As promised, here’s a little tutorial on how to make sticky sushi rice like a pro at home!

I buy my sushi rice from the farmer’s market in bulk but I’ve seen it in grocery stores too. This whole bag is a little over a buck!

Sushi rice is different from regular rice in that it’s a short grain, (you can see it’s kind of rounder and fatter) and it’s more glutinous than regular rice, which makes it sticky when cooked.

For two people, 3/4 cup of uncooked rice should be enough.  If you’re super hungry, make a full cup. The rice to water ratio is 1 to 1, easy to remember.

Before you cook it you need to rinse it. Just run some cool water over it until the water that drains out is mostly clear, not cloudy.  This takes out some of the starch so that it doesn’t just form a gluey porridge when cooked.

Put both the water and the rice in a pot that has enough room for it to expand some and steam.  Now here’s where the important stuff starts.  Turn the temperature up to high and wait for it to boil uncovered.  As soon as it boils, turn the heat all the way down to the very lowest setting and put the lid on.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and get ready to make the seasoning.

Sushi seasoning is basically a mixture of salty, sour, and sweet flavors.  There are many recipes, but the one we use is this: A three-finger pinch of salt, 1 tbsp mirin, and 1 tbsp rice vinegar. Mix it together and set aside.

When the timer goes off for your rice, remove the pot from the eye and set another timer for 10 minutes.  Do not open the lid at any time!

When that timer goes off, dump your rice into some sort of plate or dish with high sides. We use a baking dish for this.  Try not to mess with the rice too much from here on out. You want to “cut it” with a spatula and fold it, but don’t stir or press.  Be gentle! Fan it like crazy, fold again, fan like crazy some more.

Pour your seasoning slowly over the back of your spatula and lightly fan the spatula to spread the seasoning around.  Fold and fan like crazy one or two more times.

What you’ll have is a pleasantly sweet and slightly sour rice that sticks together, making it simple to pick up with chopsticks.

It may seem like a lot of work, but really most of the process is spent waiting on the rice to cook.  There’s plenty of time left over to create something to go with it. Top it with a stir-fry or roasted vegetables, maybe some simmered squash and tofu, and you’ve just made a donburi!

Sushi rice

How to make sushi rice on the stovetop.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups cooked


  • 3/4 cup short grain sushi rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • a 3 finger pinch of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear.
  2. Put rice and water in a pot and allow to come to a boil uncovered.
  3. As soon as it boils, cover and turn the heat down to low.
  4. Cook on low for 15 minutes then turn the heat off and allow to sit covered for another 10.
  5. Mix together mirin, rice vinegar, and salt in a small bowl to make the seasoning.
  6. Pour rice into a dish, fold and fan it to cool.
  7. Pour over seasoning and continue fanning until cooled.

Hope this was helpful. Maybe someday I’ll finally get a rice cooker and I can have it do all the work for me!