If you’re passionate about sushi, it’s only natural to want to try and recreate your favorite Japanese dishes from the comfort of your own kitchen. However, it’s also very easy to be put
Sushi lovers of the world unite! Today is a momentous day where we take a journey into the very best sushi rice brands available on the market today. Yes, your day just got a whole lot better!
Finding different brands of sushi rice will help you copy your favorite Japanese sushi recipes to perfection. If you have ever tried to make your own sushi at home, then you may know how difficult it is to achieve the quality you’re used to in restaurants, sushi bars, or even in the grocery store. But, it’s not always your fault. More often than not, it’s the brand of sushi rice you’re using.
This is why takeout sushi or restaurant sushi always seems to taste better and more special. Not only that but it usually has a more pleasing texture. If you’re wondering what the mystery behind this magic is, it’s usually the kind of rice used. Sushi chefs tend to use high-quality sushi rice and then cook it immediately. Cook with the proper type of rice and your nigiri and California rolls will be up there with the best in no time.
Just like chefs add their unique touch and flair to sushi rolls, you can do the same. All you need to know are some of the chef’s secrets and what sushi rice they use most often. As you may know, the Japanese are pretty meticulous about most things. One is the sushi rice and ingredients they use in their dishes.
In today’s blog, we will be discussing the very best sushi rice brands available for you to use. Yes, rice may not be the first ingredient you think of when you hear “sushi” but without it, the balance of the fish and other ingredients would not be balanced as well.
Read on if you want to achieve restaurant-like sushi every time you make it at home. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up making the best sushi you have ever tried in your life!
You’re here for one thing and one thing only – to find the best sushi rice brands. So, let’s not beat around the bush and delve straight into what the best brands are for you to try today.
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We begin with a brand you may be familiar with if you’re a sushi lover. Tamanishiki rice is a high-quality short-grain brand that is one of, if not, the best for the creation of sushi. This premium rice is a combination of two varieties known as Koshihikari and Yumegokichi in California and is one of the best in the world.
When it comes to making sushi, Tamanishiki rice is ideal for maki rolls, charishi, and nigirizushi as well as many more. Head to some of the world’s best high-end medium-grain restaurants and you will find that the chefs there use this particular type of premium quality rice.
With no added preservatives or inorganic fertilizers, Tamanaishiki rice is one of the healthiest brands on the market. It is also low in fat and cholesterol, gluten-free, and, perhaps most importantly, is renowned for its authentic, mouth-watering taste.
You can order this rice in the form of 15-pound packets online with no problem whatsoever. Once it arrives, it is exceptionally easy to prepare and very quick to cook. Within a short amount of time, you will have an authentic Japanese culinary experience in your very own home. The wonderful flavor of Tamanishiki rice is enhanced thanks to the Musenmai process it goes through to help preserve the taste of the rice once it has been cooked.
Clumping well together for perfect sushi rolls, this rice is also easy to scoop up with chopsticks when needed.
If you want the best of two rice worlds, then Tamanishiki rice is a perfect choice. It complements many savory and umami flavors meaning it can work with almost any sushi roll. While it may be a little on the expensive side, Tamaishiki rice is worth every cent thanks to its deliciousness, versatility, and convenience when cooking.
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In second place is another top-quality sushi rice that delivers an authentic Japanese rice taste and texture every time. Please welcome Tamaki Gold rice. This premium quality sushi rice brand is another excellent product in a long line of sushi rice from the world-renowned Tamaki corporation.
This is a short-grain rice variety that is made with modern milling technologies combined with traditional farming techniques. The result is rice with consistent quality and a super-rich flavor.
Ask any sushi enthusiast or expert and they will generally agree that Tamaki rice is one of the best around. It is selected from the very best Koshihikari paddies where the makers follow a very high standard to achieve fine quality rice. Whether it’s sushi rolls or other Japanese dishes, Tamaki rice is popular in many recipes.
Tamaki rice tastes incredible with onigiri as well as sushi. Its taste and texture are a joy to behold and will leave you salivating and yearning for more each time. The rice kernels have a silky texture before cooking. But, once they are cooked, they transform into fluffy, mouthwatering textured grains. The short-grained variety tends to have a firmer exterior but a soft, more chewable interior. In other words, a perfect blend.
