Sushi rice in the Instant Pot is the most foolproof and delicious way to make it. With just a few ingredients and a few minutes of prep, you can easily make fresh sushi rolls or sushi bowls at home. 

A bowl of perfect sushi rice sits on a kitchen counter in front of an Instant Pot pressure cooker.

Making tasty sushi at home is easier than you may think. Perfectly seasoned, tender, sticky sushi rice makes all the difference. We’ve been making sushi in my family for many years, and have found the sushi rice made in the Instant Pot is the best. 

This recipe was adapted from “The Great Sushi and Shashi Cookbook,” by Kazu Takahashi and Masakazu Hori, via New York Times. There’s a veggie sushi roll recipe in my second cookbook, Vegan in an Instant, as well. 

Sushi rice, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt on a kitchen counter. These are the ingredients for making sushi rice at home.

What is Sushi Rice and How to Make It 

Though you can make sushi with just about any rice, or even quinoa, traditional sushi rice differs from other rice varieties in a few ways. Sushi rice is typically more flavorful, with a balance of sweet, salty, and tangy. When cooked, it’s tender, moist and clingy, perfect for holding sushi rolls together. 

Components of Perfect Sushi Rice 

  • Rice: Use rice that’s meant for sushi. Medium to short grain white sushi rice is easy to find in most places. Using an electric rice cooker or pressure cooker (Instant Pot) will yield the best results. 
  • Rice to Water Ratio and Cook Time: When sushi rice is overcooked or cooked in too much water it will become mushy. When using a rice cooker, the ratio of rice to water is typically 1:2, but this can vary, so always check your appliance’s instructions. For the Instant Pot, the ratio is 1:1 1/4, as there is almost no evaporation. When doubling rice and grains in the Instant Pot, it’s best to reduce the amount of water after the first cup, so for this recipe which uses 2 cups of sushi rice, I use 2 cups of water. You can also halve this recipe and use 1 cup of rice. Simply use 1 cup of water and halve the vinegar ingredients. 
  • Cooking Method: An electric rice cooker or Instant Pot is the best method for cooking rice perfectly every time. 
  • Rice Vinegar: Look carefully at your bottle of rice wine vinegar, as there are two different types. Seasoned rice vinegar has sugar and salt added, while some others are made with rice and water only. You can use either type, but if using seasoned, you don’t add the sugar and salt, you simply add it to the cooked rice as-is. 

Can I Make This Sushi Rice Recipe on the Stovetop or Rice Cooker? 

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make this perfect sushi rice. An electric rice cooker is best, but you can make it on the stove. 

  • Rice Cooker: Cook rice and water with a 1:2 ratio, but check your specific cooker’s instructions. 
  • Stovetop: Cook rice and water with a 1:1 ratio on the stove in a pot, covered with a lid, for about 15 minutes. 
A close-up photo of homemade avocado sushi rolls topped with sesame seeds. This image shows perfect homemade sushi rice made in the Instant Pot.

Using Homemade Sushi Rice

Homemade sushi rice is best used freshly steamed, as it can dry out. You can let it sit in the Instant Pot on warm, however, for an hour. 

Yield: 6 cups

Instant Pot Sushi Rice

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes

The best foolproof seasoned sticky Japanese style sushi rice for making sushi rolls or bowls. Sushi rice in the Instant Pot is the best, but you can also use this recipe when using a rice cooker or stovetop.

A close up photo of avocado sushi to show of perfect sushi rice made at home in the Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice in a fine mesh colander and shake most of the water out so that the rice is just damp.
  2. Add the rice and water to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid and set the valve to sealing if needed on older models. Select manual/pressure cook (high) for 3 minutes. It will take about 13 minutes for the pressure to build before the countdown begins.
  3. Naturally release the pressure. This will take about 15 minutes. You can let the rice sit for up to an hour kept warm in the pot with no worries.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar, sugar, and salt together until the sugar has dissolved. This works best in a small saucepan on the stove or by microwaving a glass bowl at 20 second intervals.
  5. Remove the Instant Pot lid and pour the seasoned rice vinegar over the rice. Stir in with a wooden spoon or the Instant Pot spoon until combined. The rice will become coated with the vinegar and look wet at first but will become perfectly moist and sticky as it cools.
  6. Let the sushi rice cool to room temperature, then use to make sushi or sushi bowls topped with veggies.

Notes

If using "seasoned" rice vinegar, you can skip the sugar and salt, as it's already added.

To cook 1 cup of rice, for a smaller amount, use 1 cup of water, and halve the seasoned vinegar ingredients. The cook time will remain the same.

The little plastic cup that comes with the Instant Pot is not a full cup. It's 160 ml, while a standard 8 oz. cup is 240 ml. Please use a regular measuring cup for this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 452mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.