How to Make Sushi Rice
Yield: 5+ cups cooked rice

For the seasoned vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the sticky rice

  • 2 cups (13 ounces*) sushi rice
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice


  1. For the seasoned vinegar: Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. (If using table salt, use 1/4 teaspoon less.) Heat in the microwave on high for about 45 seconds.   Stir the mixture to fully dissolve the sugar and salt. This step may also be done on the stovetop. In this case, use a small pot and heat just to the boiling point, stirring occasionally, or until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat. The seasoned vinegar may be used right away or cooled and stored at room temperature until ready to use.
  2. For the sticky rice: Place the rice in a medium saucepan or other pot with a tight-fitting lid, and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, and pour off the water. Repeat 2 or 3 times or until the water is mostly clear. The last time, pour everything into a fine mesh strainer and drain the rice well.
  3. Return the rice to the pot along with 2 cups of cool water. Place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once the water begins to boil, stir the rice, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot. Cook for 15 minutes. (If you don’t have a see-through lid, you may peek very quickly to make sure the water is mostly absorbed, but try not to remove the lid otherwise.) Remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 10 minutes. (I recommend using a timer for the cooking and the resting.)
  4. Immediately after the rest period, remove the lid and stir in the seasoned vinegar. Fold to thoroughly coat each grain, breaking up any clumps. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi. For sushi bowls, use immediately or at room temperature. (When I do reheat leftover sushi rice, I use the microwave and find it helpful to add a light sprinkle of water and cover the rice with a damp paper towel.)


  • *According to most packages, rice weighs in between 6 and 6 1/2 ounces per cup. I have found that this weight translates to a slightly scant cup. This may be why some people have trouble cooking rice: if you unwittingly measure too much rice, there won’t be enough water, and the rice will likely stick to the pot before it’s done cooking. If you don’t have a scale, I recommend filling the measuring cup just below the rim (a “scant” cup).
  • If you’d like to make sushi bowls that include nori:
  • Toast the nori: In a large skillet over medium heat, warm a sheet of nori until it’s crisp enough to crumble easily, flipping halfway, about 5 minutes. It will turn a brighter shade of green. Alternatively, for a speedier toasting method, you may hold the sheet of nori with tongs and carefully heat it over a gas burner set to low.
  • Remove from heat and tear the nori sheet into quarters. Next, directly over the pot of rice and using your hands, crumble each quarter into very small pieces and drop them right into the pot (do this right after cooking, resting, and adding the seasoned vinegar to the rice). Stir the nori into the rice and set the rice aside to cool as directed. Toasted nori adds a subtle, briny flavor to the rice and can also be using as a topping or garnish on the sushi bowls.

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