And, after being cooked, Tamaki rice maintains its flavor and texture making it easy and delicious to eat.
Compared to some other sushi rice brands, Tamaki is generally a little more affordable. So, if you’re on a budget, this is the rice to opt for. It acts perfectly as filling and seasoning in sushi rolls and is a dream come true for any sushi lover. Yes, it takes quite a while to cook but every second is worth the wait. In the end, you’ll be left with high-quality sushi that would be good enough for any restaurant!
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Next, we have another premium quality sushi brand but this one comes from a research company in California known as RiceTec. While the appearance of rice isn’t usually the first thing you think about, there’s just something about this pearl-looking RiceSelect Sushi rice that is alluring. On top of this, the rice comes in stylish little jars that are fully recyclable and environmentally friendly. Not only does it have a pleasing aesthetic appearance but once the rice has been cooked, the aroma is blissful and the flavor is simply perfect for any sushi dish.
As with most sushi rice brands, no harmful ingredients are used in RiceSelect’s production. It is completely free of additives and all-natural. It complies entirely with the non-GMO standards set out by the Californian government resulting in a healthy, non-hazardous product.
Sushi rice is not like any rice. It needs to have a specific texture that sticks together for ease of consumption. Thankfully, RiceSelect offers just that with a sticky, silky texture that is ideal for sushi and other examples of East-Asian cuisine. You can use it in rice bowls, rice salads, or even teriyaki. Whatever dish you use it in, you will always be able to enjoy the signature flavor and quality RiceSelect has to offer.
Verified as kosher and gluten-free, RiceSelect is a healthy option for anyone wanting a low sodium and cholesterol diet.
When it comes to cooking, RiceSelect is highly convenient. It takes just 15 minutes to boil and, once cooked, it will fill your home with an amazing aroma. Upon eating, you will experience a unique sweet flavor. Therefore, if you’re looking for firmer, sweeter grains of rice, RiceSelect is the rice for you and your sushi.
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Kokuho Medium-grain sushi rice is, you guessed it, another premium quality brand that is grown under specific conditions to preserve the rice’s top quality. Introduced by the famous Koda farms in the 1960s, Kokuho rice comes under the Koda family which has become ever more popular in recent decades.
While the Koda family used to exclusively cultivate this crop, some independent farmers now work on this rice crop. Therefore, it is more in abundance than ever before. Just be careful you don’t fall for the imitation Kokuho rice. Once you have tried the real deal and the “fake” stuff, you will realize how incredible Kokuho rice really is.
Kokuho rice is quite affordable. It’s medium grain rice which is gluten-free and easy to prepare. The cooking time is only 15 minutes before it can be used in a variety of different dishes.
Its texture is uniquely thick. This helps it stand out from most of its competitors and has achieved the status of being ‘outstanding’ in the field of sushi rice brands. Kokuhi rice is certainly a highly popular choice for sushi due to its soft yet rich flavor. This effortlessly absorbs into the sushi and acts as a delicious seasoning for great-tasting sushi rolls.
Some find that short-grain rice is not to their liking. If this is the case with you, Kokuho medium-grain rice may be what you’ve been searching for. It tends to offer more complex flavors and has a harder quality than many of its short-grain counterparts.
So, what is the secret behind this top-quality rice? Well, one reason behind its success may be that it’s harvested straight from the newest, freshest crop every time. This results in superb quality and a shorter cooking time. It is cultivated under ideal conditions so, once it is finally cooked and ready to eat, it has a plump and airy texture that is perfectly sticky for sushi. Whether you boil or steam Kokuho rice, it will be soft and fluffy.
If you’re relatively new or a complete beginner at making sushi, Kokuho rice is a great place to start. It is easy and quick to prepare and being non-gluten and wheat-free, it is a very healthy choice for your favorite sushi rolls. From maki rolls to nigiri, Kokuho medium-grain sushi rice makes the preparation process much easier, whether you’re making sushi for a larger gathering or just a small treat for you and your family.
