Preparing Rice for Sushi

Cheryl Campagna


Sushi is not as hard as it seems! The secret is all in the rice, if the rice is made right, all you need is a cheap bamboo placemat and a sandwich bag, and rolling is a breeze! Don't forget a nice, damp cloth and sharp knife!


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1 Hr
20 Min
Rice Cooker


  • 2 c
    uncooked sushi rice
  • 2 c

  • 1/4 c
    rice vinegar (room temperature)
  • 3 Tbsp

  • ·
    rice paddle (type that comes with rice cooker)
  • ·
    something to use to fan the rice, a thin stack of heavy paper works great

  • 1 pkg
    nori (seaweed) sheets
  • ·
    bamboo sushi mat or bamboo placemat
  • ·
    damp towel
  • ·
    bowl of water
  • ·
    thick plastic sandwich bag - zipper top is the best (simple zipper, not the handle type)
  • ·
    sharp knife

  • 1 pkg
    immitation crab meat-sticks
  • 1/2
    very firm avacado
  • 1/2
    japanese cucumber (reg cucumber okay, but scrape out centers)
  • ·
  • ·
    gari (pickled ginger)

How to Make Preparing Rice for Sushi


  1. Pour uncooked rice into rice cooker bowl.

    Rinse Rice - Fill bowl with cold water, swish water with fingers until very cloudy, pour out. Repeat until water stays mostly clear when swishing.

    Add 2 cups water, then leave rest for thirty minutes. Cook following rice cooker instructions.
  2. While rice is cooking, pour rice vinegar into small bowl. Add sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. When rice has finished cooking, use rice paddle to loosen rice from edges. (A wooden bowl is suggested, but I use a glass cake pan.) Turn out rice into pan - it should hold the shape of the rice cooker bowl. Don't worry if it is a little brown on top, it is normal and will disappear,
  4. Pouring over the rice paddle, pour vinegar dressing over rice in a circular motion. Gently break up and spread out the rice evenly in pan. While fanning rice with heavy paper (or hand fan) toss and turn rice over until cool. Be careful to be gentle with the rice, tossing and turning it over NOT stirring! If you can't fan and toss at the same time, it is fine to alternate.
  5. When rice has cooled, cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Keep covered anytime you are not removing rice!
  6. Cut Avocado, crab sticks and cucumber in very thin matchstick cuts lengthwise, leaving them near work area.
  7. Lay out bambmoo mat flat in front of you, facing the long way. Cut plastic bag on sides and lay in the same position with the top up against the edge closest to you.
  8. Lay a nori sheet, shiny side down - wide side to you, on sandwich bag. Place a scoop of sushi rice in the middle - use small scoops, you can always add more. Gently spread rice over the nori. It tears easily, so be careful around edges, leaving about 1/4 inch at top uncovered.

    Once nori sheet is covered, gently pat it down to secure it. Rice should be very sticky, so it should hold easily.

    Carefully pick up nori and rice, and turn over so Nori is on top, bare edge should be at the top.
  9. Place a piece of avocado, cucumber and crab stick about an inch from the top.

    Lift edge of Bamboo and gently roll, pulling sandwich bag away as you move. Use firm, but gentle pressure to secure in place, you want nice tight rolls, but not so tight that the rice is all squashed.
  10. Hopefully by now you have a nice, perfectly round sushi roll. No one gets it right the first roll or two. Japanese pro's practice for years! To begin with, squarish lopsided rolls are fine, and they taste the same.
  11. This recipe should make 6 to 8 rolls, depending on how much rice you use per roll, or the occasional one that can't be saved (We ALL get them!) Make all rolls before cutting, laying on a cutting board and covering with damp paper towels is a good idea.
  12. Place roll in front of you. Have a damp cloth ready- you will need to wipe the blade between each cut.

    Start with a damp blade, cut roll in half, then into fourths, and then eighths. Arrange on serving plate.
  13. Serve with Wasabi paste and Gari. The best Wasabi I have found is S & B Selected Wasabi Powder.
  14. If you found the rolling instructions confusing, there are videos on you tube. They will tell you that you need a sushi mat and all kids of other stuff, but a bambooo placemat and a sandwich bag work just as well.

    Rice is very sticky, so expect to make a mess - particularly your first time!

    There are so many different things you can put in sushi - so explore and try other variations as well!

Printable Recipe Card

About Preparing Rice for Sushi

Main Ingredient: Rice/Grains
Regional Style: Japanese
Other Tag: For Kids

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