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Sushi Rice

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: About 4 cups 1x


Learn how to make authentic sushi rice either in a rice cooker, pressure cooker or on the stovetop!  See notes above for possible variations too.




  1. Rinse the rice. Rinse the rice with cold water in a large fine mesh strainer for 1-2 minutes, or until the water runs very clear.  Drain well.
  2. Cook the rice. See details in the notes below for how to cook the rice either on the stovetop, in a rice cooker, or in the Instant Pot.
  3. Make the sushi vinegar. While the rice is cooking, heat the rice vinegar, sugar and sea salt together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture nearly reaches a simmer.  Remove from heat and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.  (Alternately, you can just heat the mixture in the microwave if you prefer.)
  4. Season the rice. Once the rice is cooked, transfer the rice immediately to a large mixing bowl and drizzle it evenly with the sushi vinegar. Use a spatula to very gently fold the rice — more of a slicing and lifting motion, rather than stirring and smooshing — until the vinegar is evenly mixed into the rice.
  5. Cool. Cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel so that it is touching the surface of the rice, which will help prevent the rice from drying out. Let it cool on the counter (or in the refrigerator) until it reaches room temperature.
  6. Serve. Use the rice immediately in a recipe, or transfer to an airtight food storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Rice Cooker Instructions: Briefly stir the rice and water together in the bowl of a rice cooker, then place the kombu on top of the rice.  Cover and cook according to device instructions. Discard the kombu.

Instant Pot Instructions: Briefly stir the rice and water together in the bowl of an Instant Pot, then place the kombu on top of the rice.  Cover and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release, followed by a quick release. Discard the kombu.

Stovetop Instructions: Briefly stir together the rice and water (I recommend using 2 1/4 cups water for this method) in a large saucepan, place the kombu on top of the rice, then cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.  Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the water just reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer, and cook for 16-18 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.  Remove saucepan from the heat (with the lid still on) and let the rice steam for an additional 10 minutes.  Discard the kombu.