10 Best Sushi Rice Substitutes

Sushi Rice

If you love sushi, you know that it takes a special type of rice to obtain the perfect Asian taste that you are looking for in such a dish. But can you do it without this main ingredient?

As a matter of fact, you can get lovely sushi with many other substitutes and you will be happy with the resylts.

Now, let’s learn more about each substitute below!

Best Sushi Rice Substitutes 

Use the substitute you find more suitable for your preferences and you will have delicious sushi. Some alternatives are even healthier than regular sushi rice, so you will not be missing this main ingredient too much if you give them a try.

1. Regular white rice


You can use any type of regular rice instead of sushi rice and you will obtain a delicious dish as long as you keep the rest of the seasonings in your recipe.

Special sushi rice is short-grain rice but you can use long-grain white rice successfully too. You will prepare your regular white rice in the same manner that you prepare sushi rice. And you will notice that there is not much difference in terms of taste.

2. Brown rice

Brown Rice

Brown rice can also be a great substitute for sushi rice and it is a lot more nutritious.

It can be a great replacement for sushi rice, in spite of its darker color. You will notice that brown rice offers you a very similar taste to sushi rice and you will not have to adjust your recipe either.

Keep the same ratio and the same ingredients while you make your sushi with brown rice and you will get great resylts. There is even a brown sushi rice version that you might be able to find in your local supermarket, but ultimately, you can use any type of brown rice.

3. Quinoa


Quinoa has a different taste than rice, more grainy and more earthly but it can still be one of the best replacements for sushi rice.

The texture of quinoa will be similar to the one of rice, therefore you can make it softer or crispier, depending on how long you decide to boil it according to the instructions.

Your sushi rolls will look slightly different since this grain has a more yellow shade to it. But they will be very tasty nevertheless.

4. Couscous


Unlike rice or other grains, couscous is made of wheat and it resembles pasta in taste. You can, however, use it instead of sushi rice and you will be pleased with the result.

Keep in mind that you will not boil couscous the same way you would boil rice. To prepare couscous you will have to pour boiled water over it and cover the bowl with a lid for a couple of minutes until the grain absorbs the water.

Lastly, add a tablespoon of olive oil to it to avoid stickiness. Besides the cooking differences, you can keep preparing your sushi as you usually would.

5. Black rice

Black rice

Black rice is another alternative to sushi rice that you might find very suitable. It is also known as the Forbidden rice.

Black rice is rich in antioxidants. It is known for helping to keep blood sugar under control and reduce cholesterol. Thus, by using it instead of sushi rice you would actually add important nutrients to your meal.

Black rice is sweeter than sushi rice so you might have to skip adding extra sugar in dishes where you use this ingredient. Other than that, you can use your black rice just like you would use sushi rice.

6. Cauliflower rice

Pureed Cauliflower

As its name suggests, cauliflower rice is made of cauliflower that is grounded until it gets to the desired texture. This alternative will look like rice, it will have a similar texture to rice but it will taste different considering that it is made from a vegetable.

The cooking process is fairly similar too. However, cauliflower rice will absorb the flavor of the other ingredients much better and in a more intense manner.

7. Risotto rice


Risotto rice is not made to stick together like sushi rice. However, it will be a perfect substitute nevertheless. This type of rice will provide the taste and texture of rice. The only downside of it is that it might be more crumbly.

You can find it easily in stores and it is easy to cook as well. Some brands provide a type of risotto rice that is a mixture of different types of rice, which will look different in your final sushi. But ultimately, any type of risotto rice would be a successful choice.

8. Pudding rice

Corn pudding

Pudding rice could also save your sushi recipe if you don’t have the specific sushi rice on hand. This rice is small and round, so it will be suitable for sushi.

If you cook it as you would cook sushi rice, you will obtain the same consistency as well as a fairly similar flavor Pudding rice will absorb the flavor from rice vinegar just like sushi rice.

9. Arborio

Arborio rice is not easy to find worldwide as it is originating from Italy but nowadays it is also grown in Texas and California.

If you do find this rice, know that you can use it instead of sushi rice and get a very similar result to the original recipe.

This type of rice will work great in many dishes including risotto and rice pudding. It has a short and oval grain that boils fast and absorbs flavor just as good as sushi rice.

10. Rice milk

Rice Milk

Lastly, you can also use milk rice instead of sushi rice.

It is short-grain, white rice, cooked with milk to make a tasty dessert. But you can also use it instead of sushi rice and cook it with rice vinegar as well as the rest of your ingredients.

Milk rice is sweeter and smaller so the texture of your sushi will not be the same. However, it will be tasty nevertheless. This rice sticks together quite well, which is another quality you want when you are looking for a sushi rice substitute.


What can I substitute for Japanese rice?

Japanese rice is also known as Uruchimai and it is a short-grain type of rice that is successfully used in sushi but also other rice-based dishes. You can replace it with any other short-grain rice if you want to obtain the same texture.

However, ultimately, you can use round-grain rice or long-grain rice just as well and even brown or black rice. Some types of rice will be sweeter than others but you can fix this taste difference by skipping the extra sugar in your recipe.

Final thoughts 

Sushi seems to have a set-in-stone recipe, but the rice can definitely be replaced with one of the substitutes in this guide.

You will not get the same taste and the color of your dish will likely be influenced by the type of substitute you pick, but your sushi will taste delicious nevertheless.

It is important to adjust the rest of the ingredients, especially the seasoning in your recipe to accommodate the different flavors that your sushi rice alternative might have.

You can get creative and use quinoa or couscous to get a special flavor that will charm not only you but also your loved ones. Cauliflower rice is another unique product that makes for a great culinary surprise in such a dish so it is definitely worth trying!

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