15 Surprising Sushi Rice Substitutes That Astounded The Japanese

Sushi is tasty and simple to create if you have the essential materials on hand, which are seaweed or nori sheets and sushi rice.

Depending on your preferences, you may add whatever you want to your meal, such as fish, vegetables, and soft fruits, which will offer flavor and a unique taste. While nori sheets are readily available at supermarket and internet retailers, what if you run out of sushi rice?

Here are several more ways to prepare delicious sushi.

  1. Brown Rice
  2. Cauliflower Sushi Rice
  3. Japanese Short Grain Rice
  4. Couscous
  5. Quinoa
  6. Soba Noodles
  7. Any Type of Rice
  8. Black Rice
  9. GBR or GABA

Fortunately, there is a vast variety of choices. Before we get there, let’s talk about what makes this rice so unique.

15 Best Substitute for Sushi Rice

Sushi rice may be found at shops geared toward sushi chefs in the United States. However, there is no such thing as sushi rice. It may be any medium-grain or short-grain rice, although most cooks favor sticky rice.

This will help the rice adhere to the nori sheets more quickly as you roll. Otherwise, all of the other components you put within would fall.

You can even be inventive and create sushi sans rice. This is appropriate for folks who track their carbohydrate and calorie intake. Other components, such as cream cheese and other sauces, may be used to help the sheets adhere to the various fillings.

Brown Rice


Brown rice has many characteristics with white rice, making it the most close to the original sushi rice. Despite having longer grains than white rice, it will get sticky if cooked correctly. It is also nutrient-dense and high in minerals and vitamins.

This is why it has become the go-to rice for many health-conscious people, who use it as a replacement in a variety of rice meals.

There are also several brown rice cookers on the market these days. You may, however, use a normal rice cooker, which will work just fine.

To make the rice stickier, soak it in water for several hours before cooking. Before cooking the brown rice for sushi, mix in some sugar and rice vinegar.

Keep in mind that this will take longer to cook than white rice. Brown rice, once cooked, will be chewy and may overshadow the flavor of the other components in your sushi.

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It will also stay hard for a longer period of time than white rice. Even though your sushi may not taste the same as when you use white rice, brown rice is still an excellent sushi rice replacement.

Cauliflower Sushi Rice

Brown rice may have higher levels of vitamins and minerals than white rice. However, both forms of rice are high in carbohydrates.

If you have a need for sushi but are watching your carbs, you may want to try cauliflower sushi rice.

Cauliflower rice is available at shops, but you can always make your own if you have cauliflower. This will guarantee that everything you consume is always fresh.

What You Need:

  • A teaspoon of sugar
  • A tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  • Half of a cauliflower head.
  1. Remove the thick centre section of the vegetable.
  2. Cut into smaller pieces and remove any remaining thick areas.
  3. Place in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
  4. Place the processed cauliflower in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap that has holes pierced in it.
  5. Microwave in a high-temperature setting for three minutes.
  6. Remove the top and pour in the rice vinegar/sugar solution.
  7. Set away until you’re ready to prepare the sushi.
  8. If the rice lacks stickiness when rolled, add extra rice vinegar or drizzle with honey.

Japanese Short Grain Rice


Uruchimai, which translates to “ordinary rice,” is the Japanese name for this rice. It features short grains that have a distinct feel and stickiness.

Despite its small length, its kernels are plump. Despite having greater moisture, it is stickier than other rice kinds. This rice is a mainstay in Japanese cuisine. Outside of Japan, it is also often used in the preparation of rice balls and sushi.

It is frequently served as Gohan or plain rice in a normal Japanese lunch. It goes well with meat, fish, and seasonal vegetables.

The cooked rice dish is served in a bowl and seasoned with soy sauce and dashi. Japanese rice is also used to manufacture rice vinegar, shochu, sake, and other alcoholic beverages.

This rice is sometimes mistaken for mochigome or Japanese sticky rice, however they are not the same. The latter is primarily utilized in the production of rice crackers and mochi. However, you may swap the two rice kinds for sushi rice while constructing rolls.

The shorter the grain, the stickier it will be when cooked. It’s sticky enough to keep the other ingredients together within the nori wrap.

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It is recommended to cook in a combination of rice vinegar and water, however this is optional for short-grain rice. It is only necessary when cooking rice with medium grains since the extra rice starch would make them sticky.


Because this grain contains gluten, you may use the other replacements on the list to avoid it. If not, couscous will offer the necessary stickiness for the ideal sushi. It is formed of little grain balls and has a similar feel to white rice.



This healthy grain adheres nicely to nori sheets. Cook it in a rice cooker and use it to make healthy sushi.

Soba Noodles

If you want to make your sushi stand out, consider adding this wheat-based Japanese pasta. This works well on sushi with strong flavors.

It will have a particular taste that is unlike regular sushi. The good news is that the noodles will adhere to the nori and help to hold the other wrapped items together.

Black Rice


This black rice variety is often known as forbidden rice. Its hue, which appears black or deep purple, is due to anthocyanin, an antioxidant.

It reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, lowers cholesterol, and regulates blood sugar levels.

Black rice also contains eye-healthy minerals including zeaxanthin and lutein. Because it is inherently sweet, there is no need to add sugar when using it as sushi rice. It’s also gluttonous, dense, and clings to nori excellently.


