Sushi Rice vs. Arborio Rice: What Is the Difference? (Explained)

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Sushi rice and arborio rice are the two forms of short-grain rice that come to mind first when we talk about how popular this category of rice is. Both kinds of rice enjoy widespread consumption in the nations that gave rise to them. As a result, you may be wondering whether this is the sole difference between the two or if there is additional information available. You may be wondering, “So, what exactly is the difference between Arborio rice and sushi rice?”

The grain structure and grain size of arborio rice and sushi rice are identical. Nonetheless, their features and applications are distinct from one another. For instance, since Arborio rice becomes more firm after being cooked, it is an excellent choice for risotto. On the other hand, when sushi rice is cooked, it turns sticky, which makes it an excellent ingredient for sushi. Because of this, you can’t utilize one in place of the other.

If you compare arborio rice and sushi rice side by side, you can get the impression that they are the same. Yet, you will notice significant differences between the two once you have cooked them. Thus, you need to be careful not to replace one with the other since doing so can result in something that you don’t like.

This article will provide an in-depth look at both varieties of rice as well as the ways in which they are distinct from one another. In this manner, you may see why you shouldn’t swap the two, and why you should only use the ingredients in the method in which they were intended to be prepared.

Let’s get down to business without further ado, shall we?

Is sushi rice the same as Arborio rice?

No, arborio rice and sushi rice are not the same thing at all. Despite the fact that they have the same size and shape and contain a significant quantity of amylopectin, they are not interchangeable with one another. Let’s take a look at each of these different kinds of rice to have a better understanding.

What exactly is sushi rice?

When cooked, sushi rice develops a particular stickiness that sets it apart from other types of rice. Stickiness in the rice is caused by high starch content, and this stickiness gelatinizes when the rice is cooked. Because of its creamy, almost gelatinous consistency, it is excellent for making sushi rolls.

Now is the moment to put to rest any questions or concerns you may have had about sushi rice. While though the cooking process causes sushi rice to become sticky, this does not explain what is more often referred to as “sticky rice.”

When you hear the term “sticky rice,” your mind probably immediately goes to rice cakes. Instead, sticky rice, which is also often referred to as sweet rice, is a staple in Thai cooking.

Although while you may use any kind of rice to create sushi, the finished product won’t have the same silky smooth texture that sushi rice has. When you are creating your own sushi at home, you should seek for rice that is labeled as sushi rice or any other form of rice that has small grains and is stocky.

What exactly is Arborio rice?

Another well-liked kind of short-grain rice is known as arborio rice. It got its name from the part of Italy where the dish was first developed.

The United States of America is also home to the cultivation of arborio rice, mainly in the states of Texas and California. Arborio rice is characterized by a pearly white covering, a thicker body, and an oval shape.

It is processed far less than long-grain rice, which results in it having a higher concentration of starch, particularly amylopectin.

In terms of taste, arborio rice is particularly good at absorbing the flavors of other foods, and it generally has a very creamy texture. Because of this, it is by far the most common component in risotto.

Is Arborio rice the same as sushi rice?

The only similarities between arborio rice and sushi rice are in terms of look and size. After cooking, it is possible to differentiate between the two options.

Both arborio rice and sushi rice are similar in both appearance and size, and both types of rice contain a significant amount of the starch amylopectin. On the other hand, you can’t use one in place of the other.

After being cooked, an arborio grain will have a firm and toothy center because the starch structures in its core will have deformed throughout the maturation process. This quality is excellent for risotto (it lends the dish its signature al dente texture), but it is not ideal for sushi or rice prepared in the Asian way.

On the other hand, we tried our hand at making risotto out of sushi rice. Some believe the resultant creamy risotto is risotto, but “it wasn’t risotto” since the grains did not have the customary al dente bite that Arborio rice is known for. In a nutshell, you cannot substitute one kind of rice for the other while cooking.

What is the difference between sushi and Arborio rice?

There is a clear distinction between Arborio rice and sushi rice, both in terms of their characteristics and their look. In order to get a deeper comprehension of these distinctions, we compiled a list of salient characteristics. Let’s take a look at each of them to see how they vary from one another in the realm of rice.

Taste and flavor of sushi rice vs. arborio rice

Because of the differences in their textures, sushi rice and arborio rice do not taste or flavor the same way, despite the fact that their sizes and looks are comparable.

When an Arborio grain is cooked, the starch structures in the center of the grain deform, which results in a core that is solid and toothy. While it is perfect for risotto (because it lends the dish its signature al dente texture), sushi rice and other types of Asian rice are not the best candidates for this kind of rice.

On the other hand, several individuals attempted to make risotto using sushi rice as the main ingredient. The risotto that was produced was creamy, but it “wasn’t risotto” since the grains did not have the characteristic al dente bite that Arborio rice is known for.

To summarize, you cannot use both types of rice in the same meal at the same time. They may have the same appearance, but the finished meal will have a distinctively different consistency if you use one of them in place of the other, despite the fact that the two ingredients seem identical.

Uses of Sushi rice vs. Arborio rice

The distinct textures that sushi rice and Arborio rice impart on a dish when they are cooked also result in different applications for each kind of rice. The stickiness of sushi rice lends itself well to the preparation of sushi, while the firmness of Arborio rice lends itself well to the preparation of risotto that is creamy.

While you can cook any meal with any kind of rice, the greatest sushi and risotto can only be made with special types of rice called sushi rice and arborio rice, respectively. In addition, switching between the two won’t provide you the best results.

