How To Cook Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker


Make sushi rice in your rice cooker at home with this super simple method. Different from your average white rice, and sticky rice, sushi rice is made with Japanese short-grain rice and a quick seasoning of rice wine vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt—this is the best sushi rice recipe anyone can learn that’s fail-proof and will go great with your favorite sushi rolls, wraps, and sushi rice bowls.

Want to learn how to make sushi rice perfectly in your rice cooker? Read on and find out.

Can a Rice Cooker Cook Sushi Rice?

There is an art to making sushi rice, something the best sushi chefs who have spent years learning how to perfect the sushi rice cooking process can attest to. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t make some magic in your rice cooker bowl that could rival their work. Here’s how you can make sushi rice with the Instant Pot and rice cooker method.

  1. Measure the short-grain rice using a scale or rice cooker cup. Transfer the uncooked rice to the rice cooker bowl and add the 1:1 ratio of cold water over the rice. Distribute the rice evenly so it’s level with the water.
  2. Close the rice cooker lid and cook the rice according to your rice cooker’s cook mode instructions. After the rice has finished cooking, leave it in the rice cooker with the lid closed for about 5 minutes to allow the steamed rice to soak up any excess moisture.
  3. As the rice cooks in the rice cooker, add the ingredients of the sushi rice seasoning – rice vinegar, sugar, and salt with a customizable ratio of 1:3:3 – in a bowl and mix with a fork or spoon.
  4. Cook the sushi rice seasoning in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. If there are still granules of sugar or salt, continue to cook for another 15 seconds and stir again until it’s fully dissolved.
  5. Splash water all around the inside of a large bowl, making sure all sides are saturated with water. Pour out the remaining water into the sink.
  6. Transfer the hot rice to the rice bowl. Pour the rice vinegar sushi seasoning over the rice as evenly as possible and use a rice paddle or wooden spoon as a way to distribute the rice. 
  7. Use the rice paddle to gently slice into the rice to begin to mix the seasoned rice vinegar throughout the rice grains. Don’t try to push down the rice because this will end up mushy rather than mixed. You want separated grains of rice that are fully coated with the rice vinegar seasoning.
  8. After thoroughly seasoning the short-grain rice with rice vinegar, level out the sushi rice with your rice paddle and cover it with a damp towel to prevent the rice from drying out or getting cold while you’re assembling your sushi. You want the sushi rice to be slightly above room temperature, but not cold.

How Much Water Do I Add to Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker?

To get perfect sushi rice consistency, stick with an easy-to-remember rice-to-water ratio of 1:1. For every rice cooker measuring cup of sushi rice, you need to add an equivalent amount of water.

If your rice is too hard, you need to add more water. You can add water in 2-tablespoon increments and microwave the rice in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds covered with a damp towel until it’s plump and soft in texture. 

If your rice has too much water in it, you can drain the excess water and pour it out of the pot using a fine mesh strainer for well-drained rice, then put your rice back in the rice cooker for a few minutes to let it continue cooking. Another method is to place your rice over a baking sheet and place it into the oven to let all the rice dry further.

Homemade Sushi Rice Tips

  • Avoid rinsed rice for this recipe as you don’t want to rinse away the excess starch from the outside of the grains, as this helps keep the grains sticky, which is ideal for making sushi. Rinsed sushi rice may not stick the way you’d like when making sushi rolls.
  • Sushi is made with short-grained rice because it sticks together better than long-grain rice. Although it’s not impossible to use long-grain, it will not work as well as the shorter ones and you will probably need more water.
  • Do not freeze sushi rice as this will change the texture of your rice. Perfectly cooked sushi rice is best eaten fresh, so try your best to estimate how much rice you’ll need for your meal.
  • For the proper sushi rice flavor, season the cooked rice with salt and sugar in addition to the sushi vinegar. You can also opt for a seasoned sushi vinegar mixture that already has fermented rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in it, so the granules are completely dissolved.

Final Note

Cooking rice in a rice cooker is a very simple task for many households, and now cooking sushi rice in a rice cooker has become a very easy and convenient way for the everyday person to make their own sushi dish cuisine at home. Just buy some sushi rice from your local Asian grocery store and make any sushi dish your heart desires.