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The 5 Best Substitutes for Glutinous Rice

One of the most popular ingredients used in Asian cooking is glutinous rice.

This type of rice is consumed more than any other type of grain throughout Asia.

Glutinous, or “sticky” rice, gets its name because of its sticky texture when cooked.

This is part of Asian cuisine and makes many different dishes.

It is also popularly served with Thai curries or Indonesian stews instead of normal rice.

One interesting fact about Glutinous Rice is that it must be cooked specifically.

Since it is so sticky, it is still hard to separate the grains even after being in boiling water or an oven.

The only way to eat Glutinous Rice is by either steaming, slow cooking, or baking it in a rice cooker.

Are you looking for a gluten-free alternative to glutinous rice? Check out these four substitutes that will make your next meal delicious and gluten-free.

From quinoa to cornmeal, there’s sure to be a substitution that satisfies your cravings.

So get cooking.

What is Glutinous Rice?

what is glutinous rice

It’s a type of rice that is naturally sticky, and it’s also referred to as sweet or glutinous rice.

The word ‘glutinous’ means sticky, and the reason why this type of rice is classified as such because when cooked, the grains will stick together.

This type was originally grown in Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Glutinous rice is different from other types of long-grain or medium-grain rice because it contains a high amount of starch, giving the cooked rice a sticky consistency.

In Asia, glutinous rice is prepared as a sweet dessert and used in savory dishes.

This type of rice is used more often in traditional dishes.

It can be ground into flour to make tapioca or a thickener for soups.

Also, it’s usually blended to create different types of starch that can be used as ingredients for noodles, bread, and pastries.

Once cooked, glutinous rice can become hard if left to cool off.

For this reason, it’s usually served warm or at room temperature to make it soft again.

The 4 Best Substitutes for Glutinous Rice

Many people are unaware that many types of rice can be used as an alternative if glutinous rice is not available.

Here are the best substitutes for this type of rice:

1 – White Rice

white rice

Second, white rice is a good substitute for glutinous rice.

White rice may be nutritious and healthy, but it doesn’t have the sticky texture that the latter has.

This type of rice contains less fiber than brown rice, making it easier to digest.

It’s also light and fluffy when cooked.

White rice can come in different types: long-grain, basmati, steamed, wild, jasmine, or Calrose, medium-grain rice known for its stickiness.

When cooking white rice, it’s crucial to use the right water.

However, most people mistake adding too much, and it ends up too wet and mushy.

2 – Arborio Rice

arborio rice

Arborio rice is another option if you want something sticky when cooked.

It’s known as risotto rice, and it’s round in shape with many indentations.

Arborio rice is commonly used to prepare risotto, the Italian dish of creamy rice.

When cooked, Arborio rice has a slightly chewy consistency which is perfect if you’re looking for that.

The best thing about this type of rice is that it’s very versatile and paired with veggies, seafood, or meat.

You can also use it to make paella or risotto.

It’s very easy to cook Arborio rice.

Just make sure to use the correct amount of liquid and cook it with gentle heat.

3 – Jasmine Rice

jasmine rice

Jasmine rice is also great as a substitute for glutinous rice.

This type of rice will give your meal the same sticky texture that you would get from using glutinous rice.

It can be used in Asian dishes like congee, fried rice, or steamed dumplings.

When cooking jasmine, it’s important to add enough water to come out moist and with a slightly sticky consistency.

Also, make sure to use gentle heat when cooking this type of rice because if the heat is too strong, the grains will break and end up mushy.

Jasmine rice is easy to find in grocery stores, and the best thing about it is that it’s inexpensive.

You can also use this type of rice for desserts like rice pudding, or you can simply serve it as a side dish with your favorite meat entrée.

4 – Sushi Rice

sushi rice

Sushi rice also makes a good substitute for glutinous rice.

This type of rice is short grain and has a high starch content.

It’s also very sticky when cooked and is used in Japanese dishes like sushi and maki rolls.

Japanese sushi rice will do the trick if you want to make your sushi at home.

Sushi rice is also versatile so that you can use it in many Asian dishes like stir-fries, congee, and fried rice.

It’s important to remember, though, that this type of rice doesn’t hold its shape very well, so it’s best served with meat or seafood that has a sauce that you can mix with the rice.


Glutinous rice is popular in Asia because of its taste and because it is highly nutritious, making it a healthy alternative.

However, there are many other types of rice that you can use as an alternative to the traditional glutinous option.

Your next Asian dish will be just as delicious as the list above, even if you don’t have glutinous rice.

That being said, make sure to use your cooking skills for these substitutes to come out with the same texture and taste that you’d get from using glutinous rice.

Then, serve them to your family and friends who will surely love the meal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is glutinous rice?

Glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice, sweet rice or waxy rice, is a type of short-grain Asian rice that becomes very sticky when cooked. It is popular in many parts of Asia and can be used to make a variety of dishes such as desserts and savory dishes.

What are some substitutes for glutinous rice?

There are a variety of alternatives to glutinous rice that can be used in many recipes instead, such as jasmine rice, sushi rice, brown basmati rice and long-grain white rice.

Each type of substitution will provide different textures so it is important to consider the type of recipe you are making.

What is the difference between glutinous rice and regular white rice?

The main difference between glutinous rice and regular white rice is that glutinous rice has a much stickier texture when cooked, while regular white rice does not become sticky.

Additionally, glutinous rice is higher in amylopectin, a type of starch that gives it its sticky texture when cooked. Regular white rice has lower levels of amylopectin, which makes it less sticky.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Glutinous Rice

The 5 Best Substitutes for Glutinous Rice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • White Rice
  • Arborio Rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Sushi Rice


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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