Calories and nutrients of sushi rice vs. arborio rice

There is no difference in the total number of calories between the Arborio rice and the sushi rice. In average, each serving size of 100 grams has 130 calories in total. This quantity, however, may naturally change depending on the meal you choose to prepare.

Can I use Arborio rice instead of sushi rice?

You cannot use arborio rice in place of sushi rice; this is not possible. While they are comparable in dimensions and outline, the cooked versions do not have the same consistency.

When you are cooking risotto, you may certainly experiment with using Arborio rice rather than sushi rice. You won’t obtain the al dente bite that you may enjoy with Arborio rice, despite the fact that you may be able to attain the creaminess of the rice.

For this reason, it is strongly recommended that, while preparing risotto, you explore for better alternatives or search for Arborio rice.

Can I use Arborio rice instead of sushi rice?

You cannot use Arborio rice in place of sushi rice; this is not possible. While they are available in sizes and forms that are comparable to one another, their cooked textures are not the same.

Due to a quality known as “chalk,” Arborio rice does not make for a particularly good choice for preparing Asian dishes. When cooked, the starch in the heart of an Arborio grain transforms into a solid that has a toothy texture. This occurs throughout the growth of the grain.

While this quality is ideal for risotto because it creates the dish’s signature al dente texture, it is not ideal for sushi or rice that is used to accompany Asian cuisine since it does not provide the proper contrast in texture. While cooking sushi, it is recommended that a superior substitute be found first, followed by the search for sushi rice.

Is Arborio rice suitable for sushi?

Not at all; Arborio rice should never be used for sushi. When cooked, the grains of arborio become distorted, as I previously said. Nonetheless, in spite of this, they continue to be firm, which results in food having an al dente texture.

So, despite the fact that Arborio rice has short grains, it is not the kind of rice that should be used while making sushi or cooking sushi.


In a nutshell, despite the fact that they are both types of short-grain rice, sushi rice and arborio rice are not the same thing. It’s possible that arborio rice and sushi rice are about the same size and form.

Yet, in terms of features and applications, they are not same at all. For instance, as a result of cooking, Arborio rice becomes more firm, which makes it an excellent choice for risotto.

On the other hand, sushi rice becomes sticky as it is cooked, which makes it the perfect ingredient for sushi. Because of this, you can’t utilize one in place of the other.

  • Sushi Rice vs. Brown Rice
  • Sushi Rice vs. White Rice
  • Sushi Rice vs. Sticky Rice
  • Sushi Rice vs. Calrose Rice


Is Arborio rice and sushi rice the same thing?

A Difference That Can Be Measured In Millimeters

As is the case with Arborio rice, which is used in the preparation of risotto, sushi rice has been inconsistently categorized as both a short- and a medium-grain rice by various sources (for more information, see “Are Arborio Rice and Sushi Rice Interchangeable?”).

Can I use sushi rice instead of Arborio?

Rice for Sushi

If you want to use sushi as a replacement for risotto, make sure you don’t rinse it beforehand (as you would for sushi), since the results will be much improved if you leave the starches on the grain. While though sushi rice may not quite have the same robust taste as Arborio or farro, it does offer a time-saving alternative that can be used for weekday meals.

Can you use sushi rice instead of risotto rice?

Even if you only have sushi rice on hand and can’t get to the store, you can make risotto with any type of medium- or short-grain rice. If you’re in a bind and can’t get to the store, you can even make it with sushi rice. While the types of rice listed above are the most commonly used for risotto, you can really use any type of medium- or short-grain rice.

What makes Arborio rice different?

Amylopectin, a kind of starch, may be found in abundance in arborio rice. This rice, when cooked, will release its natural starch, which will result in a rice that is creamier, more delicious, and more firm and chewy than conventional rice such as long-grain basmati rice or jasmine rice. This rice can be found at Whole Foods Market.

What rice is closest to sushi rice?

In some ways, brown rice is the alternative that is most comparable to the sushi rice that is used, and as such, it should be the one that is sought for if you happen to have any. Since it provides a greater variety of beneficial nutrients than white rice does, more and more people are switching to brown rice.

What type of rice is best for sushi?

The japonica kind of short-grain Japanese rice, also known as shari, is considered to be the ideal rice for use in the preparation of sushi. In the event that you are unable to get that specific kind of white sushi rice, long-grain white rice from California is an acceptable alternative.

What’s the closest rice to Arborio rice?

There are a lot of other grains that may stand in for arborio rice, and each of these alternatives has an own taste, texture, and application. Rice with a short grain, jasmine rice, pearled barley, bulgur wheat, orzo pasta, and couscous are all viable alternatives that may be used in a number of different ways.

Can I substitute arborio rice for sticky rice?

It is easy to forget that glutinous rice may be replaced with many other varieties of rice, but it is important to keep this possibility in mind in case sticky rice is unavailable. Rice varieties such as jasmine rice, sushi rice, arborio rice, and white rice perform very well when used in place of glutinous rice.

What is another name for Arborio rice?

One of the biggest among the short Italian rice varieties that belong to the species Oryza sativa japonica, Arborio is an Italian variation of the superfino rice. It is known as Arborio.

Is Arborio rice just short-grain rice?

Risotto may be made using a number of different kinds of short-grain white rice, the most common of which being arborio rice and carnaroli rice. In addition to these kinds, conventional white and brown short-grain rice may also be found in grocery stores. This type of rice, which can be used in stir-fries or simply cooked and served as a healthful side dish, can be found in both white and brown variants.