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Since 1937, Lundberg Organic Farms have been producing some of the finest quality sushi rice in existence. For over 80 years, the corporation has maintained a high standard resulting in mouth-watering textures and a rice flavor in every grain of rice.
Lundberg crops are cultivated within non-GMO standards and each crop is inspected every year to ensure the quality is still top-notch. This has helped Lundberg Family Farms become one of the most trusted brands on the market and a top choice for sushi and Japanese cuisine.
As the name suggests, this sushi rice is entirely organic and is verified by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). Being gluten-free, this rice is a great option for all diets, especially vegan. Moreover, there is little cholesterol in this rice allowing for more nutritional value like dietary fiber and protein to shine through.
When we consider Lundberg’s texture, it is fluffy and soft. And, as you want for sushi, it is sticky to keep the ingredients firmly together for an easy and tasty eating experience.
Available in 32-ounce bags, Lundberg Organic Farms rice should last you quite a while. This will help you save money over time as well as enjoy the best sushi rolls possible every time.
Lundberg sushi rice is the perfect option for a variety of dishes from California to Philadelphia rolls. It is as easy to roll out as it is to eat. Effortless! Therefore, newbies to the game of making sushi will enjoy learning with Lundberg rice.
As soon as you place this sushi rice in your mouth, you will be met with a combination of mild and nutty flavors. It also boasts a wonderfully fresh and clean smell with no starchy fumes that are often an accompaniment of short-grain rice.
Easy and quick to cook, sticky in texture, organic, and healthy to eat, Lundberg Organic Farms sushi rice will transform any mediocre Japanese dish into something superior.
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This medium-grain rice from Nishiki is a popular choice for sushi across all four corners of the world. Grown in paddy fields in California, the texture and flavor of Nishiki Premium Sushi rice are world-class.
To achieve the perfection that is synonymous with Nishiki, advanced technology known as ‘musenmai’ is used to mill the rice. This method sees tapioca separated from the rice before being coated in a liquid brine. Afterward, the brine is removed and you are left with serenely clean sushi rice that doesn’t need any more rinsing. This means it is best for those who like sushi meals.
Coming in 10 or 5-pound bags, Nishiki Premium Sushi rice is used by experienced and professional chefs the world over. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t use it at home too. It’s perfectly sticky (but not too much) so your sushi will stay together with ease. The firmness of the rice helps the rolls stay in shape.
As for its taste, you are met with a balanced taste. We would say this is one of the milder sushi kinds of rice on the market and works perfectly with seasoned rice wine vinegar.
If you’re not a fan of thick, gluey-like sushi rice, then Nishiki sushi rice is the brand for you. It’s the ideal texture for sushi and is easy to cook. Best of all, it has a short cooking time so you can enjoy its soft and pleasant taste sooner rather than later.
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If a convenient and quick cooking method is top of your list, then Annie Chun’s Sticky Sushi Rice is the one for you. Easy to make in the microwave, this sushi rice is a healthy and delicious quick meal for anyone to enjoy.
When we get to the best part of the sushi rice (eating), Annie Chun’s Sticky Sushi rice has a rich, sweet flavor. When you combine this with its very sticky texture, you end up with a rice product that is easy to make for sushi rolls without much hassle. No more rolls falling apart as you try and get it quickly to your mouth.
Moreover, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives in this rice meaning it is safe to consume. This also helps add to its authentic Japanese flavor that works so well with sushi.
We really like the smart yet convenient packaging Annie Chun’s rice comes in. It is easy to open and place in the microwave where you will only need to wait around 2 minutes before you can enjoy the tasty delights it beholds. So, if you’re a busy professional, a camper, or a college student, Annie Chun’s quick and easy sushi rice will make your life easier and fit into your schedule better than most sushi rice brands.
Budget-friendly and microwavable, Annie Chun’s Sticky Sushi rice tastes just as good as your favorite takeout sushi. And, best of all, it is probably much healthier. Having this sushi rice on hand means you can enjoy sushi whenever the cravings hit you. If you want to add a little more spark to the flavor, just combine the rice with some soy sauce and vinegar. Your taste buds will thank you.
