Asian Recipes/ Japanese/ Recipes/ Side Dish

Easy Sushi Rice 3 Ways – Rice Cooker, Instant Pot & Stove

13/05/2021

Cooking sushi rice has never been easier! Learn how to make sushi rice three ways – in the rice cooker, instant pot or stovetop. No soaking required and under 5 minutes prep.

Sushi rice in a large bowl with chopsticks.

Why We Love This

Being able to make your own sushi rice at home is one of the most satisfying and helpful skills to have under your belt in the kitchen. Master this, and you’ll be able to easily whip up homemade sushi or Japanese onigiri in no time.

The best part, is we’ve got you covered no matter what equipment you have on hand. Rice cooker? Check. Instant pot? You bet! Classic stove top? Yep. Get ready for fluffy, sticky, PERFECT sushi rice.

Layering sushi rice onto a nori sheet with rice paddle.

What is Sushi Rice? 

Sushi rice is a premium short grain rice, shorter and rounder than it’s Basmati and Jasmine counterparts. It’s also a sticky rice, making it the perfect medium to form those small bite-size sushi pieces. While Japan is known as the sushi capital of the world, sushi rice or short grain rice actually originates from China!

What You’ll Need

  • Sushi Rice – The most popular type of sushi rice is koshihikari, and this is the type we recommend. It’s now found in most supermarkets, Asian grocers or online. The short grain rice is small, and will be noticeably different from long grain rice. While there is no true substitute for sushi rice, the closest would be to use arborio rice.
  • Water – Where possible, use filtered cold water for the tastiest finish!
  • Sushi Vinegar – The ingredient that pulls this altogether. The sweet and salty vinegar infuses with the rice and complements the flavours of fish when used in sushi. As a bonus, it also adds to the stickiness and helps hold it together. You can easily make it at home with a ratio of 3:2:1. 3 tsp of rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar in a pinch), 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp of salt, lightly heated on the stove or in the microwave until the sugar and salt is dissolved. It’s also super simple to pick up at most groceries – the most popular brand is Nakano. Look for the red cap – this is pre-seasoned with sugar and salt. The green cap is just regular rice wine vinegar.

Seasoned Sushi Vinegar vs Regular Rice Wine Vinegar

Seasoned Sushi Vinegar – Red Cap

Regular Rice Vinegar – Green Cap

Ingredients laid out to make sushi rice.

3 Ways to make Sushi Rice at Home:

Sushi Rice in the Rice Cooker

  1. Place sushi rice into the rice cooker bowl, cover with water and rinse 2-3 times using your hands until water is more translucent (doesn’t have to be clear). Drain.
  2. Fill water to the 2 cup fill line in your rice cooker.
  3. Select Rice and Start. (Or the applicable buttons for your model. Button names may vary depending on your rice cooker.)

Sushi Rice in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)

  1. Place sushi rice into the instant pot bowl, cover with water and rinse 2-3 times using your hands until water is more translucent (doesn’t have to be clear). Drain. Add the 1 cup of water to the rinsed sushi rice. Place pressure cooker lid on and make sure it is sealed correctly and the valve is closed.
  2. Cook on High Pressure – 3 minutes, then natural release steam for 10 minutes. Slow release any remaining pressure.

Sushi Rice on the Stove (No Soaking)

  1. Add sushi rice to a medium saucepan, cover with water and rinse 2-3 times using your hands until water is more translucent (doesn’t have to be clear). Drain.
  2. Add the 1 ¼ cups of water to the rinsed sushi rice. Place over high heat and bring to a boil with the lid off.
  3. Next, cover and reduce to the lowest setting for 15 minutes. Take off heat and steam for further 10 minutes with the lid still on. Note: Do NOT remove the lid to peek at all during the cooking process, the steaming is crucial to perfect rice.
  4. Finally, remove the lid.

Seasoning the Sushi with Vinegar

  1. Allow sushi rice to cool by transferring into a wooden bowl, non-stick wide pan or chopping board. Add 1 tbsp of sushi vinegar per cup of uncooked rice and gently fold through with a rice paddle (or wooden spoon) so you don’t break the sushi rice.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Don’t Over Stir Your Rice – it’s delicate so mix it as little as possible.
  • Be Quick – When rinsing your rice, be quick to avoid the rice picking up too much moisture from the water.
  • Batch It – Double or triple the recipe and remember 1 cup of uncooked sushi rice is 3 cups of cooked rice!
  • No Sieves or Colanders – When rinsing, don’t use a sieve to rinse sushi rice as it can break the grains of rice.
  • No Peeking – Don’t lift the lid if using stove top method, as this will let out the steam that’s crucial to the cooking.
  • Sushi Vinegar Amounts – Start at 1 tbsp of sushi vinegar per 1 cup of uncooked rice, then move up to the recommended 2 tbsp. Allow vinegar to absorb into the rice, and the flavours to mellow. It will lose the intense vinegar flavour over time.

FAQs

What’s the difference between a regular cup and a rice cooker cup measure?

A regular measuring cup holds 200g / 7oz of uncooked rice, whereas a rice cooker measuring cup is smaller and holds only 140g / 5oz of sushi rice. Make sure you account for the difference depending on which cooking method you use for your sushi rice.

Can you freeze sushi rice?

Yes, you can freeze sushi rice, however, it’s best eaten on the day of cooking.

Why did my sushi rice turn out mushy?

There are a few reasons sushi rice can turn out mushy. Here’s the most common reasons:
– Not all the rinsing water was discarded.
– You added too much water.
– You didn’t have enough steam or pressure (if using instant pot) to cook the sushi rice through evenly and evaporate the water content.

