This is hands down the easiest way to make sushi rice for homemade sushi. Just use your rice cooker to cook the rice, mix in the vinegar at the end, and it’s ready to go!

How to Make Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker - With Paddle

There is an art to making perfect sushi rice, but I think that’s best left to the sushi chefs who have spent years learning how to make it perfectly.

When I make sushi at home, I leave the cooking up to my rice cooker. And as long as you have a somewhat decent machine, the results should definitely be more than satisfactory!

Yesterday I posted my how-to for making homemade sushi, and this post is completely dedicated to making the sushi rice.

Sushi Rice - In a Rice Cooker Bowl with Rice Paddle

I have this Aroma cooker, and at $60 I think it’s a very reasonably priced appliance. I use it a ton and I’m impressed with the end results it turns out. Fluffy, moist, and slightly sticky grains, but not water logged.

UPDATE: After lots of research, I was convinced enough that more expensive rice cookers are in fact superior, so I ended up replacing my old cooker with this 5-star rated Zojirushi (affiliate). And WOW there is a huge difference. We had kept the box in case we wanted to return it, but the end results are so much better, we decided it’s indeed worth the cost. But, know that you can use virtually any cooker to get decent results.

Tips for Best Results

Don’t rinse the rice – This is an instance where you do not want to rinse away the starch from the outside of the grains, as the starch helps keep the grains sticky, which is ideal for making sushi.

Use filtered water – If your tap water is hard or has an unpleasant taste, take the extra step to filter it first. This is subtle, but the taste will be better.

Use a seasoned vinegar – For the proper flavor, you need to season the cooked rice with salt and sugar in addition to the vinegar. I prefer to buy seasoned vinegar that already has salt and sugar in it, so the granules are completely dissolved.

Rice Paddle Holding Up a Spoonful of Rice Cooker Sushi Rice

To get started, combine rice and water in the pot of the machine.

The Best Sushi Rice

I use and prefer Nishiki, which is easy to find and regarded as high-quality. My Japanese friends say it’s the best! Tamanishiki and Yuki Tsubaki are also highly regarded. Just make sure that whatever you buy states that it’s recommended for sushi, so you get short-grain, almost rounded, highly starchy and sticky grains.

Pouring Water Into Rice Cooker Container with Rice

As far as washing goes, I don’t rinse this particular brand of rice. A lot of people are adamant about this, but the directions for Nishiki instruct you to combine the grains with the water as is. You can wash the grains if you feel more comfortable.

While the rice cooks, all you need to finish it up is some seasoned vinegar. Most recipes call for vinegar, salt, and sugar, then you dissolve them together and season the rice with it. Buying vinegar with the salt and sugar already in it takes that step away, so that’s why I keep this on hand. It ensures that the granules are already dissolved and the flavor distributes evenly.

A close up of a bottle of Rice Vinegar

For the 1.5 cups of uncooked rice that we used, about 1/4 cup of the vinegar is ideal. Add it to the pot:

Cooked Sushi Rice in Cooker with Vinegar Being Poured In

Gently toss the grains around to further distribute the vinegar, taking care not to mash or flatten the rice. If you mix too much, the grains can break down and become a bit gluey.

Sushi Rice Recipe - One Batch in Cooker Container with Paddle

Then it’s ready to be used for homemade sushi. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips and FAQ

How do you store leftover Sushi Rice?

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze leftover Sushi Rice?

Yes, in an airtight container for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave in the fridge overnight.

How do you reheat Sushi Rice?

Microwave at 70% power in 30-second intervals until warm and fluffy. Make sure not to overdo it, or the grains will get hard and dry.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.

Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker Bowl with Paddle

How to Make Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker

How to make sushi rice in a rice cooker, to use for homemade sushi.
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups sushi rice (I use Nishiki)
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (I use Marukan)

Instructions 

  • Place the rice and water into a rice cooker. Cook according to the “white rice” setting on the cooker.
  • When the rice has finished cooking, evenly pour the seasoned vinegar all over the cooked grains. Toss everything around to further distribute the vinegar, taking care to be gentle, and not mash the grains, or they will become gluey.
  • It is now ready to be used for sushi. Here’s my post on homemade sushi.

Notes

I don’t wash the rice before cooking. I know some people are adamant about washing the grains beforehand, but the brand I use specifies to combine with the water as is. You can wash the grains if you prefer.
Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing: Store in an airtight container up to 2 months. To thaw, leave in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: Microwave at 70% power in 30-second intervals until warm and fluffy. Make sure not to overdo it, or the grains will get hard and dry. 

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 3mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

How to Make Homemade Sushi:

Sushi Rolls - Sliced and Laid on Wooden Board