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Another rice that is easy to prepare and cook is Natural Earth Sushi Rice. Offering authentic Japanese cuisine taste, this high-end brand is ideal for those of you who are new to making sushi. While sushi-making can be complicated at first, the right kind of sushi rice will make the whole process a lot easier and this is exactly what Natural earth sushi does.
Not only is this sushi rice great to make sushi with but it’s also a great stepping stone for anyone who wants to try sushi for the first time. Many people are turned off by the idea of raw fish so they try to avoid sushi. Others may have tried sushi but experienced poor quality. This quality is usually down to the rice. Thankfully, Natural Earth sushi rice is delicious and has a wondrous texture that goes down a treat.
Furthermore, this sushi rice is gluten-free and kosher meaning it is suitable for a wide range of diets and dietary needs. White and short-grain, natural Earth sushi rice is very similar to the rice used in authentic sushi recipes. So, if you’re looking to emulate some of your favorite sushi rolls and dishes, you won’t go far wrong with this brand.
This sushi rice brand is specially selected. With precision and care during the cultivation process, Natural Earth manages to produce soft and fragrant grains of rice of the highest quality. Unlike some sushi rice brands, this is not heavy or starchy. It simply has a very pleasant texture that works well with a variety of East-Asian dishes.
As well as its easy preparation and rich flavors, Natural Earth sushi rice comes in convenient packaging that is resealable. Therefore, you can use as much as you need and leave the rest for later on.
Although this rice looks very plain on first inspection, it is certainly one of the fluffiest and softest out there. Full of flavors, Natural Earth Sushi rice will complement an array of savory dishes and those with umami notes. Your sushi rolls will taste better than ever with this sushi rice.
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Now we have an extremely rare item. Yuki Tsubaki Premium Sushi rice is exactly as it is described – premium and of the highest quality. Although it costs a bit more than many other brands on our list, it is worth every penny. You just have to try it to find that out!
This product contains ultra-premium short-grain rice which is very, very rare. It comes from less than 0.003% of all the Koshihikari rice that is grown in the Uonuma region in Japan. When you consider where and how this rice is cultivated, you will start to understand its higher price tag.
Yuki Tsubaki rice is grown using four times the manpower and standard cost than other white rice brands. Its polishing process is unique and a lot more expensive to achieve as well.
It has also won countless awards such as the International Contest on Rice Taste Evaluation. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to find out that Yuki Tsubabi sushi rice is used in some of the most well-established and high-end restaurants in Japan. But, you can use it at home too!
Once this rice is cooked, it becomes unbelievably delicious thanks to a soft, savory flavor combined with a thick texture. This allows you to prepare and cook the sushi rice with little effort. Moreover, the rice tends to absorb additional seasoning superbly so your sushi rolls are bursting with flavors.
Famous, reliable, and super rare, Yuki Tsubaki Premium sushi rice is one of the best-quality sushi rice brands in the world. It’s just waiting for you to try it for yourself.
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From the most expensive to the most affordable sushi rice brands, we have Botan Musenmai Calrose rice. If you’re already a Calrose rice lover, then you must try this heavenly product from Botan. Going through a robust and thorough process, the producers of this sushi rice ensure that it is always of the highest quality and completely natural.
With such a thorough production process, this rice does tend to lose some of its authenticity. But, it makes up for this with the moist and sticky texture that helps it stand out to be used in sushi. If you’re a fan of excessive stickiness with your sushi rice, Botan Musenmao Calorse rice may be a match made in heaven. This sticky texture also helps it absorb seasoning wonderfully.
You don’t only have to use this rice with sushi too. It is regarded as an all-round table rice that can be put to good use in rice puddings and other similar dishes.
This sushi rice has been produced in California for over 70 years and continues to grow in popularity. Medium-grain, Botan sushi rice grows in highly fertile soil before being carefully milled until it is packaged and ready for your sushi rolls.
The real magic occurs once you have cooked this rice. The grains are perfectly tender with a pleasing amount of starch. The rice sports a delicate flavor that can be wonderfully heightened by rice wine vinegar. We found that Botan Calrose rice has one of the best flavors and textures amongst Californian medium-grain sushi rice brands. And, that’s saying something!
