Classic Japanese Sushi Rice

Classic Japanese sushi rice

​The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
380 Calories
1g Fat
84g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 84g 30%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 7g
Calcium 29mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Japanese, sushi rice is called sushimeshiPerfect sushi starts with perfect rice which is the basis of sushi. For that, you will need a good recipe like this one and some care.

Use short- or medium-grain rice. It’s more starchy and round than the long-grain variety, which just won’t hold together well enough to support ingredients in sushi. Many stores now sell specifically-labeled sushi rice.

Some people prefer their sushi rice less seasoned and there might be differences in strength and flavor between various brands of rice vinegar. If it’s the first time you are making sushi rice, prepare the amount of seasoning described below, but only use half of it. Mix it with the rice and taste before deciding if you want to use the full amount.


  • 3 cups Japanese rice
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sake-mash vinegar (or white-wine vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sushi rice
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Put the rice in a large bowl and wash it with cold running water. Repeat washing until there is no more starch coming out of it and the water becomes almost clear. 

    Put rice in bowl
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Drain the rice in a colander and set aside for 30 minutes.

    Drain rice
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  4. Place the rice in a rice cooker and add water. Let the rice soak in the water for at least 30 minutes.

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  5. Start the cooker. When rice is cooked, let it steam for about 15 minutes.

    Start cooker
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  6. Prepare sushi vinegar by mixing rice vinegar, optional sake-mash vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Put the pan on low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool the vinegar mixture.

    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Spread the hot steamed rice into a large plate or a large bowl. Use a nonmetallic bowl to prevent any interaction with rice vinegar. It's best to use a wooden bowl called sushi-oke.

    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the rice and fold the rice with a shamoji (rice spatula) quickly. Be careful not to smash the rice.

    Spoon rice
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  9. To cool and remove the moisture of the rice well, waft a hand-held paper fan over the sushi rice as you mix it. This will give the sushi rice a shiny look.

    Waft fan
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  10. It's best to use the sushi rice right away to make rolls with your favorite fillings.

    Eat sushi
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack