sushi can be fun to make and quite filling to eat. Why not give it a try?

Here’s a recipe to get you started with a few tips and hints to make perfect sushi rice.You can’t make good sushi if the rice isn’t right.

Once the rice is right experiment with different types of sushi and different toppings and fillings. Sushi can be a great way to entertain friends and family especially if they make their own.  Click onto ‘Recipes – sushi rolls’ for a step-by-step guide to making sushi rolls.

White rice


Makes approx. 9 cups

Preparation time:   10 minutes          (+15-30 minutes draining time)

Cooking time:   12-15 minutes            (+ 10 minutes standing time)


3 cups (600g) uncooked short or medium grain rice (see tips below)

3 cups water (750mls)

Sushi Vinegar (or use 1/2 cup (125mls) bought sushi vinegar)

1/2 cup (125mls) rice vinegar

1/4 cup (55g) sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt


Wash the rice

  • Place rice in large bowl, fill with cold water and stir with hand.
  • Drain; repeat process 2-3 times until water is almost clear.
  • Drain rice in strainer or colander for 15 minutes or longer, if possible.
  • Meanwhile, prepare sushi vinegar – combine vinegar, sugar and salt and stir until sugar dissolves.  Set aside until required.

Cook the rice

  • To cook rice in rice cooker: Place drained rice and the water in rice cooker, cover and switch onto “cook”.   When cooker automatically switches to “keep warm”, leave to stand a further 10 minutes with lid on, to complete cooking process.

  • To cook rice in saucepan: Place drained rice and the water in a medium saucepan, cover tightly and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer covered tightly about 12 minutes or until all water is absorbed.   Remove from heat and stand 10 minutes with lid on.

To flavour the rice

  • Spread rice out in a large, non-metallic flat-bottomed bowl or tub (preferably wood).  Using a rice paddle, a flat wooden spoon or plastic spatula, repeatedly slice through rice at a 45º angle to break up any lumps and separate the grains, gradually pouring in the sushi vinegar at the same time.  Not all the vinegar may be required; the rice shouldn’t become too wet or mushy.  Continue to slice (not stir because it squashes the grains), lifting and turning the rice from the outside into the centre.

  • Fan the rice until it is almost cold; this will take about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, which gives good flavour, texture and gloss to the rice.  (An electric fan, on the low setting, can be used instead of a hand-held fan.)  Do not overcool the rice or it will harden.  Keep the rice covered with a damp cloth to stop it drying out while making sushi (or put back in rice cooker if it has a non-stick surface).


  • Use short grain (sold as sushi or Koshihikari rice) or medium grain (sold as Calrose rice). It has the right texture, taste and consistency to gently stick together without being gluggy.  Both types of rice should be available at most Asian and general supermarkets.

  • The use of a rice cooker is highly recommended as it produces perfect rice every time.  Absorption method in a saucepan or microwave also works well – simmer rice and water, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed.  The rapid boil method (boiling the rice in lots of water) is not recommended.

  • Equal quantities of rice to water is the ratio normally used for cooking short or medium grain rice. If cooking small quantities of rice increase the water by about 1/4 cup. If cooking large quantities of rice, reduce the amount of water.

  • Rinsing the rice 2-3 times before cooking removes any rice powder left on the outside of the grains after milling, which could make the rice gluggy when cooked.

  • Use the same cup to measure the rice and the water.

1 rice cup (provided with rice cooker) = 150g uncooked rice;

1 metric measuring cup (250mls) = 200g uncooked rice.

  • The proportions of the three ingredients used to make sushi vinegar (rice vinegar, sugar and salt), can be varied according to personal taste, or to make it sweeter or saltier. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but if preferred, ready made sushi vinegar can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores and many general supermarkets.
  • Sushi vinegar can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • Because it is fairly mild, sushi vinegar also makes a great salad dressing.


  • Pickled ginger is eaten in between bites to cleanse the palate, especially between different types of fish.
  • It is quite acceptable to eat sushi with fingers or chopsticks.
Posted on June 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm by Brigid · Permalink
In: Radio, Rice & grains · Tagged with: , , , , ,

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