Sushi Rice Substitute

Your Guide to the Best Sushi Rice Substitute

Are you craving sushi but don’t have sushi rice for some maki or nigiri? Don’t worry; although sushi rice has a distinctive taste, there are a couple of other types you can use without affecting the taste.

Cooking is all about innovation. You can still get the same delicious taste no matter what ingredients you’re using.

Follow this article to find the best sushi rice substitute!

What’s the Best Sushi Rice Alternative?

Sushi rice has a lot of alternatives. In the end, it’s merely rice. What makes sushi rice unique is the short grains and the stickiness. For example, many people question if you can use jasmine rice for sushi.

You can achieve both with other alternatives, although you may have to compensate for some of the properties. See the History of Sushi for some more detail.

Pudding Rice

Pudding rice is often used for dessert applications, but there’s nothing to say you can’t use it for sushi. It’s short-grained and small, which is similar to sushi rice—at least in the texture.

If you cook it using rice vinegar, it’ll be as sticky as sushi rice, giving you a similar taste. It’s one of the best alternatives, but people don’t think of it because of its association with sweet foods.

Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

If you want a flair of veggie taste in your sushi rice, you may use cauliflower rice as an alternative. Its most significant advantage is its high nutritional value. It’s also suitable for people on weight-loss diets, which is a bonus.

Whether you buy it or make it at home, you can use cauliflower rice for sushi. Its only downside is that it doesn’t get as sticky as sushi rice.

However, you can always solve that by adding some rice vinegar.

Some people also don’t like the taste it adds, but it wouldn’t harm to try.

Brown Rice

Brown rice has longer grains than sushi rice, but you can still use it to make some maki. If you cook it properly to get it to the right level of stickiness, you won’t notice the taste difference.

To do that, soak the brown rice for a few hours first. Then, add something to sweeten it and some rice vinegar. Afterward, cook it normally like you do and make your sushi.

Remember that brown rice may be chewier than white rice because the grains are larger.

Quinoa tastes different from rice but binds well
Quinoa tastes different from rice but binds well


Arborio rice is often used for risotto and similar recipes, but it works equally well in sushi. Its grains are short, giving it leverage over other substitutes. On top of that, it gets sticky, which gives you the same effect and texture as sushi rice.

You can use arborio rice for pudding as well if you don’t have pudding rice readily available.


Quinoa has a different flavor from rice, but it works well for sushi because it sticks and stays together. It gives an excellent texture to sushi, and it’s cooked in the same way as sushi rice. This pairs nicely as a crunchy sushi topping if you bake it a little.

Aside from its similarity to sushi rice, quinoa is also a healthy alternative. It promotes weight loss and provides the body with a lot of nutrients.