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Craft Sushi Rolls: 5 Best Sushi Rice Substitutes

Sushi is one of the most popular Japanese dishes in the world.

Traditional sushi is made with vinegared rice, but there are many different types of sushi that use different ingredients.

So, what is sushi rice, and how do you cook it?

Sushi rice is short grain rice that is cooked with vinegar, sugar, and salt.

It is this combination of ingredients that gives sushi its distinctive taste and texture.

When cooked properly, sushi rice should be slightly chewy and slightly sticky.

If you are unsure how to cook sushi rice, there are many recipes available online.

If you don’t have sushi rice on hand, there are a few substitutes that can be used.

Short-grain white rice or Arborio rice are both good substitutes for sushi rice.

You can also use quinoa or couscous in place of the rice.

Finally, if you’re looking for a gluten-free option, you can use cauliflower “rice”.

Simply grate a head of cauliflower into small pieces and cook it in the same way you would cook sushi rice.

With so many options available, there’s no excuse not to enjoy delicious sushi at home.

What’s Sushi Rice?

Sushi rice is short-grain rice that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine.

It is often used to make sushi, as well as other rice-based dishes such as rice balls and onigiri.

Sushi rice is typically slightly stickier than other types of rice, which helps it to adhere to the filling ingredients in sushi.

Sushi rice originates from Japan, where it has been cultivated for centuries.

It is believed that sushi was first created in Southeast Asia and then brought to Japan by Chinese immigrants.

The word “sushi” actually refers to the vinegared rice rather than the fish or other fillings.

Sushi rice has a slightly sweet and sour taste due to the vinegar that is used to flavor it.

It also has a slightly sticky texture, which helps it to adhere to toppings and fillings.

When cooked properly, sushi rice should be tender and moist but not mushy.

Sushi rice can be used in a variety of dishes, including sushi rolls, onigiri (rice balls), and chirashi (scattered sushi).

It can also be used as a side dish or even as a dessert (for example, mochi balls are made with sweetened glutinous sushi rice).

Whether you’re a sushi aficionado or just starting to explore Japanese cuisine, give sushi rice a try.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sushi Rice

If you’re in the mood for sushi but don’t have any sushi rice on hand, don’t worry.

There are plenty of other types of rice that can be used as a delicious substitute.

Here are 5 of the best substitutes for sushi rice:

1 – Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that originates from Italy.

It is named after the town of Arborio in the Piedmont region, where it has been grown for centuries.

This type of rice is known for its unique properties: it is very starchy and has a high absorption rate.

As a result, it is often used in risottos and other Italian dishes where a creamy texture is desired.

Arborio rice can also be substituted for sushi rice, as it produces a similar sticky texture when cooked.

When preparing sushi with Arborio rice, it is important to rinse the grains thoroughly before cooking, as they can otherwise become overly sticky.

2 – Short-grain White Rice

White rice is the most common type of rice consumed in the United States.

It is a versatile grain that can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to pilafs.

Short-grain white rice is a type of white rice that has a shorter, plumper grain than long-grain white rice.

As a result, it has a stickier texture and a sweeter flavor.

Many people enjoy eating short-grain white rice because it is easy to cook and has a versatile flavor.

However, some people prefer to substitute it for sushi rice because it has a similar stickiness that helps the sushi roll together.

If you are making sushi at home, you can use short-grain white rice in place of sushi rice.

Simply rinse the rice before cooking it, and be sure to add enough water so that the grains are fully cooked.

3 – Cauliflower Rice

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to rice, cauliflower rice is a great option.

It has a similar taste and texture to sushi rice but is lower in calories and carbs.

Plus, it’s easy to make at home.

Simply pulse chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles grains of rice.

Then cook it in a pan with a little olive oil over medium heat until tender.

You can use it as a substitute for sushi rice in any recipe.

Just be sure to add a little extra seasoning, as cauli rice can be bland on its own.

With a little creativity, you can enjoy all your favorite dishes while getting more veggies into your diet.

4 – Quinoa

If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you’re missing out on delicious and healthy food.

Quinoa has a nutty, slightly earthy flavor that goes well with all sorts of dishes.

It’s also a great source of protein and fiber, making it a perfect choice for people who are looking to eat more healthfully.

Additionally, quinoa is very versatile – it can be used in place of rice in sushi rolls, as a base for salads, or as a side dish.

If you’re looking for a new grain to add to your repertoire, quinoa is definitely worth trying.

5 – Broccoli Rice

Broccoli rice is a versatile and flavorful alternative to traditional sushi rice.

It has a slightly nutty taste and a firm, chewy texture that makes it perfect for sushi rolls.

Broccoli rice is also packed with nutrients, making it a healthy choice for those looking to boost their intake of vitamins and minerals.

To substitute broccoli rice for sushi rice, simply cook the rice according to the package directions.

Then, add 1-2 cups of finely chopped broccoli florets and stir to combine.

The broccoli will add color and texture to your sushi rolls, and the flavors will be deliciously complementary.

So ditch the white sushi rice in favor of nutrient-rich broccoli rice the next time you’re in the mood for sushi.


In conclusion, sushi rice is a type of rice that is used specifically for making sushi.

It is a short-grain white rice that has been polished to remove the outer bran layer.

This gives the rice a sticky texture that helps the sushi roll together.

Sushi rice is also slightly sweeter than other types of rice, which gives sushi its distinct flavor.

If you’re looking for a substitute for sushi rice, you can try short-grain white rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or broccoli rice.

Each of these options has a similar texture and taste that will work well in sushi rolls.

So ditch the white sushi rice in favor of a healthy and flavorful alternative.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sushi Rice

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Arborio Rice

  • Short-grain White Rice

  • Cauliflower Rice

  • Quinoa

  • Broccoli Rice


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

Recipe Video

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