Do you want to make sushi, but the rice always ends up being too sticky or not cooked enough?
A common obstacle for getting your sushi rice perfect has to do with the amount of water you use. You’ll need a 1:1 rice to water ratio – that is one cup of water per one cup of sushi rice.
Short-grain Japanese rice is almost always found in supermarket packages labeled “sushi rice.” As a result, the grains of this rice type tend to cluster together or cling together during cooking.
The key to preventing this is to mix the rice with a roughly equal amount of water.
However, this can be tricky even for those experienced in the kitchen. Luckily, in this article, I’ll go over how to get the perfect sushi rice water ratio and cook your sushi rice with ease.
What Is the Ratio of Sushi Rice to Water?
Generally, you’ll need a 1:1 rice to water ratio, i.e., one cup of water per one cup of sushi rice.
A great trick – up to two tablespoons of water can be substituted with two tablespoons of sake to enhance the umami flavor significantly.
When preparing sushi rice, the rice-to-water ratio should be 1:1 because you’ll usually be adding sushi vinegar to it.
So, instead of a 1:1.1 or a 1:1.2 ratio for regular steamed rice, you’ll want the rice slightly firmer for further processing.
How Much Water Do I Need for 2 Cups of Sushi Rice?
Following the instructions mentioned above, for two cups of sushi rice, you’d need two cups of water.
How Much Water Do I Need for 100g of Sushi Rice?
If you prefer or are used to grams and mL as a unit of measurement, the rice to water ratio is not exactly 1:1.
One cup of rice is around 200g of rice, and one cup of water is approximately 237 ml. In this case, you would need 120 ml of water for every 100g of rice.
This means that the ratio in grams would be roughly 1:1.2.
Sushi Rice to Water Ratio for a Rice Cooker
Start by looking through your manual for directions on cooking short-grain Japanese white rice.
Water rice cookers should have markings inside the pot. Rinse and drain the rice before adding it to the saucepan with the recommended amount of water.
For those who didn’t get a cup with their rice cooker or the cup doesn’t have internal markings, add one cup and two teaspoons of water for every cup of rice in the cooker (roughly 1:1 ratio of rice to water in cups).
Use white rice mode to begin cooking.
Sushi Rice to Water Ratio for the Stovetop
When cooking sushi rice on a stovetop, the process gets a bit more complex.
Pour one cup of rice into a pot. Add enough water to submerge the rice in the pot completely; give it a good stir with your hand before draining the excess water.
Redo this procedure three to four times.
When the water draining from the pot is clear, return the rice to the pan after draining it through a sieve or mesh strainer.
Then, add the rice and one cup plus two tablespoons of water in a large saucepan. Let it cook over high heat until it boils, lower the temperature to medium-low and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
Afterward, cook the rice on low heat until all the water is absorbed.
Sushi Rice to Water Ratio for an Instant Pot
Pour one and a half cups of rice into a bowl and add enough water to submerge it. Swirl the rice firmly with your hand, then remove the excess water.
Redo this method three to four times.
When the water is clear, submerge the rice again and let it soak for 20 minutes to half an hour at room temperature.
The rice should be drained in a strainer and shaken to remove any remaining water.
In the instant pot, add the already-drained rice with one cup of water. Set the timer for two minutes on high pressure with the cover securely in place.
Why Is It Important to Get the Sushi Rice to Water Ratio Right?
The sushi rice water ratio is important because it decides the end texture of the rice.
Depending on what you want to do with the rice, the rice consistency can be crucial.
If the rice is too soggy or too dry upon cooking, adjust the quantity of water the next time.
Don’t try to salvage already cooked rice. It will get ruined if you make an additional attempt to dry it out or make it less mushy.
How Much Does Sushi Rice Expand?
After cooking, the amount of regular cooked rice is three times as much as the amount of uncooked rice.
However, this is only the expected result with regular rice, which usually requires up to two cups of water.
One cup of water always doubles the original amount of a cup of uncooked rice. So, one cup of uncooked rice with added two cups of water will result in three cups of cooked rice.
Since sushi rice requires only 1 to 1.2 cups of water, you can expect to get roughly 2 to 2.5 cups of cooked sushi rice from 1 cup of uncooked sushi rice.
Tips for Cooking Sushi Rice
Find the Right Type of Rice
Short-grain Japanese rice is used to reach a true Japanese standard. Japanese rice is known for its stickiness and texture because of its high moisture content.
Koshihikari from Toyama Prefecture, Japan, is one of the most popular “first-grade” kinds of Japanese rice.
It’s not mandatory, but kombu is one of the best ways to create a bowl of flavorful sushi rice. It’s common practice in many restaurants.
Whether or not you appreciate the delicate aroma and umami flavor of kombu-infused rice is entirely up to you.
Rinse and Soak
Rinse and re-rinse the rice many times to remove all the starch from the water. Then, let the rice soak for at least 30 minutes before you start to cook it.
This will allow for a better texture in the rice grains.
Use Sushi Vinegar
Adding sushi vinegar to sushi rice is typically the go-to method for making sushi. Rice vinegar, salt, and sugar are used to obtain the perfect harmony of flavors.
To acquire the same flavor, you must use mildly flavored rice vinegar instead of just a different sort of vinegar.
To season the rice with sushi vinegar, move the cooked rice to a large mixing bowl or a parchment-lined baking sheet. This is because the rice must be allowed to cool fast.
To keep rice cold, the Japanese utilize an uchiwa, a broad circular handheld fan.
However, you should add the vinegar immediately when transferring the rice while it’s still hot. Don’t wait for the rice to cool down.
Finally, mix the rice in a slicing motion with a rice paddle. This is critical to ensuring that the sushi rice doesn’t become mushy or crushed.
Cover the Rice
After you’ve mixed the sushi rice, don’t just leave it in a bowl or platter.
You should keep it covered with a moist towel and at room temperature until you’re ready to make sushi from it.
Sushi rice can be tricky to make, but a correct sushi rice water ratio makes your chances of success way higher.
Moreover, you’re not limited to short-grain white rice. You can choose from Japanese brown rice, GABA rice, or Hagia rice for sushi rice.
It’s also possible to create your own combination by combining different rice types with other healthful grains and nuts.