Sushi Rice: The Recipe Basics

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Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!


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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