From the western states of the U.S. to the Pacific islands of Hawaii and Guam, Botan Musenmai Calrose rice is very popular. It has a Kosher certification and is available in very sturdy and reliable packages. In turn, you can choose from 15-pound and 20-pound bags.
Once you’re ready to prepare the rice, you will need to rinse it for 3 to 4 minutes before placing it in a pot or the cooker. In just a few minutes, the sushi transforms into a soft and delicious treat that is ideal for sushi rolls.
Even on its own, Botan sushi rice is very tasty in a bowl. Just make sure you turn the rice and rinse quite vigorously after cooking as its starchiness can be a bit much for some.
The mild flavor of this sushi rice means it is a great choice for people wanting to try sushi for the first time. It is also delicious when paired with umami and savory sushi fillings. Affordable and tasty, Botan Musenmai Calorse sushi rice is one of the most famous and loved sushi brands out there. Once you try it, you will understand why!
What to Consider When Purchasing Sushi Rice
Now you have seen our top 10 sushi rice brands on the market, you may be ready and raring to go ahead and buy the product that looks best. But, before you jump the gun, there are a few factors to consider first.
It’s amazing that you have decided to have a go at making sushi at home. It can be fun and a great way to enjoy a new form of gastronomy in the comfort of your home. But, before you make your world-class sushi rolls, you will need the best-quality sushi rice.
So, below are some things you should keep in mind the next time you are browsing sushi rice brands on the web or the aisles at our local grocery store.
Look For “New Variety” or “First Crop” Sushi Rice Brands
When you’re shopping for sushi rice, you should keep an eye out for ‘new variety’ or ‘first crop’ brands. You will find these labels printed on the package of the rice. It doesn’t matter what brand you’re browsing, you should always look for these terms on the packaging.
So, what do ‘new variety’ and ‘first crop’ mean? These are rice grains that have been cultivated and wicked in the fall. In other words, they are at their peak and are perfect for sushi rice.
Some packages also display the date that the rice grains were picked. If so, it shouldn’t be more than a year old. Any older and the quality will not be as high. As sushi rice gets older, it will become harder and take a lot longer to soften. Therefore, it will not be very sticky so the ingredients of your sushi rolls will have a hard time trying to stay together.
Look For White Japanese Short-Grain Rice
Another critical factor to consider is whether the sushi rice is of the white Japanese short-grain variety. For top-quality sushi, you need top-quality, super-premium Japanese short-grain rice but medium-grain will also suffice.
Short-grain rice is easy to distinguish from others thanks to its short and round shape. Best of all, these cook faster than any long-grain variety meaning you can enjoy your sushi roll as quickly as possible.
As we have mentioned, sushi rice needs to be sticky. Luckily, the Japanese prefer more glutinous rice. Therefore, the grains stick together better. This makes it easier to form sushi into different shapes and rolls. You can make oval shapes for nigirizushi or pick the sushi pieces and rice up separately with chopsticks. Try to do this with regular rice and you will have quite a messy situation.
Out of all the rice varieties, short-grained rice is the most glutinous. The longer the rice type is, the less sticky it becomes. So, for the best possible sushi rolls, short-grained rice is highly recommended. If short-grain is not available, medium-grain rice will do the job but it just won’t be as glutinous and easy to pick up with your chopsticks.
Try and Find the Shinmai Variety of Sushi Rice
If there is an Asian grocery store local to you, you should ask for some help before purchasing a sushi rice brand. We recommend asking for a shinmai variety. This is for when you can not find any packaging displaying ‘new variety’ on ‘first crop’ on the label.
Ask the grocery store owner or assistant so you can be sure of what you’re buying. By finding shinmai rice, it means you are getting rice that was harvested in the same year.
Avoid Pre-Washed Sushi Rice
Pre-washed sushi rice seems to be a new fad in the world of grocery stores. While this may sound like it will take you less time to prepare and cook the rice, we don’t encourage buying pre-washed sushi rice.
Sushi rice is always best when some strains of starch are left on the grains of the rice. This starch helps to bind the grains of rice together resulting in better quality rice for sushi making.
