Sushi Rice, a Step-by-Step Guide

Sushi Rice, a Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Great Sushi Rice Step-by-Step with Reiko Hashimoto

Great ingredients make great dishes, great methods of preparing give great results.  Sushi Rice is both easy to get right and easy to get wrong and being such a fundamental part of the dish it makes all the difference.

We teamed up again with Reiko Hashimoto and asked her how she gets perfect sushi rice time after time so we could share her great method with you.

Sushi Rice

3 cups short-grain white rice 

3¼ cups of water (or 10% more than rice)

For the sushi vinegar/seasoning

½ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp concentrated dashi stock or powdered dashi stock


¾ cup pre-made sushi seasoning


1.  Put all ingredients for the sushi vinegar in a saucepan and heat gently to mix them well. Simmer gently for about 10 min until slightly thickened.

2.  Place rice in the pan you will use.  Lightly rinse rice with cold water and drain. Repeat this three or four times so that the water becomes almost clear.  Drain and then add the correct amount of water to cook the rice and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes. You can soak the rice up to 5 hours. If the soaking time is longer, cooking time becomes slightly less.

3.  To cook rice in rice cooker: just switch on after the above process. When rice is cooked, the rice cooker automatically switches to “keep warm” position but do not keep warm. You should switch it off and allow the rice to rest without any heat. Then allow rice to stand for 15 minutes.

     To cook rice in saucepan: cover the pan tightly then bring to boil.  Once it comes to boil, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for about 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed, making sure lid is on all the time.  Remove from the heat, and then allow rice to stand for 15 minutes, keeping the lid on.

4.  Spread the cooked rice in a wide, flat-bottomed bowl (*see note below) while rice is still steaming hot.  Gradually adding the sushi seasoning and mix with a large flat wooden spatula as if cutting through the lumps of rice and separate grain at a sharp angle and fold over.  You must not stir otherwise rice grain will be crushed and become lumpy.  Continue folding rice gently and fanning at the same time until rice reaches room temperature. Fanning is particularly important as is the most efficient way to cool the rice temperature quickly.  Rice should be shiny and sticky but with each grain still being separate.  Place a damp cloth over rice to stop it drying out and getting hardened until use.

*You should NOT use a stainless steel bowl, a ceramic bowl or the pan you cooked the rice in because they will retain heat and condensation and change the texture of the rice. It is best to use a wooden bowl, such as a hangiri or ohitsu, or another flat-bottomed wooden bowl you may have.

For more of Reiko's amazing recipes see her book available to order online HERE

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