GBR is an abbreviation for germinated brown rice. It has been popular in recent years because to its taste, nutrients, and texture. You may create your own if you wish, but make sure you have the time and patience for the task. If not, you may always go to your local Japanese grocery shop or Oriental market and get pre-germinated brown rice.

Pudding Rice


As the name implies, this round and little rice is often used in the preparation of pudding. When used to make sushi, it would taste and look the same as sushi produced with white rice.

To get the same taste as sushi rice, add some rice vinegar when boiling the rice. Pudding rice offers just the perfect amount of stickiness to keep the contents together and your sushi in excellent condition.

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Milk rice

This is not something you can purchase pre-packaged, but must be done by hand. This is made by heating short-grain rice with milk. In Sri Lanka, coconut milk is used to make milk rice, which is comparable to rice Krispy treats.

People in Cuba drink cow’s milk, commonly with grits or porridge. Milk rice is an excellent replacement for sushi rice since it clumps nicely and firmly contains all components.

Arborio Rice


Arborio rice is an Italian rice that has grown popular in Texas, California, and other regions of the globe.

It features plump, oval, and short grains that are wonderful for risotto but also for sushi rolls. If you’re making sushi and dessert at the same time, it also creates excellent rice pudding.

Risotto rice

This is often seen in grocery shops, but it is not Arborio. According to some cooks, it includes carnaroli. When cooked in broth, it produces a creamy risotto. It also works well as a sushi rice replacement since it adheres nicely and keeps its form.

Cal riso, Maratelli, Baldo, and vialone nano may be included in other pre-packaged risotto rice sold in supermarkets. Shorter grains are on the list for the latter. Because it is high in starch, it produces creamy risotto and cooks rapidly. All of the rice varieties in the packets are good alternatives for sushi rice.

Clarice or California Rice


The brand’s proprietors are Japanese who came up with the notion to provide something familiar to the Japanese population in the United States.

It has a similar feel to sushi rice and may be used to prepare rice dishes. Clarice is generally seen in Asian supermarkets.

Glutinous Mid Grain Rice

This is a Japonica rice varietal. It is popular in Vietnam, Thailand, and other East Asian nations because to its medium grain size. It bonds nicely, making it ideal for sushi. However, you may use this rice to make sweet rice dishes such as rice puddings.

Any types of rice

In order to make sushi, any rice will suffice. It all comes down to how you play with the taste, stickiness, and texture.

Remember this the next time you want sushi but don’t have the stamina to go to the supermarket. You may use any rice you have on hand and enjoy your sushi without breaking a sweat.


What is the best rice substitute for sushi rice?

Here are nine of the finest sushi rice replacements you never knew existed!
Rice that is sticky. Sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice, is a form of short-grain rice that has been processed to remove the bran layer.
Rice pudding.
Rice that is brown.
Rice made with cauliflower.
Arborio rice is a kind of rice.
Rice that is black.

Which rice is closest to Japanese rice?

Due to its comparable sticky texture, some individuals propose exchanging Japanese rice for arborio, the Italian short-grain rice. Choose Korean rice, which is a comparable short-grain rice, if you have a Korean grocery shop nearby.

Is Bomba rice similar to sushi rice?

When cooked, bomba rice has a firm and somewhat chewy texture, and it absorbs liquids while maintaining its structure, making it appropriate for recipes like paella. The texture, however, differs from the soft and somewhat sticky feel of sushi rice.

What is the healthiest rice for sushi?

Most sushi places give you the choice of brown or white rice. Although white rice may be included in a healthy, well-balanced diet, brown rice has more protein, fiber, antioxidants, and certain vitamins and minerals than white rice (1).

What rice do sushi chefs use?

Sushi uses only Japanese-style short or medium grain rice. It is soft, juicy, and sticky when cooked, so it holds its form. Sushi Chef® Sushi Rice is a premium, M401, medium grain rice designed for sushi and other rice dishes.

What rice is most important sushi?

Choosing the Correct Rice

It is critical to choose a high-quality rice type designated particularly for sushi, such as Koshihikari, which is regarded as the gold standard for sushi rice owing to its sticky texture, delicate taste, and exceptional capacity to absorb spice.

What kind of rice do most Japanese eat?

Hakumai (white rice)

The bulk of Japanese rice is polished and eaten as hakumai (“white rice”) after the hard outer shell (rice bran) is removed. White rice is the backbone of Japanese cuisine and is eaten with almost all meals.

What rice do Japanese eat daily?

The rice that most Japanese people consume is a variety of rice known as Japonica rice. Japonica rice is well-known for its stickiness, making it ideal for eating with chopsticks. It is less dry and has shorter grains than what is often referred to as “white rice” outside of Japan.

What rice is most used in Japan?

Japanese Koshihikari Rice

Koshihikari rice (or koshi rice) is the most prevalent kind, a white, polished short grain that is used in practically everything from sushi to chirashi bowls.

What sushi rice do restaurants use?

Rice with Calrose

This rice variety was developed in California, where it has been farmed since 1950. In fact, Calrose rice is so popular in the United States that most Japanese restaurants include it in their dishes. This is why many people see Calrose rice as the Western equivalent of true Japanese rice.

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