When you think about sushi,  寿司ネタ(sushi neta)/ the ingredients on top of the rice may come to mind. Sushi rice is also important to make good sushi. Cooked rice is flavored with すし酢(sushi-zu) that consists of vinegar, sugar and salt. It’s not only to enhance the taste of sushi, but it’s also an effective way to preserve both the rice and ingredients.

I bet you can find sushi-zu at Japanese grocery stores or online. You can also make sushi-zu and it can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. It should be convenient to make a small portion of 酢の物(sunomono)/ vinegared dish.

When you make sushi rice, the amount of water should be less than the amount used to make regular rice. The rice absorbs sushi-zu after it’s cooked. Usually, the proper rice to water ratio is from 1:1.1 to 1:1.2. In the case of sushi rice, it should be 1:1.

Almost every rice cooker sold in Japan comes with the proper water lines to guide you for different rice styles. Even if you don’t have a cooker like mine, you can still make the sushi rice with the same amount of water.

Once the rice is cooked, add sushi-zu “vinegar mixture”, and stir the rice with a cutting motion. This process is very important to prevent the rice from becoming too sticky.
I usually use a sushi tub for this process.

I can’t say every household has a sushi tub but you can easily find it here in Japan. If you have this tub, moisten it beforehand by filling it with tepid water to prevent the rice from sticking to it.

You can also use a large bowl to stir the rice.

If you don’t have a rice cooker or you’re unfamiliar with cooking Japanese rice, please click the link to view “How to cook Japanese rice with your pot”.

Ok!  Let’s go on to the recipe for sushi rice.


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Recipe by Mika
Prep timeminutes
Cooking timeminutes


  • 2 gou rice (180 ml × 2 cups) 

  • 360 ml soft water

  • Sushi-zu
  • 50 ml rice vinegar

  • 25 g sugar (jyouhakutou)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 5 cm kombu seaweed (if you have)


  • You need these.
  • Wash the rice and drain it in a colander. Leave it for 30 minutes.
  • I recommend adding a piece of Kombu when cooking the rice for a better sense of authentic Japanese sushi rice. Cook the rice in a rice cooker.
  • While you are waiting for the rice to finish cooking, combine the sugar, vinegar, salt, and mix well.
  • Once the rice is cooked, place it in a sushi tub or big bowl. Pour the sweet vinegar mixture onto the rice paddle and move in a circular motion drizzling it every over the hot rice.
  • Stir the rice in a cutting motion. It is important for the rice to remain hot until the process has properly absorbed the mixture.
  • When the rice absorbs the sweet vinegar, fan it to cool.
  • Once the surface of the rice becomes cool, turn it over with the paddle to cool the other side.
  • When the rice becomes room temperature, cover it with a damp cloth.

Now your sushi rice is ready. Enjoy making your favorite styles of sushi!

Tried this recipe?

Let me know on Instagram with @cook_and_meshiagare
I look forward to seeing your dish!