Sushi rice, while not terribly exciting on its own, is the most important part of sushi. In Japan, recipes and techniques vary greatly and are often kept confidential. Start by buying good-quality short grain rice and make sure to rinse it well before you start cooking. After it’s cooked, it’s important that the vinegar mixture is ready and sprinkled evenly over the rice while barely being turned, so it’s well distributed to each grain of rice. If the end result is fluffy, shiny, and evenly flavored, then you’ve done it correctly.

  • Yield: About 5 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 45 mins 
  • Active: 15 mins   

Ingredients (4)

  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups raw sushi rice


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar, and salt until the latter are dissolved.
  2. Put the rice in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Using your hands, swirl the rice to wash it, then drain off most of the water. Repeat until the water runs clear—this will probably take 3 rinses. Drain the rice into a fine-mesh strainer and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Put the rice in medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add 3 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook, covered, until the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Spread the cooked rice onto a rimmed baking sheet and slowly pour the reserved vinegar mixture over it, turning the rice gently to combine. Set the rice aside, fanning it occasionally with a sheet of paper until it comes to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Use within an hour.