Make Your Own Sushi Rice at Home

Simple Crab Sushi
You, too, can make your own sushi!


Have you ever wanted to try to make your own sushi at home?

Although I wouldn’t recommend making raw sushi–getting super fresh fish is so tricky and can be dangerous without the proper training–I have figured out how to make a simple California Roll and today I am going to show you how you can do it yourself, too!

My son–aka MO–was turned on to sushi by his Skills Trainer, Jackie, and now he cannot get enough of it. He loves it so much, he wants to eat it several times a week!

Let me tell you even eating out at the local sushi bar once a week can put a big wrinkle in my household money.  And–since he is a growing boy with a HUGE appetite–it’s become rather cost prohibitive to buy.

So I did what any Masshole Mom would do and figured out how to make it myself for much, much less money.  And now I am going to show you how to do it, too.  You can thank me later! 😀

Any sushi starts with the right rice, which must be properly prepared.  I am going to break this into two posts with links, because you really DO need to get the rice cooking part perfectly right or it will be an awful mess.

This may sound stupid, but you must start with the right rice.  You do NOT care about anything other than looking for a package labeled ‘glutinous rice’ or ‘sticky rice’ or even just ‘sushi rice’.  Also note: you do not want any rice labeled as “parboiled” or “converted”.

The glutinous rice grains should look short and plump, like these round, fat grains:

Sushi rice grains are short and plump
Sushi rice grains are short and plump


Sushi rice can be found in most big supermarkets, but if you can’t find it at yours, visit any local ethnic food store.  For example, I went to my local Italian food store and found sushi rice and a nice selection of sushi making products including wasabi (powdered), soy and tamari sauces and pickled ginger.

Don’t bother looking at Trader Joe’s.  TJ’s only sells their pre-made sushi as I learned from a recent visit.  Actually that visit didn’t yield anything resembling asian food prep items.

So let’s get started, okay?


Here’s ALL you will need to make perfect sushi rice:

  • 1 cup of glutinous rice (aka sticky or sushi rice), uncooked
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • Half tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • A good rice cooking pot (I always cook my rice on the stove top with a medium sized saucepan, nothing fancy, no Dutch Oven or anything! But….oooh….Dutch Oven! LOL!)



A word about the difference between rice wine vinegar and rice vinegar:

I find Asian food products are somewhat difficult to understand and, for the longest time, thought there was a difference between rice wine vinegar and rice vinegar.  So, in case you are like I was, I am here to tell you there is no difference.  All vinegar is made from wine.  What matters is what kind of vinegar.  You want RICE vinegar.  Not balsamic, red wine, apple cider vinegar or even malt vinegar.


Sushi Rice Cooking Method:

  1. Measure out 1 cup of sushi rice and put it in your pot.  Run cold water in the pot and swirl the pot around.  You will notice a white cloud coming out of the rice.  This is excess starch.  Once you’ve swirled it around a bit, tip your pan and drain out the water–but not the rice!
  2. Run cold water, swirl and drain the excess starch several times.  I honestly don’t know how many times I do it, but it takes me 2-3 minutes and–even then–it won’t ALL be rinsed off.  Do your best and don’t get all weird about it.
  3. Drain off the last rinse water as much as you can and then add 1 1/4 cups new cool water and put the uncovered pot over a medium heat.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover your pot well.
  5. Simmer covered rice for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Your cooked rice should be tender.
  6. Remove pot from stove and allow it to rest and cool, covered.
  7. After cooling for about 10 minutes, remove your cooked rice to a big bowl.  Sushi chefs often use pretty flat-bottomed bowls and rice paddles, which I do not own.
  8. In a small saucepan, combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and salt in a small saucepan over low heat.  Heat only until all the sugar dissolves.  Cool for a minute or so and then–using a paddle spoon–stir the mixture into the rice.  If you’d rather NOT add the sugar, salt and oil to your rice, you can simply use the vinegar.
  9. Keep stirring the mixture into the rice.  At first it may seem the rice will not take all of the mixture, but eventually you will see the rice will absorb it al
  10. Your rice should be perfect and you are now ready for to make your own sushi, which I will cover in a separate post with links to each other. 

    Adding the vinegar to the sushi rice
    Adding the rice wine vinegar to the sushi rice

I do hope you will try to make your own sushi rice!

When I first starting making it, I must admit I was a little intimidated and MO and I had lots of laughs…because the rice is seriously sticky and it sticks to everything!

But it won’t take you long before you figure out the process and are getting ready to make your own simple sushi rolls or even nigiri!

Good luck!

Here’s what you can look forward to in my next post!

shrimp nigiri
Shrimp Nigiri can be replicated at home, too!


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