12 Substitutes For Sushi Rice


Sushi rice is a type of short-grain white rice that is used specifically for sushi.

If you don’t have sushi rice on hand, there are a few substitutes that will work just as well.

Let’s find out right away what they are!

12 Substitutes For Sushi Rice

Here are my top picks for substituting Sushi Rice. 

1. Brown Rice

Brown rice is the next best option after white sushi rice as it is simply the unrefined and unbleached yet healthier version of the same rice. 

However, when using Brown rice, the appearance of the sushi is bound to change. Brown rice is also subtle earthy and cannot often be easily obtained. 

How to substitute

Equal amounts of white rice and brown rice can be used to substitute for each other when rolling into a sushi roll.

Healthy Brown rice sushi.

2. Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is a kind of Italian short-grained rice used mostly for preparing risotto. Arborio rice is one of the easiest alternatives to find globally. 

With Arborio rice, it is important to note that it is to be cooked in low heat for a considerable amount of time before it attains the desired sticky consistency. 

How to substitute

The same quantity of Arborio rice can be used as a substitute for the required quantity of white rice. A small amount of additional cornstarch can be added if required.

Japanese risotto with Arborio rice.

3. Quinoa

Quinoa is a popular grain with a taste and texture very similar to that of rice and can be used to replace it in sushi.

It makes a unique replacement with its slightly grainy texture. 

Remember that using Quinoa in sushi will give it a slightly naturally yellowish hue.

It is also important to cook quinoa for a measured amount of time. 

How to substitute

A slightly more quantity of Quinoa is required to replace the required quantity of rice, as it does not expand even after it is cooked.

Quinoa sushi at home.

4. Couscous

Whole Couscous is a byproduct of wheat and tastes much like pasta but with the texture of rice, making it great as a non-rice alternative to sushi rice. 

A small note: When preparing sushi with Couscous, boiled water is to be poured on it and allowed to rest till all the water is soaked up.

Olive oil should be added to prevent stickiness. 

How to substitute

More amount of Couscous is required to replace the required amount of sushi rice as couscous has a much finer texture compared to rice.

Sushi cones with Couscous.

5. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice, unlike other alternatives, is a plant-based product made from finely chopped cauliflower pieces that can serve as a rice base for sushi. 

Do note that although the resulting sushi with Cauliflower rice will look similar to regular sushi, its taste will vary drastically as its base is a vegetable. 

How to substitute

The finely chopped cauliflower should be weighed to match the weight of the required quantity of rice.

Keto-friendly sushi with Cauliflower rice.

6. Pudding Rice

Pudding rice is one of the closest matches to original sushi rice, with a similarly small and round shape and equally sticky consistency once cooked. 

Do keep in mind that although it is an efficient alternative, it cannot easily be found in most parts of the world.

Additional rice vinegar should be added while it is being cooked. 

How to substitute

Equal amounts of sushi rice and Pudding rice can be used to substitute for one another for most dishes, including sushi rolls.

Classic Rice pudding.

7. Risotto Rice

Risotto rice is a variety of Italian rice meant specifically for the preparation of risotto for its small grains, sticky and creamy texture, and ability to hold its shape. 

It is important to note the different varieties and sizes of Risotto rice that should be well chosen when choosing to replace sushi rice. 

How to substitute

The same quantity of Risotto rice can be used to replace the required quantity of sushi rice as they expand in a similar form once fully cooked.

Easy sushi with Risotto rice.

8. Milk Rice

Milk rice, unlike all the other alternatives, is a recipe that can be used to make the perfect sushi base.

It is prepared from any variation of short-grained rice and milk. 

Remember that Milk rice is served as a dessert or as oatmeal and tends to be slightly sweeter than regular rice.

Other ingredients should be adjusted accordingly. 

How to substitute

When cooking the rice in milk, the same quantity as sushi rice should be used. The milk should be well measured to avoid overcooking the rice.

Simple and sweet sushi with Milk rice.

9. Black Rice

Also known as Forbidden rice due to its dark purple-black color, black rice is native to China.

It is a highly nutritious, nutty, and naturally sweet alternative. 

When cooking with Black rice, it is crucial to consider its innate sweetness.

Any additional sweetener should be eliminated or decreased in quantity when using this rice. 

How to substitute

Black rice or Forbidden rice can be substituted for Sushi rice in an equal 1:1 proportion when preparing sushi rolls.

Organic sushi with Black rice.

10. Bomba Rice

Bomba rice is a Spanish staple with great nutrient values and a unique flavor.

It is most often used to prepare native Spanish dishes such as paella. 

However, it is to be noted that although Bomba rice works as a great sushi rice alternative, it is not globally available and is on the expensive side. 

How to substitute

Equal amounts of white rice and Bomba rice can be used to substitute for each other when rolling into a sushi roll.

Easy sushi rice at home.

11. Carnaroli Rice

Carnaroli rice is medium-grained Italian rice used most often to replace Risotto rice and Arborio rice.

It is quite starchy and sticky enough to also replace sushi rice. 

Before choosing Carnaroli rice for your sushi, remember that unlike sushi rice and other alternatives, it has slightly larger grains and takes more time to cook. 

How to substitute

The same quantity of Carnaroli rice can be used to replace the required quantity of sushi rice as they expand in a similar form once fully cooked.

Sushi with Carnaroli rice.

12. Regular White Rice

If all other rice alternatives are out of reach, the easiest choice is the regular White rice at hand. It can be made stickier by cooking for slightly longer. 

Do remember that when using regular white rice, it should be cooked for longer than usual, and additional sugar can be added to reach the consistency of sushi rice. 

How to substitute

Equal amounts or slightly lesser quantities of White rice can be used to substitute for the required amount of sushi rolls as regular rice grains are larger in size.

Sushi with regular White rice.


What Is The Best Substitute For Sushi Rice? 

The best and closest substitutes for Sushi rice are Brown rice, Arborio rice, Pudding rice, and Risotto rice. Other non-rice alternatives to delicious sushi are Quinoa, Couscous, and Cauliflower rice. 

In the absence of all these listed alternatives, entirely no-rice sushi can also be prepared with adjustments in other ingredients.

Can You Substitute Jasmine Rice For Sushi Rice?

No, Jasmine rice cannot be substituted for Sushi rice as they do not share the same texture and consistency. Jasmine rice has much longer grains compared to sushi rice and is not sticky enough to hold shape. 

Jasmine rice can also not be made stickier by cooking it for a longer duration, as that would simply turn the rice into porridge.

Is Sushi Rice Different From Regular White Rice? 

Yes, sushi rice or traditional Japanese rice is different from Regular White rice in its texture. Sushi rice is known for its small grains and soft and sticky consistency once fully cooked. Its texture helps it to hold together all other ingredients. 

Regular white rice has larger and longer grains and is not sticky enough to hold its shape.

Can I Use Egyptian Rice For Sushi? 

Yes, Egyptian rice can be prepared to be appropriate for sushi by adding slightly more water and cooking it for longer than usual. While the rice is cooking, additional rice vinegar and sugar can be added to make it stickier. 

However, Egyptian rice is hard to find in any other part of the world and is, therefore, not the best alternative.

Bottom Line

I hope this article helped find substitutes for sushi rice.

If you have any experience using substitutes for sushi rice, please share in the comments.

Be sure to share this article with your friends and family who love sushi as much as you do!



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About Jane Lewis

Jane loves spending time with her family, cooking delicious meals, traveling to explore new cultures and wines, and tending to her backyard garden. She's a passionate home cook who enjoys trying out recipes from all over the world.