How To Cook Sushi Rice in The Microwave (Easy Guide)

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
microwave sushi rice

Making sushi rice can be intimidating for those new to Japanese cuisine. But what if you could make delicious, restaurant-quality sushi rice quicker and easier than ever before? This guide will walk you through how to make perfectly cooked sushi rice using just a microwave.

Can You Cook Sushi Rice in The Microwave?

Yes! Believe it or not, you can make perfectly cooked sushi rice from the comfort of your home with just a microwave. All you need is some sushi rice, water, and a covered microwavable bowl or dish.

Cooking sushi rice in the microwave has several benefits over traditional cooking methods. For one, it’s faster than cooking on the stovetop or steaming with an electric cooker. It’s also more hands-off than other methods since all you need to do is place your ingredients into a microwave-safe dish and wait for them to cook.

Finally, making homemade sushi is much cheaper than takeout or restaurant-made sushi. Restaurant sushi can cost upwards of $20 per roll, while ready-made sushi rice costs about $12 per roll.

Now compare that to the cost of making sushi rice from scratch in your own kitchen—it’s only about $1.40 per roll. Crazy, right? That’s why it’s worth learning how to make sushi rice in the microwave.

How to Cook Sushi Rice in The Microwave: Step-by-Step

Now that you know the benefits of cooking sushi rice in the microwave, let’s get into the details. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making perfect sushi rice in the microwave:

  1. Measure out 2 cups of uncooked sushi rice.
  2. Wash the rice by placing it in a colander and rinsing them under running water until the water runs clear.
  3. Place the washed rice in a microwave-safe dish, and add 2 1/2 cups of water.
  4. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  5. Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Leave the rice to sit for 10 minutes after cooking.
  7. Carefully Remove the dish from the microwave and dump the rice onto a flat surface.
  8. Use a wooden spoon to fluff the rice.
  9. Add sushi vinegar to taste and mix in with the rice using a wooden spoon.
  10. Spread the sushi rice into a thin layer and let them cool before making the sushi rolls.

Tips for Making Perfect Sushi Rice Every Time

Here are some extra tips to keep in mind when making sushi rice in the microwave:

Pick The Right Rice

Without a doubt, the first important tip in making sushi rice is to select the right kind of rice. Go for high-quality Japanese short-grain rice, as this type of rice is more suited to making sushi than long-grain varieties. High-quality sushi-specific rice will have very few broken grains, and a good balance of starches so that when you use chopsticks to bring it from your plate to your mouth, it will stick together nicely. 

You can find this type of sushi-specific rice at most Asian grocery stores or online. Most of the time, sushi rice is labeled as such on store shelves; however if there’s still uncertainty or doubt about what’s being purchased, make sure to ask a store employee who should be familiar with different types of imported rice varieties. 

B. Rinse Off All Excess Starch from Rice Prior to Cooking

Another important tip is to wash off the excess starch from the rice prior to cooking. Some sushi rice brands use talc or some other type of starch to keep the grains from sticking together. This is not something that you want to cook with, so it is essential to rinse away any excess starch before use. 

The best way to do this is to place your desired amount of rice in a strainer and hold it under running, cold water for several minutes. Rinse the grains until the water runs clear and free of residue.

C. Use a Microwave-Safe Container with Flat Bottom

The next tip is to make sure that you are using a microwave-safe container with a flat bottom. This will allow you to spread the rice out in an even layer so that it cooks evenly. Make sure to use a container with high sides, as the rice will expand as it cooks.

D. Use The Right Amount of Water

The rule of thumb for making sushi rice in the microwave is to use 1 1/2 cups of water for every 1 cup of uncooked sushi rice. This ratio will ensure that the cooked rice has the desired texture. Too much water may result in soggy rice; too little water will result in a dry, crumbly texture.

Read the instructions on your sushi rice package and adjust the water accordingly. Some brands may require more or less water depending on the type of rice being used, so make sure to read the instructions first.

E. Use a Wooden Spoon

Finally, it’s best to use a wooden spoon for stirring as metal spoons can react with certain ingredients which will alter the taste of your finished product.

How to Store Microwaved Sushi Rice

If you have leftover sushi rice, you can store it in the refrigerator for a few days. Unseasoned sushi rice can last up to five days, while seasoned rice will only last for about two days. To store the sushi rice, simply place it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator.

For longer storage, you can freeze the sushi rice. Separate each ingredient including the rice and vegetables into separate freezer-safe containers before freezing and freeze for up to three months.

When you are ready to use the frozen sushi rice, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, cover the rice with a damp paper towel and gently warm it in the microwave. Once warmed, mix the components together and serve.

Alternative Ways to Cook Sushi Rice

An alternative way to cook sushi rice is to use a Japanese rice cooker. Companies like Mitsubishi and Zojirushi are some of the most popular brands of Japanese rice cookers, and they produce machines that yield perfectly cooked sushi rice. 

The process for cooking sushi with a Japanese rice cooker is relatively simple. First, rinse the sushi rice in cold water until it appears clean. Then, add slightly more than an equal part of water to the washed sushi rice in the bowl of the Japanese rice cooker.

This ensures that there is enough moisture to cook the grains thoroughly without resulting in soggy or undercooked results. Next, turn on your Japanese Rice Cooker and set it to “Cook.”

Depending on your model, this button may be labeled differently but all models will have an easy-to-find button to indicate when you are ready to start cooking the sushi rice. Once you have pressed this button, your machine will begin automatically heating and stirring the grains until they reach their desired texture and flavor – typically about 25 minutes later.

Ways to Use Microwaved Sushi Rice in Recipes

Some ideas for recipes you can make with microwaved sushi rice include:

Temaki Sushi Rolls

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making temaki sushi rolls? These hand-rolled cone-shaped creations are incredibly fun to make—all you need is some nori seaweed sheets and filling ingredients like avocado or smoked salmon.

To assemble the rolls, lay out the nori sheet, spoon in some cooked sushi rice, add your fillings of choice, and then roll it up like a burrito. It’s an easy way to use sushi rice and have a blast while doing it. 

Onigiri Rice Balls

Onigiri is one of the most classic uses for cooked sushi rice. All you need is cooked sushi rice and your favourite fillings (e.g., umeboshi pickles or tuna mayo).

To assemble the onigiri, simply wet your hands lightly with water to prevent sticking and shape the sticky cooked sushi rice into balls around the fillings of your choice. Voila! You now have homemade onigiris that are perfect for lunchboxes or picnics. 

Fried Rice

Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover cooked sushi rice. You can add any vegetables or protein you like, such as spring onions, carrots, tofu, and eggs.

Once you have gathered your ingredients, simply fry them in a pan with some sesame oil and seasoning until everything is cooked through. Add the cooked sushi rice to the pan and keep frying until all of the ingredients are fully combined and heated through.


Making perfect sushi rice doesn’t have to be time-consuming or intimidating! With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you can use your trusty microwave to make delicious and healthy sushi rolls in no time at all! So next time you’re looking for an easy way to make restaurant-quality sushi at home, give this method a try – I promise you won’t regret it!

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!