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How to make sushi rice

by Hideki Hiwatashi3 May 2018

Learn how to make perfect sushi rice with top sushi chef Hideki Hiwatashi.

How to make sushi rice

Learn how to make perfect sushi rice with top sushi chef Hideki Hiwatashi.

Learning how to make sushi rice is a fundamental skill for those looking to explore Japanese cooking. Once you've mastered perfectly seasoned and fluffy rice, the world is your oyster.

Begin by washing and soaking your rice – do not skip this step! Washing the rice helps to remove excess starch, which will give your rice a lovely light texture and avoids a claggy texture. Once cooked, you should take care when combining the sushi vinegar with the rice – cutting it into the rice with a paddle will help to avoid broken grains. You want your rice to be as whole as possible at the end of the process.

The recipe below makes approximately 500g of sushi rice, which is plenty to play with when making a variety of sushi from our Great British Chefs Academy sushi series. If you want to make more or less, simply scale down the recipe to suit.

Leftover sushi rice will keep for a day or so, and can be served cold wrapped in lettuce leaves with grilled meats or vegetables with some spicy sauce.

How to make sushi rice




  • 250g of sushi rice
  • 300ml of water
  • kombu, a small 3x3cm square
  • 30ml of rice vinegar
  • 8g of salt
  • 18g of sugar
  • kombu, a small 3x3cm square
Place the sushi rice in a bowl and cover with water. Stir using your fingers until the water turns a milky white colour. Drain in a colander and return the rice to the bowl. Repeat this washing and draining process four or five times, until the water is clear
At this point, place the rice in the bowl, cover with water and leave to soak for 20 minutes
Drain the rice and add to a pan (or rice cooker) with the 300ml of water and small piece of kombu. Place a lid on the pan and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for another 20 minutes
While the rice is cooking, make the sushi vinegar by placing all the ingredients in a pan and heating until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Keep the vinegar warm
When the rice is cooked, place it in a mixing bowl. While it and the sushi vinegar are still hot, add the sushi vinegar to the rice, cutting into the rice using the side of the paddle to avoid breaking too many grains
When the vinegar is incorporated, transfer the rice to a plate or tray, top with a damp sheet of kitchen paper and set aside to cool

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