Bowl of sushi rice with pot in background on blue material.

Types of Sushi Rice Cookers and Equipment

Rice Cookers

These are the easiest way to cook your rice. They come with their own rice measure cups and fill lines, and a simple start button, so you’ll cook the perfect amount every time.

The T-Fal Rice and Multicooker is what we use at home. It always cooks the rice to perfection, and it doubles as a multicooker so you don’t have to use it for just rice!

While Zojirushi is a popular brand in Japan, Tiger Rice Cookers are our fave, and what we use while we’re in Japan. Both our Osaka-mums – Yoshiko and Rieko – have TIger rice cookers, and we find them so easy to use!

Instant Pot (Pressure Cookers)

Instant Pots are great for cooking rice, if you want a cooker that has multiple functions other than just rice. That way you cut down on the amount of appliances in the kitchen.

Ninja Foodi is the brand of pressure multicooker we use at home. We love this as it comes with two lids so it doubles as an air-fryer, among quite a few other modes.

The Instant Pot Duo is one of the most popular pressure cookers on the market, with the Duo a little cheaper than it’s higher end models. We haven’t used one ourselves, but know they’re a reputable brand of pressure cookers.

Stovetop Saucepans

Most non-stick saucepans with a fitted lid will work well for cooking your rice on the stove. We use similar Japanese styles to the below, known as Yukihira or hammered style saucepan with wooden handles. These are great as the handles never get hot, and it doesn’t use plastic.

For Sushi Seasoning

The last two pieces of equipment to get that sushi rice just right – hangiri and shamoji – otherwise known as a wooden rice container and rice paddle. If you can’t source them, a wide pan and wooden spoon work great as alternatives.

The wooden sushi bowl known as hangiri.

Ready to add some colour and flavour to your sushi rice? Make these with it:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Bowl of fluffy white sushi rice made in the instant pot.

Easy Sushi Rice 3 Ways – Rice Cooker, Instant Pot & Stove

Cooking sushi rice has never been easier! Learn how to make sushi rice three ways – in the rice cooker, instant pot or stovetop. No soaking required and under 5 minutes prep.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rest and Steaming Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Course: Basics, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 3 cups cooked rice
Calories: 917kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

Rice Cooker Ingredients

  • 2 cups sushi rice 280g / 10 oz, IMPORTANT: Uses smaller rice cup measure that comes with cooker.
  • water filled to 2 cup fill line
  • 2 tbsp sushi vinegar store bought or homemade from 3:2:1 rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt

Instant Pot Ingredients

  • 1 cup sushi rice 200g / 7oz
  • 1 cup water 250ml / 8.5oz
  • 1 tbsp sushi vinegar store bought or homemade from 3:2:1 rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt

Stove Top Ingredients – No Soaking Required, Absorption Method

  • 1 cup sushi rice 200g / 7oz
  • 1 ¼ cups water 312ml / 10.5oz
  • 1 tbsp sushi vinegar store bought or homemade from 3:2:1 rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt

Instructions

Rice Cooker Method

  • Place sushi rice into the rice cooker bowl, cover with water and rinse 2-3 times using your hands until water is more translucent (doesn’t have to be clear). Drain.
  • Fill water to the 2 cup fill line in your rice cooker.
  • Select Rice and Start. (Or the applicable buttons for your model. Button names may vary depending on your rice cooker.)

Instant Pot Method

  • Place sushi rice into the instant pot bowl, cover with water and rinse 2-3 times using your hands until water is more translucent (doesn’t have to be clear). Drain.
  • Add the 1 cup of water to the rinsed sushi rice. Place pressure cooker lid on and make sure it is sealed correctly and the valve is closed.
  • Cook on High Pressure – 3 minutes, then natural release steam for 10 minutes. Slow release any remaining pressure.

Stove Top Method

  • Add sushi rice to a medium saucepan, cover with water and rinse 2-3 times using your hands until water is more translucent (doesn’t have to be clear). Drain.
  • Add the 1 ¼ cups of water to the rinsed sushi rice. Place over high heat and bring to a boil with the lid off.
  • Next, cover and reduce to the lowest setting for 15 minutes. Take off heat and steam for further 10 minutes with the lid still on. Note: Do NOT remove the lid to peek at all during the cooking process, the steaming is crucial to perfect rice.
  • Finally, remove the lid.

To Season the Sushi Rice

  • Allow sushi rice to cool by transferring into a wooden bowl, non-stick wide pan or chopping board.
  • Add 1 tbsp of sushi vinegar per cup of uncooked rice and gently fold through with a rice paddle (or wooden spoon) so you don’t break the sushi rice.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Don’t Over Stir Your Rice – it’s delicate so mix it as little as possible.
  • Be Quick – When rinsing your rice, be quick to avoid the rice picking up too much moisture from the water.
  • Batch It – Double or triple the recipe and remember 1 cup of uncooked sushi rice is 3 cups of cooked rice!
  • No Sieves or Colanders – When rinsing, don’t use a sieve to rinse sushi rice as it can break the grains of rice.
  • No Peeking – Don’t lift the lid if using stove top method, as this will let out the steam that’s crucial to the cooking.
  • Sushi Vinegar Amounts – Start at 1 tbsp of sushi vinegar per 1 cup of uncooked rice, then move up to the recommended 2 tbsp. Allow vinegar to absorb into the rice, and the flavours to mellow. It will lose the intense vinegar flavour over time.

Nutrition

Calories: 917kcal | Carbohydrates: 201g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 4mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Easy Sushi Rice 3 Ways - Rice Cooker, Instant Pot & Stove

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