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This foolproof recipe shows you how to cook sushi rice for sushi rolls and rice bowls whenever you get a craving.

  • Serves4, as a side
  • Cook time25 minutes
  • Prep time20 minutes, + cooling time
Foolproof sushi rice


  • 2 1/2 cups (500g) sushi rice, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • Mixed sesame seeds, to serve
  • Crushed nori, to serve

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Place the rice and 3 3/4 cups (935ml) cold water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 12 mins or until water is absorbed. Cool slightly.

  2. Step 2

    Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt, if using, in a small bowl. Transfer rice to a large heatproof bowl. Use a wooden paddle or rubber spatula to break up the rice while gradually adding the vinegar mixture, gently folding and fanning the rice to cool it. Continue folding and fanning for 15 mins or until cool.
  3. Step 3

    Transfer the rice to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with mixed sesame seeds and crushed nori to serve.

Recipe tip

Clever storage:
Cover the freshly cooked rice with damp tea towels. Leave at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Storing for longer? Transfer it to an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the microwave to room temperature when ready to eat.

Sushi rice recipe

What is sushi rice? In Japanese, the word ‘sushi’ means ‘sour rice’. This is what sets sushi rice apart from regular white rice. Sushi rice is coated in a vinegar mixture and carries a pleasant tangy flavour. Besides the flavour, the type of rice used is crucial when making sushi rice. Try to get your hand on short-grain rice for sushi, preferably a high-quality Japanese one. The rice needs to be cooked until it is sticky yet holds its shape. When you bite into the rice, it needs to feel firm and tender, not mushy. Cooking sushi rice is super easy and allows you to assemble your own sushi for fun dinners at home or for tasty packed lunches. 

How to prepare the sushi rice before cooking

  • For the best sushi rice, buy Japanese short-grain rice. 

  • Wash the rice well to get rid of most of the starch to make perfect sushi rice. Japanese short-grain rice has a lot more starch, which allows it to stick together. But too much starch can make the rice too chewy.  

  • Gently rub the starch off the grains in a bowl with a small amount of cold water. Repeat this process 2-3 more times until the water runs clear.

Tips for how to make sushi rice that is nicely seasoned 

You’ll need a wide, shallow bowl, a spatula and a fan to cool the rice after it’s finished cooking. Follow our tricks here: 

  • Tip the rice into the bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over the rice. 

  • Use a cutting motion to mix the seasoning with the rice.

  • Use the spatula to gently, but quickly, do a slicing motion across the rice all in one direction, then all in the other direction. Fan the rice to cool it down as you slice. The rice needs to end up as separated grains and look shiny.

  • Cover the rice bowl with a clean and damp tea towel until you’re ready to use it.

Love this recipe?

Make rice for your homemade sushi and take your sushi experience to the next level. Keen to try your hand at other rice dishes from around the world? See these recipes for Adele's jewelled rice, vegan Mexican-style rice and peri-peri chicken with Spanish rice. For more ideas, check out our rice recipes collection.