Pre-washed sushi rice doesn’t need any rinsing to remove the starch but we recommend rice that needs rinsing. This way, you can rinse it in moderation so some starch remains attached to the grains and your sushi rolls will stick together more easily.
Flavor and Texture
Sushi rice needs to be soft and moist! We can not emphasize this enough! It needs to be able to absorb seasoning so you can enjoy the variety of flavors in your sushi roll. And, of course, the sticky texture allows for the other ingredients to stick together.
If you’re looking for extra nutritional value, we recommend using brown-colored sushi rice. However, this sometimes lacks the quality that white sushi rice offers. As with white sushi rice, brown rice has a thicker texture than regular types of rice and is low in carbohydrates.
So, if you’re watching the pounds and on a diet, brown sushi rice may be ideal. You may have to alter how you prepare the sushi roll with brown rice, however.
Sell By and Best By Date
You may think that rice will not go off, no matter the length it has been stored. While some rice lasts longer than other brands, we recommend buying a rice brand that has a best of date within a few months.
Once the package has been opened, the rice will need to be kept in a dry and dark space inside an air-tight container. If air gets inside, the rice will start to go off and will not last as long. If you prefer, you can also keep the rice in your refrigerator for storage.
How to Cook Sushi Rice
Sushi rice is not your standard rice. It requires a specific method, especially if you want it to be the best sushi rice you could possibly make.
Below is a guide on how to cook sushi rice to perfection using a rice cooker:
- Measure the rice to your desired quantity. You can measure the precise portion with cups to meet your quantity.
- Rinse the rice under some water. This will remove dirt and much of the starch. But, do not rinse for too long as you want some of the starch to remain attached to the grains of rice. On top of this, some of the essential rice ingredients could be lost. The shorter the rinse time, the better.
- Once rinsed, pour the rice into your rice cooker with an equal measurement of water (ie, 1 cup of sushi rice = 1 cup of water). To be on the safe side, follow the guidance of the sushi rice package to ensure you have the correct measurement for your type of sushi rice.
- Turn your rice maker on and simply wait for the rice to cook. This should be done until it is soft and has a moist texture. This is when it is perfect for sushi rolls.
- Finally, add some vinegar to the mix. Mix the sushi rice with a slicing motion and serve it in whichever way you like.
Can You Use Regular Rice For Sushi Rolls?
This is one of the most common queries regarding rice and sushi rolls. And the answer is, yes, you can use regular rice but don’t expect the same high-quality and stickiness that sushi rice possesses.
Short-grain or medium-grain rice is always the best type for sushi. Regular rice doesn’t contain as much starch to help hold all of the sushi ingredients together. But, if you don’t mind your sushi roll falling apart in your hands, then regular rice is fine to use.
What Age Should Sushi Rice Be?
We recommend using sushi rice that is between 6 months and 1 year old. If the rice is older than this, it tends to become harder and less sticky. Therefore, it is not as reliable and versatile for sushi dishes as well as many other East-Asian culinary dishes.
Why Should You Use Sushi Rice?
Although you can use regular rice for sushi, there are some key reasons why sushi rice is better. The main reasons are:
- Its health benefits
- Its versatility
Sushi rice is not only super tasty but it’s very healthy for you too! It is very rich in starch which, when combined with other ingredients such as nori, protein-rich fish, and avocado, becomes a well-balanced meal. Its high starch content also means you will feel fuller quicker and for longer. Therefore, you will not overeat as much and your meal portions will be smaller. Tasty and healthy – it’s possible!
We have already mentioned it but the versatility sushi rice brings to the table is extraordinary. It can be used in a variety of East-Asian dishes from rice puddings to onigiri. It can even be effortlessly transformed into fried rice for other meals if you have any leftovers.
Whether it’s for a dessert, a sushi roll, or another East-Asian dish, sushi rice is a delicious, healthy, and versatile ingredient. Use it to make sushi at home and you will never look back. Your sushi dreams will all come true thanks to one simple ingredient – sushi rice.
Which sushi rice brand is your favorite? Let us know down below in the comments!