Can You Make Sushi With Jasmine Rice?

Making sushi isn’t as hard as many think, as long as you know how to do it right. One of the basic things you should know is what kind of rice is best used for this Japanese delicacy. For example, can you make sushi with jasmine rice, or are there more suitable types?

No, you can’t make sushi with jasmine rice if you want to preserve the original texture and flavor. This long-grain rice is firmer and dryer than the Japanese kind and not sticky enough to hold the desired shape. If you can’t find authentic Japanese rice, note that there are other, much more suitable substitutes, such as California’s Calrose.

Makizushi held with black chopsticks

Do you want to know more about the difference between jasmine and Japanese rice? Or find out ways to make jasmine rice actually work when making sushi? This article will provide you with all the answers you seek.

No, You Can’t Use Jasmine Rice to Make Sushi if You Want the Authentic Japanese Dish

Sushi is a Japanese dish made from bite-sized vinegar-flavored rice combined with different toppings. It’s safe to say that rice is the heart of this delicacy. Therefore, to make perfect homemade sushi, you need to use the right kind of rice to reach the famous sushi mouthfeel – and that is not jasmine.

Although you may think that all rice is the same, that is not the case, and a dish such as sushi can be a great representation of it. Authentic sushi is made with short-grain Japanese rice, while jasmine is long, with each grain around four times longer than a short type and much thinner. However, the grains’ shape is not why the jasmine rice type is unsuitable for sushi.

Sushi demands sticky rice that can clump together well and keep the same form for a more extended period of time. If not, bite-sized pieces will most likely fall apart in the process. However, when cooked, jasmine rice becomes fluffier and dryer than Japanese rice but also less sticky.

Jasmine also has a stronger floral aroma with a more bland flavor than white rice, such as Japanese. Therefore, the base of your sushi dish probably won’t taste the same as the one you tasted in sushi restaurants.

Wondering if Botan rice is good for sushi? Read this article to find out!

Cooked jasmine rice

Why is Japanese Rice a Better Option Than Jasmine?

Amylopectin and amylose are two polymers from which starch is made. While short-grain and middle-grain rice are high in the first, long-grain is high in the second. But why is it important? Rice high in amylopectin becomes more sticky when cooked, becoming perfect for sushi.

Japanese rice doesn’t turn mushy when cooked – it keeps its original shape while providing a soft and moist texture. Jasmine, as mentioned above, is dryer with firmer grains that do not clump together.

Since jasmine rice is mainly grown in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, it’s perfect for dishes that come from this region, such as:

  • Royal Jasmine Rice Pad Thai,
  • Vietnamese lemon rice,
  • Nam khao (crispy rice salad),
  • Cambodian chicken rice porridge.

Ways to Make Sushi With Jasmine Rice or How to Make Jasmine Rice Sticky

If you’re determined to try and make sushi by using jasmine rice, you need to find a way to make this rice type stickier. Although adding flour to the rice while cooking may be a good idea, keep in mind that it can severely interfere with the final taste of the dish.

Rather than that, you should restrain from rinsing the grains. The main goal of rinsing is to remove starch from the grain surface. However, since you could use all the additional starch you can get, make sure you start cooking jasmine without washing it.

In the cooking process, rice needs to absorb all the water. If you need help with finding the perfect rice to water ratio for this case, take a look at how much water you will need:

Number of servingsAmount of rice neededAmount of water required
11/2 cup (3.4 ounces)165ml
21 cup (6.7 ounces)330ml
42 cups (13.4 ounces)660ml
63 cups (20 ounces)990ml

Once the water boils, cover the pot, lower the temperature and let the rice stir for about 8 minutes.

Not rinsing will provide additional stickiness to the mixture, which will only increase when adding the seasoning (rice vinegar, salt, and sugar).

However, try not to experiment with different types of sushi. My advice is to make makizushi, inari, or chirashi and refrain from uramaki and nigiri because they need rice that holds together better.

Which Long-Grain Rice Is Better for Sushi – Jasmine or Basmati?

Both jasmine and basmati are rice types used in many Western households. Being long-grain, they share similar qualities, which means none is exactly a suitable alternative for Japanese short-grain rice.

However, if you must decide between jasmine or basmati rice when making sushi, go with jasmine. Although it won’t provide you with the same texture as authentic Japanese rice, jasmine is a little softer, shorter, and thicker than basmati and simultaneously less dry.

Person making a sushi roll

Calrose Rice Is the Best Japanese Rice Substitute

If you’re looking for the best alternative to Japanese-style rice, you won’t find it in jasmine. Just the opposite – use jasmine when you have no other choice. However, keep in mind that there is a locally grown rice variety that is pretty easy to find and reasonably affordable. It’s medium-grain California’s Calrose rice. It is considered one of the best rice types for sushi since its texture and taste are very close to Japanese grains.