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The Ultimate Guide: Which Rice Should You Use for Sushi

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

When crafting the perfect sushi, the importance of rice cannot be overstated. At the heart of every exquisite sushi roll lies a bed of carefully chosen rice, the foundation of this beloved culinary art. Selecting the correct type of rice is crucial to ensure your sushi reaches its full potential, and we're here to guide you through this delightful journey.

With many rice varieties available, picking the one that complements your sushi the best can be overwhelming. However, fear not! The secret lies in opting for white, short-grain rice—the finest choice for sushi.

To delve deeper into this topic, we draw inspiration from the expertise of the "Seductions of Rice," a culinary treasure trove that defines Japanese rice as Japonica short-grain rice. These translucent and rounded grains often feature a small white spot at one end. To maintain its pristine quality, Japanese rice is frequently coated in starch or powdered talc, emphasizing the importance of rinsing them before use.

Understanding Japanese Rice:

Two common forms of Japanese rice include uruchimai 粳米, also known as ordinary rice, and Japanese sweet rice or mochigome 餅米, known for making mochi rice cakes and wagashi sweets. While uruchimai is the preferred choice for sushi, mochigome offers a chewier and stickier texture, catering to different culinary delights.

The Allure of Sticky Japanese Rice:

Japanese rice's renowned stickiness arises from its high moisture content and starch composition. This unique characteristic is crucial in crafting impeccable sushi, allowing the rice to hold together effortlessly in every delectable bite.

Distinguishing Sushi Rice from Japanese Rice:

"sushi rice" and "Japanese rice" are often interchangeably used, confusing sushi enthusiasts worldwide. In truth, they refer to distinct elements. Sushi rice, known as Sumeshi 酢飯, denotes vinegared rice prepared with Japanese short-grain rice, sugar, salt, and kombu (optional). On the other hand, Japanese short-grain rice serves as the foundation for various culinary delights, such as rice balls, donburi rice bowls, and Japanese curry.

The Categories of Japanese Rice:

Japanese rice further tantalizes taste buds with several varieties, including the esteemed Koshihikari, Akitakomachi, and Sasanishiki. Among them, Koshihikari is a preferred choice, although Calrose rice, a medium-grain Japonica developed in California, has also gained popularity.

Choosing the Perfect Japanese Rice:

When shopping for Japanese rice, consider freshness, sweetness, texture, stickiness, flavor, and place of production. Opt for shinai (新米), indicating new rice from the latest harvest, for the freshest and most flavorful experience. Look for reputable brands like Koshihikari, Toyama Koshihikari, and Akita Komachi, or explore options like Nishiki and Kokuho Rose, which offer affordability and widespread availability.

Join Our Online Sushi-Making Class:

As your curiosity about sushi-making grows, we invite you to embark on a delightful culinary adventure with our online sushi-making class. Discover the art of creating exquisite sushi rolls, mastering the delicate balance of flavors, and choosing the finest Japanese rice for your culinary masterpieces.

Let us guide you as you uncover the joys of sushi-making and elevate your culinary skills to new heights. Whether you're a sushi enthusiast or an aspiring chef, our classes cater to all skill levels and offer a rich learning experience. Unleash your creativity, and confidently bring the art of sushi into your kitchen.

Sushi's beauty lies in its exquisite taste and the joy of crafting each roll with love and precision. Embrace this culinary art form, and join our online sushi-making class for an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever.

About the Author:

Kesar Rana is a passionate B2B content marketer who excels at helping start-ups and B2B companies generate more leads through powerful content marketing strategies. Her expertise and love for culinary arts make her an ideal guide for your journey into the world of sushi-making.

If you are interested in learning more about how to make sushi or want to make sushi yourself, you can join our online sushi making class.


Kesar Rana is a passionate B2B content marketer. She helps start-up and B2B companies generate more leads through her powerful content marketing strategies.


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