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Sushi Rice: This Simple Recipe Is One of The Most Difficult to Master

Some sushi chefs say the sushi rice counts for 50%, 60%, 70% of sushi. Though I don’t have an answer for it, I know it’s essential.

I also know it’s hard to make a great tasting sushi rice.

Why is it so difficult?

Cooking rice is a chemical reaction, so precise an ounce of water can make a difference. I think that is why making sushi rice is challenging.

If you want to know the chemistry behind it, here is the full explanation:

Well, to be precise, the challenge is to make it consistent every time. That is hard.



  • 3 cups short-grain rice

  • 3 cups water (filtered, or spring)

Sushi Vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/4-cup Marukan Organic Rice Vinegar

  • 3/4 cup Organic Cane Sugar

  • 1/4 cup Sea Salt


  1. Put the rice in a bowl and pour mineral water over to soak all the rice. Quickly drain the water. Repeat one more time (you can use tap water for the second time, but for the first rinse, use mineral water)

  2. Pick up a handful of rice and rub it gently with your hands. Do so with all the rice.

  3. Pour water (tap is OK) so that all the rice is underwater. Stir the rice with your hands gently, then drain water.

  4. Repeat step 2 & 3 one more time

  5. Drain well. Put washed rice in a rice cooker or a pot. Add water — Rice: Water ratio is 1:1. Let is sit for at least 15 minutes. This will bring out the sweetness and more flavors from rice.

  6. Cook rice. Make sure to let the rice cooker sit for at least 15 minutes after the “cooking” light is off. If you are using a pot, cook on medium-high heat for 10–15 minutes or until all the water evaporates. Turn off the heat, let it sit for 10–15 minutes for steaming.

  7. Important: never open the lid, as this will release the steam and pressure inside the pot necessary to cook the rice.) 3 cups of uncooked rice should make about 6–7 cups of cooked rice.

  8. Prepare sushi vinegar. In a “Hangiri” (sushi rice mixing wooden bowl) or a stainless bowl, put cooked rice. Using a wooden rice spatula, pour sushi vinegar over it and distribute it evenly to the rice. For 1 cup of uncooked rice, use 62.5 ml/2.1 fl oz. of sushi vinegar.

  9. Mix rice with sushi vinegar in a slicing motion to keep each grain of rice intact. Avoid smashing, putting too much pressure, and mixing too much.

  10. Let the rice cool down until it is about the same temperature as the palm of your hand. Turn the rice over to let the other side cool to the same temperature.


Interested in learning more about making sushi?

Join our online sushi class with sushi kit delivered to your home - most places in 48 US states.

Check out the schedule here.

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