Kate Koo teaches us Sushi Techniques, as seen on her course, Sushi Making at Home, on Food Network Kitchen.
Recipe courtesy of Kate Koo

Sushi Rice

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: About 5 cups
Sushi rice is the heart of sushi and the vinegar should add a tartness to the rice and give a nod to the humble beginnings of sushi before it became what we know it as today. This is a simple, straightforward recipe for basic sushi vinegar and sushi rice. There are countless variations with differing amounts of salt and sugar and other additions which flavor the seasoned vinegar chefs call sushi-su. Different vinegars affect the flavor of the finished sushi and vinegar recipes vary by region. This one contains a multi-purpose version for sushi-su that can be used as a base for pickling brine or salad dressing as well.


Seasoned Vinegar:



  1. For the seasoned vinegar: Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until just steaming (it will be about 100 degrees F). Do not boil the vinegar. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the sugar and 2 teaspoons salt and whisk until dissolved. Add the dashi kombu if using. 
  3. For the rice: Rinse the rice in a large bowl under cold running water until the water runs clear, about 5 minutes. While rinsing, gently agitate the rice with your hands to wash off extra starch. Drain the rice in a fine-mesh colander. 
  4. If using a rice cooker, set to the “white rice” or “sushi rice” setting; do not use the “quick cook” setting. Add the rinsed and drained rice and 1 1/3 cups of water to the cooker, gently move from side to side to evenly settle the rice and press start. If using the stove method: Add the rinsed and drained rice and 1 1/3 cups of water to a medium pot. Gently move the pot from side to side to evenly settle the rice. Put a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pot before placing the lid on to create a tight seal. Bring to a boil over high heat (it is best to lower the heat just before it boils, when it begins to steam). 
  5. Lower the heat to low and steam the rice for 25 minutes; do not open the lid. Remove the rice from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes more. 
  6. Removed the dashi kombu from the seasoned vinegar if using. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl and immediately sprinkle the vinegar mixture evenly over the hot rice (see Cook’s Note). Using a rice paddle or spatula, gently cut the vinegar mixture into the rice and alternately fold the rice so vinegar doesn't pool on the bottom of the bowl. Make sure the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the rice. 
  7. Spread the rice in a baking dish and let sit until it is cool enough to handle and sticks together in a ball, 5 to 10 minutes. Use the rice within 2 hours or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 day. You can use the rice at room temperature or gently reheat it using the “warm” function on a rice cooker.

Cook’s Note

It’s important to add the vinegar mixture to the rice as soon as it has finished cooking. If the rice sits too long it is very difficult to evenly season the rice. Depending on the altitude and climate, you may want to alter the amount of water used when cooking the rice. If you're living somewhere humid, you might want to drop the water a little bit. If you live somewhere really dry, increase it just a little bit. Ultimately, with sushi rice we want to notice each individual grain of rice while we're mixing and eating it.