How to Make Perfect Sushi Rice at Home?

rice The key to making great sushi starts with using the right kind of rice.  It needs to have a high gluten content, which makes these little morsels sticky enough to form into sushi rolls.  Now you can make sushi rice at home just like your favorite sushi restaurant.  You can’t just pick up the cheapest bag of white rice and expect to make sushi rice, even if you have a Japanese rice cooker.

Regular long grain rice or medium grain rice does not have the right amount of gluten or have the consistency to become traditional Japanese sticky rice. This is regardless if it is American, Indian basmati or Thai Jasmine rice.

By hand, making sushi rice as art form.  Fanning the rice helps to cool it down, and gives it the famous glossy finish.  This is such a critical step, sushi chefs must master this step in their training.

Since most home cooks don’t have the time to learn this centuries-old skill, a Japanese rice cooker helps you achieve success in a fraction of the time.

What is the Best Sushi Rice

Japanese sticky rice or Cal Rose rice has just the right amount of gluten,  so it will stick together and can be rolled into nori (seaweed wrap) and rolled into your favorite sushi dish.  This is in contract to the popular regular American rice, Basmati or Jasmine rice, which has high starch and low gluten content, and will fall apart when you try to roll it into a ball.


File:Vegetarian Maki Sushi at Suzuran Japan Foods Trading.jpg


Both types of rice make perfect Japanese or Chinese sticky rice.  Unless you have an Asian market in your neighborhood that sells Japanese sushi rice, your best bet is to buy Cal Rose rice.  This is available in the rice/pasta section of most grocery stores, and a 5 lb bag is relatively inexpensive.

If you prefer the healthier brown variety, Cal Rose rice is available in both the brown rice and white rice versions.


Don’t skimp on the Rice Vinegar

rice vinegar

The unique flavor of sushi rice at home or in your favorite restaurant starts with the vinegar.  Japanese rice vinegar is the secret ingredient that gives your sushi rice that unique, sweet and tart flavor you are so used to.  You can find Japanese rice vinegar at most grocery stores in the vinegar section, or Asian food aisle.

Missing this component, or using the wrong rice vinegar can change the flavor or worse, the wrong vinegar can ruin the flavor of your dish.  Don’t even think about skimping here.  Most foodies say that Japanese rice vinegar has a milder and sweeter taste than Chinese rice vinegar.  This is important since not all rice vinegars is the same.


Use a Japanese Rice Cooker

The Zojirushi Rice Cooker 3 cup is the best selling professional quality Japanese rice cooker for home cooks and professional chefs alike.

While it is possible to make sushi rice on the stove top, you will achieve a better quality sushi rice if you use a Japanese rice cooker.  You can use a rice cooker that has a sushi rice setting, like the Zojirushi rice cooker, which also makes white rice, brown rice, porridge.

This Japanese rice cooker comes with a recipe book that includes several rice recipes. The Japanese rice cooker shows you how much rice to use.  It also has a water fill line, so you won’t use too little or too much water.

Using an electric rice cooker, which will keep the steam in.   The Japanese rice cooker cooks the rice at the right temperature, and terminates the cooking in time to prevent burning.  Most people ruin rice from over cooking or using too high of a heat setting.


 Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Rice Cooker and Warmer

 Zojirushi Japanese Rice Cooker



Easy Sushi Rice Recipe

Here is our easy sushi rice recipe any stay at home dad can master like a real sushi chef.



Ken Weiss


  1. Mary Surface January 16, 2022
  2. Tony January 25, 2020
  3. Jen @JuanitasCocina June 22, 2013
    • Ken June 22, 2013
  4. June 12, 2013
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