Perfect Sushi Rice

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Making perfect sushi rice is a subtle and refined process. Each sushi chef has his or her own special “touch” they add to the basic recipe below. As you grow familiar with this culinary process, your own idea of what constitutes “perfect sushi rice” will evolve. Try this traditional, basic recipe first, then experiment with the proportions of vinegar and sugar. Some consider perfect sushi rice on the sweet side, others prefer it to be more tangy.

Perfect Sushi Rice

(Photo Attributed to Author: THOR)

Perfect Sushi Rice Recipe-

  • 2 cups good quality uncooked (glutinous) sushi rice
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. granulated white cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. In a strainer or colander, rinse the rice thoroughly, until the water runs clear. Leave the rice in the strainer, suspended over a bowl, for a full hour, so the rice is completely dried.
  2. In a full sized saucepan, combine the rinsed rice with 2-1/4 cups of water and bring the water to a simmer, and set your timer for 10 minutes.
  3. Put a lid on the pot and allow rice to simmer for 10 minutes, on low flame.
  4. While the rice is cooking, prepare your seasoned rice vinegar, by mixing together, in a small bowl, the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar has all dissolved.
  5. When your timer goes off, turn off the burner and, keeping the pan covered, let the rice sit for another full 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, the next step is to “fan” the rice. Do this by spreading the rice out on a large enough baking pan, little by little, until all the rice is evenly spread over the pan. Drizzle some of the seasoned rice vinegar, tablespoon at a time, over the rice. Using a fork, fluff and fan the rice, so all the grains are being coated with the seasoning as they are being separated from each other. Drizzle the rest of the vinegar over the rice evenly, and keep fanning and fluffing the rice. You want the rice to be sticky, but not clumpy. The grains should all be separate, nicely seasoned, and yet sticky enough to hold the shape you want during sushi assembly time. The rice will take on a beautiful shine to it, also.
  7. Now that the rice is well seasoned and fanned and cooled, it is ready to work with. To test your rice for perfection, take a small amount and form it into a small cylinder in your hand. It should hole its shape well, but if you take your finger and poke/pull at an edge of the cylinder, the portion you are applying pressure to should easily crumble and fall away from the rest. If it passes this test, you have succeeded in making perfect sushi rice.


Here is a well done video presentation that will walk you through all the steps listed above. It sometimes helps to get a visual on new recipes, especially something as finicky as how to make perfect sushi rice.

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