top of page

How to Cook Perfect Japanese Rice/Rice for Sushi and Gimbap

Updated: May 20, 2021

Japanese rice is a type of short grain rice used primarily in Japanese cooking that is also the only kind of rice that can be effectively used to make sushi rice and gimbap because of its uniquely sticky consistency. Despite what the internet may tell you, you can NOT substitute any other kind of rice for Japanese rice if you're trying to make sushi or gimbap specifically. Because Japanese rice is also glutinous, it has to be washed a couple of times because it is pretty starchy so it has to be removed before cooking. Japanese rice has a uniquely chewy texture and flavor and because of its stickiness, it makes it way easier to eat it with chopsticks that other kinds of rice. I often like to use Japanese rice for making healthy salmon bowls also. The unique flavor and sticky rice goes perfectly with the flavor of salmon, mushrooms, and cucumbers. Also, if you want to make sushi rice specifically, I included the recipe for that at the bottom of this page.

Above: this is the brand that I use that is easy to find in Food Lion but this isn't the only Japanese rice brand

Above: fully cooked Japanese rice


-1 cup Japanese rice (double: 2 cups)

-1 cup water (double: 2 cups water)



  1. Add the rice to a pot and fill with enough water to cover the rice. Use your hand to swish the rice around until water gets cloudy. Using a strainer, pour out the water then refill the pot with both the rice from the strainer and water. Repeat this process about 4 times until the water you fill the pot with is no longer cloudy. This step eliminates the excess glutenous starch that makes this type of rice sticky.

  2. After pouring out the water the last time, add one cup of water to the pot and place on the stove. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

  3. Bring the covered pot to a boil then reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Turn heat up to high and cook for 30 seconds to dry out the rice. Remove the pot from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. If using the rice for sushi, after the rice is cooked you can season it with sugar and rice vinegar. You can also use this type of rice for Korean gimbap.

How to Make Sushi Rice:


-1 cup cooked Japanese rice (double: 2 cups)

-1 tbs. rice vinegar (double: 2 tbs. rice vinegar)

-1 tsp. sugar (double: 2 tsp. sugar)

-1 tsp. salt (double: still use 1 tsp. salt)

-sesame seeds for garnish (opt)

-bonito flakes for garnish (opt)


  1. Follow the steps to cook the rice. In a saucepan, add all seasonings and heat until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Thoroughly mix in the seasoning mixture with the rice before using for sushi. Personally, I like eating sushi rice with salmon bowls as well. Enjoy!

For more easy and delicious recipes, subscribe to to stay updated!

Related Recipes:


bottom of page