Sushi Rice: The Recipe

Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City

I’ve been asked for some time about the secrets of making sushi rice, or “shari/シャリ in Japanese, but actually there are no real secrets, only a method.
The following recipe is professional and involves a large volume. Think of a sushi party before preparing it. There are simpler versions (the Missus is particularly good at it!) and I’ll be glad to reply to enquiries!
The advantage of this recipe is that it will fit the needs of vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. It is also open to a lot of variations. Read the notes at the end!

-Check the pics for the tools you will need, or their subsitutes.
-I do not explain the rice steaming itself. I assume you Know how to steam rice.
Note: a simple trick to add taste to your rice: steam with a piece of konbu/昆布/seaweed!


-Rice: 3 “go”/540 cc/2.7 cups. A “go” is a traditional measure in Japan: 180 cc.

Sushi Stock (about 120 cc/0.6 cup):
-White sugar: 55 g
-Salt: 18 g
-Rice vinegar: 82 cc/0.82 cup
Mix all above ingredients until dissolved and keep ready.


Steam the rice to slightly harder than usual. Drop inside wooden sushi bowl/飯台/handai (keep in mind to humidify the bowl with clean water before using!)


While the rice is still hot (important!) pour sushi stock all over it.
A technique is to hold the wooden rice spoon/しゃもじ/hamoji over the rice and pour the stock onto it for better uniformity.
“Cut” through rice with wooden sushi spoon/shamoji.


After having made “cuts” through the rice, mix quickly (this is probably the most important step!). As the stock will flow down, mix from bottom to top, scooping the rice and flipping it over.


Scoop rice and drop it on top and “cut” through.


When mixing the rice, bear in mind that overmixing will result into sticky rice. Just “cut” through and mix. It should take only a minute. Next spread the rice and cool it with a hand held traditional fan/うちわ/uchiwa for 10 seconds.


By cooling the rice with a fan/uchiwa, it will allow for an even expansion of the vinegar. Turn rice over once more and fan it for 10 more seconds.
If you use the rice at once, it will get sticky. Leave it covered with a humid and clean cloth for a couple of hours.
Don’t forget to clean the wooden bowl with clean water after usage!

-The type and brand of rice, vinegar, sugar and salt will all play into the taste. Investigate and experiment!
Depending upon the region, sushi rice will taste vastly different in Japan.
In Tokyo, it will taste almost sour, while it will appear sweet here in Shizuoka.
You may use brown sugar instead of white sugar for a different colour.
But it will be easier to make a mistake in taste balance!
The same if you want to introduce a little soy sauce in the stock!

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17 thoughts on “Sushi Rice: The Recipe”

    1. Dear James!
      I’m sure that in old England they have enough vegetables and herbs they could serve as vegetarian/vegan sushi!
      It might even turn out into a business idea for a restaurateur over there!


  1. Thanks!, I did not think of boiled chicken, but it should be great, I reckon your chicken ham would do great trick there, great idea. Do you know if rare beef tastes good in sushi? ( I have deficiencies in iron so i need to make sure I include red meat in my diet.. I love every kind of food, vegetarian too of course 🙂 but i need to watch it).
    I’ll definitely try all the veggies I can in my future rolls!
    I tasted some brilliant sushi the other day, I think it was teriyakied, what do you reckon it was? the brown sushi bit at the front ..if it’s clear enough):


  2. Just tried making my own sushis recently and it worked perfectly well, my recipe for the rice was very similar, i was very very pleased with the result. It means i’ll be making lots in the future! 🙂
    I made my first ones with crabstick, avocado and japanese mayonnaise, but I am a bit stuck for fresh fish, not trusting my fishmonger enough I suppose, would you have any other suggestion in your next posts by chance ;)))
    thanks for a great blog 🙂


  3. It’s interesting to know there are regional variations in taste. That may explain the flavour differences among sushi restaurants within the same city here in North America. I love sushi rice, sweet or sour!


  4. Yes, now you mention it the sushi rice here in Shizuoka definitely has a sweetness to it, a delicate sweet and sour balance I feel, just right for when the horseradish kicks in.


  5. Beautiful Robert, finally I have been shown a way to make sushi rice that I can visually soak in, bravo to you. Long time no see…I get lost on foodbuzz of late, but trying to look around at least once a week…

    Hope all is well in your part of the world!

    Bless you!

    Chef E


    1. Dear Elizabeth!
      Thank you so much but that was a bit of an overkill as it is not that difficult!
      I’m happy it helps friends, though!
      Cheers and all that!


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