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Ken Tominaga’s Sushi Rice

Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

Cooked sushi rice is firm, sticky and sweet, with a mild tang from rice vinegar.

Since sushi is made up of just a few simple ingredients, it’s imperative that each ingredient is of premium quality – so get the best rice vinegar you can find. Flavor, texture and temperature are all important here. You don’t want to burn your hand or cook the fish with the hot rice, but when your sushi hits the table, the rice should still be a little warm. There should be a contrast between the cold fish and slightly warm rice.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Simple tips for perfect rice. Rinse the rice well before cooking, running cold water over the rice until the water runs clear. Once the rice is cooked, allow it to rest in the unopened rice cooker for about 10 minutes.
  2. Season your rice with ease. There is no need to press the seasoned vinegar into the rice by stirring. Instead, use a gentle cutting motion to expose the surface of each grain to the vinegar. The hot rice will absorb the vinegar on its own.
  3. Keep it warm. Place your cooked, seasoned rice in a glass bowl, and then put the rice bowl in a larger bowl. Pour some hot water into the base of the larger bowl to keep the rice at the proper temperature while you’re shaping the sushi.


These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Hangiri. This round, flat-bottomed wooden bowl is used for dressing and holding cooked sushi rice. They range from 1 foot in diameter (for home use) to 3 feet in diameter (for restaurant use.)

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Large bowl
  • Colander
  • Rice cooker
  • Measuring cup
  • Cedar rice mixer, hangiri or large bowl
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Small bowl
  • Hangiri

  • 4 cups rice
  • 4 ¼ cups water
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup high quality unseasoned rice vinegar

Serves: 4

Total Time: 40 minutes

Active Time: 20 minutes

  1. Place rice in a large bowl over a sink. Cover with cold water and mix gently but thoroughly. The idea is to loosen the residual starch and rinse it away without damaging any of the individual grains. Pour out water being careful not to lose any of the rice. Repeat 5 times. Water should no longer be cloudy and should run clear when you are finished.
  2. Pour rice out into colander.
  3. Place rice in the rice cooker and add water. Let sit in rice cooker 5 to 10 minutes before turning on. Turn on rice cooker and let cook.
  4. Once rice is cooked, wait another 10 minutes before opening to allow rice to continue steaming. Leave rice cooker on warm setting.
  5. Mix sugar, salt and vinegar in a small bowl.
  6. Empty rice into hangiri (cedar rice bowl) or a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice. Gently mix rice. The motion of mixing the rice is gentle, horizontal strokes with the paddle through the rice. It is important not to smash the rice but to encourage even distribution of rice vinegar. In the end, every grain of rice should be evenly seasoned, with the vinegar absorbed evenly by each grain. If grains get stuck on the side of the mixer do not mix them back in. Keep rice warm by placing your bowl of rice in a larger bowl of hot water. Let rice sit for 5-10 minutes.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Poached shrimp & rice rolled in cucumber with spicy mayo

Poach or steam some shrimp, dress with the spicy mayo and roll with rice in long cucumber slices.