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

One of the most prominent types of rice available in the US is Calrose rice. This type of rice is famous for its versatility in uses. Often, it’s also used in sushi. Thus, you may wonder whether it’s different from sushi rice or if both are the same. So, you may ask: what is the difference between sushi rice and Calrose rice?

Sushi rice and Calrose rice are pretty similar in the sense that they can be sticky when cooked. However, the main difference is that sushi rice is short-grain while Calrose rice is medium-grain. Thus, you can interchange them, but both will be at their best when used in their original recipe.

Both of these two types of rice offer a distinct character that sets them apart from each other. Thus, if you plan on using one or both of them, you’ll find the information below helpful in your tasks.

Here, you can see an in-depth take on both sushi rice and Calrose rice. This way, you can understand each one and use them in the best way possible.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Sushi Rice vs. Calrose RicePin

Is Calrose rice the same as sushi rice?

No, Calrose rice is not the same as sushi rice, although they share similarities and can be used interchangeably—one key difference between the two lies in the grain size. While Calrose rice is medium-grain, sushi rice is short-grain. 

Let’s look at each of these two to understand them better.

What is sushi rice?

Sushi rice is short-grain rice that cooks with a unique stickiness. Stickiness is induced by the rice’s high starch content, which gelatinizes when cooked. Its creamy, gel-like texture is ideal for constructing sushi rolls.

Now is the time to clear up any misunderstandings concerning sushi rice. Even while sushi rice gets sticky when cooked, this does not explain the phenomenon known as “sticky rice.”

Sticky rice, also known as sweet rice, is a mainstay in Thai cuisine. When you hear the name “sticky rice,” you might think of rice cakes, but sticky rice, also known as sweet rice, is a staple in Thai cuisine.

Although you may use any rice to make sushi, it will lack the smoothness that sushi rice provides. So when making homemade sushi, look for sushi rice or any other short-grain, sticky rice.

What is Calrose rice?

Calrose is a medium-grain rice variety that is significant for being introduced into the California rice market. It turns somewhat soft and sticky after cooking, making it versatile rice that you can use in various cuisines. 

The name “Calrose” is a combination of “Cal,” which refers to the state where the grain is cultivated, and “rose,” which is a continuation of a naming history that includes “Blue Rose,” medium-grain rice that originated in Louisiana.

What is the difference between sushi rice and Calrose rice?

You can find several differences between sushi rice and Calrose rice. However, the main difference is their size and their usage. Let’s discuss some of the differences to understand the two better.

Sushi rice vs. Calrose rice taste and flavor

The taste and flavor of sushi rice and Calrose rice are similar. Thus, you can use whichever you have without worries.

When you finish cooking either of the two, it becomes slightly mushy and sticky, making it suitable for recipes requiring grains to keep their shapes, such as sushi, soups, or salads. 

Both types of rice also have a relatively mild flavor, which means it may easily absorb any robust seasonings, such as herbs and spices.

Sushi rice vs. Calrose rice uses

Both sushi rice and Calrose rice have many uses. In general, these two types of rice work well with Asian cuisine, although sushi rice is more prominent for such a task.

On the other hand, Calrose rice is more prominent in the US, so pretty much any dish that needs rice in the US uses this type of rice. 

In general, both types of rice work well with sushi, soup meals, and salads. Also, the texture of the rice makes them ideal if you need to absorb the flavor and infuse them into the rice.

Sushi rice vs. Calrose rice calories and nutrition

Calrose rice offers more calories than sushi rice. In general, a hundred grams of Sushi rice only has 130 calories, while the same amount of Calrose rice has 360 calories. Thus, it’s more than double the calorie count.

Can I substitute sushi rice for Calrose rice?

Yes, you can substitute sushi rice for Calrose rice. Although long-grain rice is the most commonly used rice in our recipes, sushi rice is another pantry essential in many home cooking. This rice type, also known as Calrose rice in the United States, has small, squat grains with a noticeable stickiness when prepared.

Can I substitute Calrose rice for sushi rice?

Yes, you can substitute Calrose rice for sushi rice. Unfortunately, unless you go to an Asian grocery store or order online, most supermarkets in the United States do not have sushi rice. However, you may substitute California rice for sushi rice.

California rice, commonly known as Calrice or Calrose, is an excellent substitute for any Asian cuisine. It is a Japonica kind of rice with a texture comparable to Japanese rice.

The Japanese-American founders intended to provide a taste of Japan to their Californian customers. It is why they produce and harvest such a wide range of crops. California rice is ideal for sushi rice and other Japanese dishes.

Is Calrose rice good for sushi?

If you can’t find Japanese rice, the best alternative is to use Calrose rice. Calrose rice is medium-grained, as opposed to typical Japanese rice, which is short-grained.

Nonetheless, Calrose rice is so prevalent in America that most Japanese restaurants include it in their dishes. As a result, many people consider Calrose rice to be the Western equivalent of actual Japanese rice.

This rice species are utilized for sushi and a range of cuisines due to its mild flavor. Therefore, it is preferable to wash and rinse it with water before cooking. You will rinse all of the extra starch away this way. Cook it for approximately 20 minutes, then set it aside to simmer for another 10 minutes.


In a nutshell, sushi rice and Calrose rice differ in several ways. However, sushi rice and Calrose rice are identical in how they can get sticky when cooked. The critical distinction is that sushi rice is short-grain, whereas Calrose rice is medium-grain. As a result, they may be swapped, although both are best when used in their original recipe.



Image credits – Canva

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