The first step to making great sushi is to start with great rice. If the rice doesn’t have that signature “sticky” consistency, then you won’t be able to roll it into sushi and it will just end up falling all over the place. The easiest way to make sushi rice, by far, is with a rice cooker.
So, how do you make sushi rice in a rice cooker?
After gathering your ingredients, soaking your rice, and cleaning your rice cooker, simply place 2 cups of filtered water in your rice cooker. Then, add your soaked rice to the rice basket, set the rice cooker’s timer for 30 minutes, and then turn it on.
Depending on the amount of rice you’re trying to cook and how big your rice cooker is, your sushi rice could take anywhere between 20 and 35 minutes to fully cook. In today’s post, I’m going to show you my step-by-step process for making my own homemade sushi rice that tastes better than most authentic Japanese restaurants!
Let me start by saying this – If you don’t own a rice cooker, then you should!
Sure, you can cook sushi rice in a steamer pot or Dutch oven-style cooking device, but it’s just not going to turn out as good as cooking sushi rice in an actual rice cooker. The rice cooker ensures that your rice never gets too wet, maintains the perfect consistency, and is evenly cooked without any burning or sogginess.
Plus, using a rice cooker is hassle-free and doesn’t require you to use your stove. Just plug your rice cooker in, set the timer, and it’ll take care of all of the hard work. So, that being said, here’s my step-by-step process for making the perfect sushi rice!
Start by gathering all of your ingredients. It’s important to use high-quality ingredients to make the best quality rice.
The other day, I wrote an entire post on how to buy sushi rice, which you should definitely check out. In summary, though, search for short-grain white rice. I almost always go with Nishiki’s short-grain sushi rice, as it’s authentic and easily found at my local grocery store.
To achieve that perfect sushi rice flavor, you’ll need to use a bit of seasoned rice vinegar. This will add a tangy, slightly sharp flavor that balances out the taste of the fish and the seaweed wrap.
Your rice grains are going to be over 50% water, so why would you use a bunch of metallic-tasting tap water to make your rice? I generally use filtered water or some bottled spring water.
The number one rule for making sticky sushi rice is to soak it overnight! If you’re in a rush, the minimum you should soak your rice grains for is 4 hours. However, the longer you let your grains soak, the more starches they’ll release, and the more the rice grains will stick to each other.
When making sushi rice, I generally start by using 1.5 cups of Nishiki’s short-grain rice. After overnight soaking, it will generally take up around 1.8 to 2 cups worth of volume.
First, pour 2 cups of filtered water into the bottom of the rice cooker (the water chamber). Then, place your 1.5 to 2 cups of soaked rice into the rice basket.
If your rice cooker has a setting for “white rice,” then go ahead and select that option. If not, set the timer to 20 minutes. It may need an additional 10 to 15 minutes (a total of 30 to 35 minutes), but it’s best to check it after 20 minutes to ensure that it doesn’t overcook.
Once it’s fully cooked, pour 1/4-cup of rice vinegar over your steamed rice and use a spatula to spread it throughout the rice. Then, let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling it into a sushi roll.
If there’s any leftover, you can store the sushi rice by putting it in a container with a tight lid. It will stay fresh up to 1 day after cooking it.
There you have it! That wasn’t too crazy of a recipe, was it? Sushi rice is supposed to be simple and mild in flavor. The main thing that you’ll want to get right is its signature stickiness, which is achieved by overnight soaking, using short-grain rice, and steaming it in a rice cooker.