How Long to Cook Sushi Rice in Rice Cooker

Sushi rice, or “shari” in Japanese, is the heart of any great sushi dish. Achieving that perfectly sticky, flavorful, and slightly vinegared rice is essential for creating delicious sushi rolls. If you have a rice cooker, you’re lucky – making sushi rice is incredibly convenient and consistent when using this kitchen appliance. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of making sushi rice in a rice cooker, ensuring that your homemade sushi experience is delightful.


  • 2 cups of sushi rice (short-grain Japanese rice)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/3 cup of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


Rinsing the Rice

    • Measure 2 cups of sushi rice and rinse it in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water. Gently agitate the rice with your fingers to remove excess starch. Rinse until the water runs clear.

Cooking the Rice

Selecting the Cooking Mode

    • Close the rice cooker’s lid and choose the “Sushi Rice” or “White Rice” setting. This setting typically optimizes the cooking time and temperature for sushi rice.

Cooking Process

    • The rice cooker will automatically cook the rice. Once the cooking cycle is complete, the rice cooker might switch to a “Keep Warm” mode. Allow the rice to sit in the “Keep Warm” mode for 10-15 minutes. This resting time allows the rice to steam and achieve the desired texture.

Preparing the Seasoned Vinegar

    • While the rice is cooking, prepare the seasoned vinegar. In a small saucepan, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Could you not bring it to a boil?

Vinegaring the Rice

    • Once the rice has finished its resting time, carefully transfer it to a wide, shallow, non-metallic container, such as a wooden or glass bowl. This helps the rice cool down faster and prevents it from becoming too sticky.
    • Drizzle the seasoned vinegar over the rice using a cutting motion with a wooden or plastic rice paddle. Gently fold and mix the rice with the vinegar to evenly distribute the flavor.

Cooling and Fluffing

    • Allow the vinegared rice to cool for about 10-15 minutes. As the rice cools, it will become slightly stickier and more cohesive, which is ideal for sushi.

Covering the Rice

    • Once the rice has cooled slightly, cover it with a damp, clean kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out while you prepare your sushi ingredients.

Tips and Variations

  • Use high-quality sushi rice for the best results. Short-grain Japanese rice is specifically cultivated for sushi and has the right starch content for that desired stickiness.
  • The vinegar mixture is crucial for achieving authentic sushi rice flavor. You can adjust the sugar and salt proportions to your taste.
  • A wooden or plastic rice paddle is recommended for mixing and folding the rice. These materials prevent damaging the rice grains and maintain their texture.
  • Cooling the rice down slightly before using it for sushi is essential. Hot rice can result in mushy and hard-to-work sushi rolls.


Creating perfect sushi rice in your rice cooker is straightforward and rewarding. Following these steps will ensure that your sushi rice is sticky, flavorful, and just the right texture for crafting beautiful sushi rolls. Whether you’re a sushi enthusiast or a home cook looking to elevate your culinary skills, mastering sushi rice in your rice cooker opens up a world of delicious sushi-making possibilities right in your kitchen.


Is it possible to prepare sushi rice using a rice cooker?

Absolutely! Making sushi rice in a rice cooker is convenient and yields great results. Rinse and soak sushi rice, then cook it in the rice cooker. After cooking, season the rice with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Allow the rice to cool slightly for the right stickiness. This method ensures perfectly textured and flavored sushi rice, ready to be used for your favorite sushi rolls. Using a rice cooker takes the guesswork out of achieving that essential sushi rice foundation, making homemade sushi even more enjoyable.

Can I substitute regular rice for sushi rice when making sushi rice in a rice cooker?

While sushi rice is specifically cultivated for its sticky texture and ideal starch content, you can use short-grain or medium-grain rice as a substitute in a rice cooker. Remember that sushi rice’s unique stickiness contributes to the proper texture of sushi rolls. Adjust the vinegar mixture to enhance flavor and texture if using regular rice. While the result might not be identical to traditional sushi rice, you can still create enjoyable homemade sushi with the convenience of a rice cooker.

Can the seasoning proportions for sushi rice be modified in a rice cooker?

Absolutely! The seasoning mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to experiment with the ratios to achieve the perfect balance of flavors you enjoy. Remember that the right balance of sweet and tangy flavors is essential for an authentic sushi rice taste. Adapting the seasonings allows you to personalize your sushi rice while using the convenience of a rice cooker.

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