Can You Use Sushi Rice for Paella

So, can you use sushi rice instead of paella Spanish rice? Yes! The most important thing when cooking paella is to have the rice cooked, regardless of its type.

Keep reading this article to learn some tips on using it.

Do you wish to prepare your favorite paella but only have sushi rice on hand? Perhaps you acquired it while thinking that you were purchasing regular rice. In most cases, supermarket sushi rice is short-grain Japanese rice that has been prepared slightly differently for use in sushi. When cooked, the rice is usually stickier and pastier than regular rice.

How to Use Sushi Rice for Paella

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make paella rice, then you might want to consider making it with sushi rice. This type of rice is often used as an ingredient in sushi dishes because of its sticky texture. It also cooks up more quickly than other varieties of rice alternatives. Here are the steps to using sushi rice for paella:

Follow this step by Step Guide on Preparing Paella Using Sushi Rice

1. Prepare the ingredients

The first step in preparing sushi rice for paella is to cook the rice. As mentioned before, sushi rice is usually a very long-grain variety of rice. If you don’t have any available, then you can always purchase it from a specialty store or online. Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it cool completely.

2. Mix the rice with the other ingredients

Once the rice has cooled off, mix it with all the ingredients that you need for the paella dish. For example, if you’re going to be using seafood, add it into the mixture. Be sure not to overdo it, though. Too much seafood will cause the rice to become too soggy.

There are other alternatives to sushi rice as well.

Step by Step Guide on Preparing Paella Using Sushi Rice
Step by Step Guide on Preparing Paella Using Sushi Rice

3. Cook the dish

Now that everything is ready, you just have to put together the final product. Pour the rice into the pan, cover it with foil, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes. After that time, take the foil off and allow the paella to continue baking until the rice turns golden brown. Remove it from the oven and serve it immediately while warm.

What are the Alternatives for Sushi Rice for Paella

You may find yourself wondering how else you could use sushi rice for paella. There are actually quite a few ways that you can do so. Some people like to use sushi rice simply because they feel it adds a nice flavor to their food. However, if you do not have one, you can use jasmine rice, arborio rice, or risotto rice.

Jasmine Rice

This is another popular alternative for sushi rice. It is made out of glutinous rice, which contains starch. This rice is perfect for paella rice dishes since it helps thicken the liquid inside the pan. To make this rice, you should soak it overnight in cups of water. Then drain it and rinse it thoroughly. Add it to a large pot along with 2 cups of stock. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer the rice for about 15 minutes.

Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is similar to Jasmine rice. It is also made out of glutinous grains. However, unlike Jasmine rice, it doesn’t contain starch. Instead, it contains protein which makes it ideal for perfect paella rice dishes. 

Risotto Rice

Arborio rice is similar to Jasmine rice. It is also made out of glutinous grains. However, unlike Jasmine rice, it doesn’t contain starch. Instead, it contains protein, making it ideal for perfect paella rice dishes. 

Calrose Rice

If you’re looking to make a healthier version of Japanese sushi rice, then Calrose Rice is what you’ll want to try. It has been specially developed to help those who have diabetes. It only requires 1 cup of water to prepare. Soaking the ideal rice overnight is optional but recommended.

Tips for Using Sushi Rice for Paella
Tips for Using Sushi Rice for Paella

What Are the Tips for Using Sushi Rice for Paella

You need to know some tips when using Japanese sushi rice substitutes for paella. If this is your first time doing it, here are some tips to consider:

1. Use short-grain rice. Short-grained rice is way tastier and has better texture when cooked than long-grain rice. Plus, this type of rice works great for absorbing the good smells and tastes of the perfect paella pan.

2. Make sure that your paella pan has been preheated. The reason why you need to do this is that sushi rice tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.

3. Remember that sushi rice takes longer to cook than regular white rice.

4. Make sure that you stir the rice frequently while cooking to prevent it from clumping. Also, you want to avoid overcooking the rice.

5. Although you are using sushi rice, it is best if you still stick to the cooking instructions. Another advantage of paella is that it is a very authentic dish. Thus, avoid modifying the recipe.

How to Cook Sushi Rice for Paella (Easy Paella Recipe with Sushi Rice)

Cooking sushi rice for paella is pretty easy. If you want to serve the classic and authentic paella rice at your gathering with the basic ingredients, then you must follow these steps:

Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Serving size: 10


  • 2 ½ cups raw rice
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts – skin off
  • 2 ½ tablespoons chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ¼ pound shrimp
  • 1 ¼ pound chorizo sausage
  • 1 ¼ red bell pepper
  • 1 ¼ Spanish onion
  • 2 ½ lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon and ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 ½ tbs olive oil
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 3 ¾ cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions:

1. Use a mixing dish, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Now, stir in the chicken to coat with the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before grilling or roasting (or overnight).

2. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil over medium heat in a paella pan. Add the garlic, chili or pepper flakes, and rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the threads of saffron, parsley, bay leaf plus chicken stock. Lastly, add lemon zest. Now slowly bring to boiling.

3. Next, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a separate pan. Add the chicken plus onion; cook for 4-5 minutes. Add in the bell pepper plus sausage and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp – keep cooking until both sides of the shrimp change color to cooked.

4. Serve with a side of rice on a tray. Plus garnish with green onion.

Is Short-Grain Rice and Sushi Rice the Same?

Can You Use Sushi Rice for Paella

Short-grain rice is another type of sushi rice. It is used for making sushi rolls, sashimi, and other types of sushi. However, it differs from sushi rice in terms of its shape and appearance. Regular short-grain white rice is round and flat, whereas sushi rice is oval-shaped.

What Is a Substitute for Valencia Rice?

Valencia rice can be substituted by basmati rice. Just make sure that you use the long-grain variety.

Can I Use Long Grain Rice for Paella?

Yes, you can use long grain rice for this traditional Spanish dish.

Can I Use Basmati Rice for Paella?

Basmati rice is not recommended for paella because it has a strong flavor. Instead, try using long grain rice such as arborio rice.