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

Sushi rice and brown rice are two of the most common types of rice available and enjoyed globally. However, while sushi rice is enjoyable rice, brown rice is known for its health benefits. Thus, for a curious mind, you may ask: What is the difference between sushi rice and brown rice?

Sushi rice and brown rice differ in their texture and properties. Sushi rice is short-grain rice, while brown rice is long-grain rice with husks. Thus, the health benefits of the latter are better than the former. It’s also the reason why they have different uses in Asian cuisine.

Now, although both are rice, they differ in a way that you can’t use one to replace the other. So, if you’re planning to do so, you need to understand each one to ensure you don’t use or consume them wrong. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through all the basic things you need to know about Sushi Rice and Brown Rice. This way, you can understand how they are cooked and consumed and why you can’t use both interchangeably.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Sushi Rice vs. Brown RicePin

Is sushi rice and brown rice the same?

No, sushi rice and brown rice are not the same. Both rice has unique properties and characteristics. Thus, they also have different uses, pros, and cons, depending on what you need. To better understand, let’s take a look at each one.

What is sushi rice?

Sushi rice is created by simmering Japanese short-grain rice and then seasoning it with vinegar, sugar, salt, and sometimes kombu. Sushi rice is also called sushi-meshi, su-meshi, or shari in Japanese. When creating sushi, we exclusively use this vinegar-flavored rice.

However, it becomes a bit complicated since some rice firms outside of Japan describe Japanese short-grain rice as “sushi rice,” giving the impression that the rice is only used for sushi. In reality, we use the same rice for steamed rice as well as other rice recipes.

What is brown rice?

Brown rice is a whole grain that contains bran and germ. These provide fiber and several vitamins and minerals. White rice is a refined grain with these parts removed, making it softer and more quick-cooking.

What is the difference between sushi rice and brown rice?

The difference between sushi rice and brown rice is noticeable in their properties and appearance. To understand these differences better, we wrote a list of aspects worth noting. Let’s look at each one to see how both rice differs from each other.

Sushi rice vs. brown rice taste and flavor

Sushi rice and brown rice taste different from each other, and it’s all because of the processes they underwent along with the properties of the grain itself.

One thing to note is that brown rice tends to remain firm when cooked, while sushi rice becomes sticky and softer. Thus, the latter is ideal for sushi, while the former is best prepared the traditional way.

Also, brown rice has a slightly rougher texture since it is less processed compared to sushi rice. Thus, you can find sushi rice taste better, although brown rice means healthier.

Sushi rice vs. brown rice uses

The uses of both sushi rice and brown rice differ from each other as well. The sushi rice is ideal for making sushi since it’s sticky. The stickiness makes it manageable to wrap in the seaweed wrapper without much effort.

On the other hand, brown rice is a preferred option for people who want to enjoy rice but want to eat it in the healthiest way possible. Brown rice is rich in nutrients that make it an option for people who are conscious of their health.

Now, the choice boils down to whether you want rice you can enjoy or rice that’s healthy. In another way, you can’t consume them interchangeably.

Sushi rice vs. brown rice calories and nutrition

Sushi rice has a higher calorie content than brown rice. Also, brown rice contains more nutrients than sushi rice. In general, a hundred grams of sushi rice contains 130 calories, while the same amount of brown rice contains 111 calories.

Since brown rice underwent lesser processing, it retains more nutrients than sushi rice. It also makes the rice a healthier option, although it comes with some downsides that you may not enjoy.

Sushi rice vs. brown rice weight loss

Brown rice is ideal for weight loss instead of sushi rice. The reason is that brown rice still retains fiber, which aids digestion and also weight loss. Thus, between the two, you’ll find brown rice a better option if you’re on a diet.

Is brown rice healthier than sushi rice?

Yes, brown rice is healthier than sushi rice. Brown rice is healthier since it offers many health benefits. For instance, if you consume brown rice, you can:

  • Reduces the risk of diabetes
  • Maintain good weight
  • Receive a lot of nutrients
  • Develop a healthy heart
  • Improve your digestion

In a way, you can enjoy brown rice by giving your body a healthier option whenever you consume it instead of other types of rice.

Can I substitute sushi rice for brown rice?

No, you cannot substitute sushi rice for brown rice. The reason is that sushi rice is a short-grain rice that gets sticky when cooked. Thus, you’ll find it different from brown rice. So, if you’re looking for a healthy option but don’t have brown rice, sushi rice is not the ideal alternative.

Can I substitute brown rice for sushi rice?

No, you cannot substitute brown rice for sushi rice. The thing about brown rice is that it’s usually long-grain rice, and it’s less processed than sushi rice. For this reason, this type of rice tends to remain firm even when cooked. 

As a result, you’ll find it challenging to wrap it around a seaweed wrap when you make sushi. Also, the texture of brown rice may overpower the flavor of sushi, which means you won’t enjoy it as you would with sushi rice.

Is brown rice OK for sushi?

No, brown rice is not OK for sushi. As mentioned earlier, the texture of brown rice is different from sushi rice. In general, the best type of rice for sushi is the short-grain ones, and brown rice is the opposite.

Further, brown rice still contains husks and tends to remain firm even when cooked. For this reason, your sushi may get overpowered with the texture and may not be enjoyable. Thus, you shouldn’t use brown rice for sushi. Besides the fact that it’s difficult to make, it will also be challenging to enjoy.


In a nutshell, sushi rice and brown rice differ from each other in many ways. The texture and properties of brown rice are considerably different from those of sushi rice. In contrast to sushi rice, brown rice consists of long-grain rice husked with the hull. Hence, it offers better health benefits. It’s also why brown rice and sushi rice are used differently in Asian foods.



Image credits – Canva

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