How To Make Sushi Rice Without Rice Vinegar

Sushi Rice without Rice Vinegar

If you love making sushi, you would know that making rice without rice vinegar can be challenging, but it is possible with the right ingredients and techniques. Rice vinegar is an essential ingredient in making sushi rice, as it helps to add flavor and texture. With it, the resulting sushi rice may have a different taste or texture than you desire. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to using rice vinegar when making sushi rice that can help you achieve a delicious result.

So if you are wondering how to make sushi rice without rice vinegar…keep reading.  We have a few ideas for you to try!

Table of Contents

Can you Make Sushi Rice without Rice Vinegar?

The answer is yes! Making sushi rice without rice vinegar is possible, but it will have a different flavor and texture than traditional sushi rice. Rice vinegar gives sushi rice its distinct flavor and helps keep it from becoming too sticky. However, if you don’t have any access to rice vinegar or don’t want to use it in your recipe, there are still ways to make delicious sushi without it.

Substitutes for rice vinegar

Several alternatives can be used as an adequate substitute for rice vinegar.

  • Apple cider vinegar: This vinegar has a slightly sweet flavor that will still provide the desired taste and texture when making sushi rice.
  • Sherry vinegar: It has a much more robust flavor than apple cider or white wine vinegar and can be used with great success when making sushi rice. It also imparts a unique aroma that will add depth to any dish you make with it.
  • White wine vinegar: They have a milder flavor than sherry vinegar but still offer enough acidity to add complexity to your dish. Red wine vinegar is also an option if you want something with more intense flavors and aromas.
  • Balsamic vinegar: They have a sweet yet tart flavor that adds complexity and depth to any dish you use, including sushi-style dishes like maki rolls or nigiri-zushi.
  • Lemon or lime juice: They can also be used as a substitute for making sushi without using traditional Japanese ingredients like mirin or sake. They also provide an acidic component that needs to be added to many recipes without using traditional Japanese ingredients such as mirin or sake. Adding lemon or lime juice will help bring out the flavors in your dish while adding just the right amount of acidity to balance out other flavors in your recipe.
  • Champagne vinegar: They are light yet flavorful, offering just enough acidity to give your dish its desired taste and texture while allowing other flavors in your recipe to shine through.


Here are some tips to remember while making sushi rice without vinegar.

  • Start with a short-grain variety of Japanese sticky white rice. This type of rice has a higher starch content than other white rice, so it will be easier to work with when making sushi rolls.
  • Ensure to rinse it several times until the water runs clear. This will help remove any excess starch from the surface of the grains and result in a fluffier final product.
  • Ensure to cook sparingly, as this can make your sushi too mushy or gummy.
  • Add seasonings such as salt and sugar for flavor and umami taste. This will help give your sushi rolls an extra kick without having to use any vinegar at all!
  • Before rolling your prepared ingredients into sushi rolls, let the mixture cool completely so it won’t stick together when handling it later!

How to store Sushi Rice without Rice Vinegar

One of the easiest ways to store sushi rice without using rice vinegar is by refrigerating it. When storing the sushi rice in the refrigerator, ensure it is sealed tightly in an airtight container or bag. This will help keep the moisture level low and prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the sushi rice.

Another way to store sushi rice without rice vinegar is by freezing it. Before freezing, ensure you place your sushi rice into an airtight container or bag and then put it into a freezer-safe bag or container before placing it into the freezer itself. This will help preserve its texture and flavor for up to six months.


How to Make Sushi Rice without Rice Vinegar

Sushi Rice without Rice Vinegar

  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Servings: 4



  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 21 ½ tbsp. sugar
  • 2/3 tsp. salt



  1. Rinse rice under fresh water 2 to 3 times or until the water runs clear. Transfer to the colander and allow to drain for at least 1 hour.
  2. After 1 hour, add rice to the rice cooker, place over medium-high, pour in water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
  3. Then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest inside the cooker for another 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add salt, sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. When the rice is ready, remove it from the cooker and spread it over a cookie sheet. Drizzle the rice vinegar mixture all over the rice and gently turn the rice over using a wooden spatula.
  6. You can use the rice to make the sushi roll when it is cooled completely.

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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.