One common question we get asked is can premium rice cookers cook sushi rice, the answer is a big YES!
A lot of people think sushi rice is a variety of rice, but it’s actually short grain (or sometimes medium grain) rice. This is where the confusion arises – if sushi is short grain rice, then should it be cooked in a special way?
Yes, ideally short grain rice should be cooked differently to a long grain rice; after all different grain lengths need different amounts of water, so their cooking cycles should also be different. Unfortunately, a lot of rice cookers have a combined function for long and short grain rice with just different water levels, but short grain (aka sushi) rice should really have a different cooking profile as well.
All Yum Asia rice cookers have a separate setting for short grain rice which has a very special cooking profile which is uniquely suited to the shorter grain. They also have either water levels on the bowl for short grain rice or clear guidance in the manual for water levels. Most Zojirushi rice cookers only have a combined setting for long and short grain with water levels on the bowl for sushi.
Any Japanese-style rice can be used for sushi. This rice is also served plain to accompany a typical meal like katsu curry or in a donburi bowl. Japanese-style short grain rice is slightly translucent when raw, but when it’s cooked it’s firm and a little bit sticky. It’s this special texture that enables this type of rice to be easily eaten with chopsticks or moulded into sushi or onigiri.
So to summarise:
short grain rice = sushi rice
sushi rice = short grain rice