Homemade sushi rice is easy to make and just as tasty as one from your local sushi restaurant. Here’re 4 rules to follow to make perfectly soft, sticky and fluffy rice
What is sushi rice?
Sushi rice is simply a short-grain rice that’s cooked and seasoned with a vinegar seasoning.
Sushi rice is a foundation of delicious sushi dishes, like sushi rolls.
Now, you’ve probably seen rice, labeled “sushi rice” on the packaging. Keep in mind, it just means that it’s short grain, sticky rice. And you still need to season it with the sugar/vinegar mixture for an authentic flavor.
Sushi Rice Ingredients
This restaurant-quality sushi rice is ridiculously easy to make and requires only 4 ingredients!!
- Short grain sushi rice – It’s important to use short-grain rice, sometimes labeled as “sushi rice” to achieve that authentic sticky rice. Long grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati rice, is fluffy and falls apart easily.
- Rice vinegar – When shopping, pay close attention to the labels. You want to get plain ‘rice vinegar’, not ‘seasoned rice vinegar’. Seasoned rice vinegar already has salt and sugar. If you like the flavor of “seasoned rice vinegar”, you can be used as is.
Note there’re 2 varieties of rice vinegar: plain and seasoned rice vinegar. Make sure to use plain rice vinegar to make the sushi rice seasoning.
How to make sushi rice:
Now roll up your sleeves and let’s make this mouth-watering authentic sushi rice!
Gently wash the rice under running cold water until the water runs clear. Then, drain well. You may leave the rice in strainer for 10-15 minutes to ensure it’s drained well, so you don’t accidentally use too much water.
Washing the rice helps to get rid of the excess starch and makes it nice and fluffy rice. So don’t skip this step.
- Place the washed rice in a medium saucepan, add 2.5 cups of water and make sure the rice is perfectly level. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring it to a boil.
- Once the sushi rice has boiled, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, still covered. Then turn the heat off and leave it to sit for 10 more minutes. Don’t open the lid the entire time as this will affect the texture of the rice!
Use a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and heavy bottom. 2.5qt saucepan work perfectly.
3. Make seasoning
Meanwhile, prepare the rice seasoning. Add rice vinegar, sugar and salt to a small dish and mix until the sugar is fully dissolved. Then set aside for later.
4. Season the rice
- Once the rice is cooked, transfer it into a large dish.
- Pour rice seasoning over the rice and gently mix everything with a wooden spatula, using a cutting and folding motion. The goal is to mix the seasoning evenly all throughout the rice and also cool the rice quickly. This process also helps to make the rice sticky. Be gentle and avoid smashing the rice as you don’t want to make mashed rice.
Choose a dish with a large surface area, like a casserole dish (as shown), so that the rice cools quickly.
First, you’ll need to use short-grain rice, also known as sticky rice, or sushi rice.
Seasoning rice also increases the stickiness.
Now, here’s the fun part! You can use any kind of veggies and seafood to make restaurant-quality sushi at home. Some popular choices include sushi-grade raw salmon or tuna, smoked salmon, shrimp, avocados, cucumbers and carrots.
How to Make Sushi Rice
- 2 cups short-grain sushi rice Note 1
- 2.5 cups water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar Note 2
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Wash the rice under running cold water until the water runs clear. (TIP: This helps to get rid of the excess starch and makes nice and fluffy rice. So don’t skip this step.)
- Drain and shake the excess water off. It’s crucial because rice to water ratio is very important for the right texture.
- Then place the washed rice in a saucepan and add 2.5 cups of water. Level the rice under the water so it’s nice and even. Cover with tight fitting lid and turn the heat to medium high. Bring it to a boil.
- Once boiled, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, still covered. Then turn the heat off and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Don’t open the lid the entire time!
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice seasoning by mixing together rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small dish until sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside.
- When the rice is fully cooked, transfer the rice into a large dish. (TIP: Choose a dish with the largest surface area, like a casserole dish, so that the rice cools quickly.)
- Pour the rice seasoning over the rice. And gently mix everything with a wooden spatula, using a cutting and folding motion. The goal here is to mix the seasoning evenly all throughout the rice and also cool the rice quickly. Rice will also get stickier in the process. Avoid smashing the rice, you don’t want to make mashed rice here. Be gentle!
- Then cover the rice with damp kitchen towel and prepare the fillings.