Using Arborio Rice for Sushi: Yay or Nay?

In making sushi, nothing beats Japanese short-grain rice — and it’s for an obvious reason! But you would also love to give making risotto a try, which is why you are planning to buy Arborio rice anytime soon. And since it’s sticky like Japanese short-grain rice, you can’t help but wonder if you can use Arborio rice for making sushi, too.

Arborio rice can be used for sushi-making purposes. As a matter of fact, it’s the type of rice highly recommended by many seasoned sushi chefs when asked for alternatives to Japanese short-grain rice. The stickiness of Arborio rice makes it more ideal for forming sushi than most other types of rice.

When using Arborio rice for sushi, it’s of utmost importance that it is cooked the right way.

Cooking Arborio rice by following the packaging instructions carefully is one thing. Cooking the right Arborio rice is another. If you are on the hunt for the best Arborio rice to buy, you’re in luck — this article is all about some of the highest-rated Arborio rice brands that you can order on the internet these days.

But before anything else, let’s answer this pressing question many sushi and risotto lovers feel too shy to ask…

arborio rice for sushi

Arborio Rice vs. Japanese Short-Grain Rice: What’s the Difference?

As the name suggests, Japanese short-grain rice is a short-grain variety. Arborio rice, on the other hand, is actually a medium-grain variety. However, when cooked, Arborio rice appears shorter because it plumps. Arborio rice is stickier than Japanese short-grain rice. It also has chalkiness to it.

Japanese short-grain rice is considered the quintessential rice for making sushi rice, which is why many consumers, as well as manufacturers of the said type of rice, simply refer to it as sushi rice.

It has just about each and every quality necessary for whipping up the most authentic and mouthwatering sushi in your own kitchen — from its well-balanced flavor to its moisture content that gives it the perfect texture and stickiness. Especially if you pair Japanese short-grain rice with the right sushi recipe, you can be a sushi expert in your own right.

And speaking of which, it’s the stickiness of Japanese short-grain rice that makes every sushi made with it easy to pick up with chopsticks. If any other non-sticky type of rice were used, it would be a pain in the neck to eat the traditional Japanese dish, especially for someone who is not a chopsticks pro.

Since Arborio rice is sticky, which makes it phenomenal for making risotto, it can be used for sushi making, too.

However, it’s kind of stickier than Japanese short-grain rice, which is why it’s not uncommon for some certified sushi aficionados to frown upon using Arborio rice for making sushi.

There is one more thing about the Italian rice that can keep you from serving sushi that’s as close to the real deal as possible: it’s chalky. While the chalkiness of Arborio rice comes in very handy for risotto making, it makes it not as desirable as Japanese short-grain rice when it comes to sushi-making.

But according to many professional sushi chefs, you can use just about any short- or medium-grain rice variety of your liking for making home sushi as it’s generally starchier and stickier than its long-grain counterpart.

Shopping for Arborio Rice: Sushi Grade

Arborio rice is commonly available at major supermarkets. While it is usually placed in the rice aisle, in some instances, Arborio rice can be found where various grains and noodles are. Under various brands and in different packaging sizes, Arborio rice is readily available on the internet.

Some consumers, including those who love making sushi at home and experimenting with various ingredients, tend to complain that it’s difficult to get their hands on Arborio rice at their local grocery stores.

If you are one of them, you can scour the entire city checking out one supermarket after the other. Or you can simply log on the web and shop for Arborio rice right in the comfort of your home or office. Online, there is never a shortage of Arborio rice, from those cheap heavily processed ones to those expensive gourmet or organic types.

sushi rice

Here are some of the best-selling Arborio rice brands you can buy online:

RiceSelect Arborio Rice

The packaging may say alright that it’s Italian-style rice for risotto dishes. However, RiceSelect Arborio Rice is good for making other dishes, too, from rice pudding, rice cakes, arancini, paella to, of course, sushi.

Many consumers agree that what drove them to buy this product is that it’s non-GMO, gluten-free and certified kosher. A lot of them can’t stop raving about it being so easy to cook in their instant pot. Those who regularly cook Arborio rice in an assortment of ways love that RiceSelect Arborio Rice has the right flavor and texture.

Want to keep the planet happy and at the same time your pantry organized?

You will surely love the fact that RiceSelect Arborio Rice, which costs less than $7, is packaged in a 32-ounce plastic jar that’s completely recyclable and BPA-free.

RiceSelect Organic Arborio Rice

There is another Arborio rice variant offered by RiceSelect that’s perfect for health-conscious individuals who want to make sure that they’re not eating anything that’s contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals.

It’s none other than RiceSelect Organic Arborio Risotto Rice.

As expected, because it’s organic, the product costs more than its non-organic counterpart — a 32-ounce packaging, which is also a totally recyclable and BPA-free plastic jar, by the way, costs almost $13. But that’s okay because, after all, health is wealth.

Consumer comments for this Arborio rice product are practically the same as those for the RiceSelect item we have already talked about, except that, this time, they are coming from those who are into an organic diet.

With zero preservatives, additives and pesticides, you can focus more on enjoying Arborio rice dishes.

Food to Live Organic White Arborio Rice

One more organic Arborio rice product that you might want to consider adding to your shopping list is Food to Live Organic White Arborio Rice. The name pretty much says to which types of consumers it caters: the kinds that would like to stay in the pink of health by dodging anything tainted with synthetic chemicals.

The fact that the product is also vegan, non-GMO and kosher seals the deal with many health-conscious shoppers.

Costing almost $20, the product comes in a massive 4-pound bag that’s resealable, which helps to maintain freshness after opening it for the first time — no transferring to an airtight container necessary!

Just like most other top-notch Arborio rice brands out there, including non-organic ones, Food to Live Organic White Arborio Rice is versatile enough for use in various recipes where sticky and creamy rice is the star.

Lundberg Family Farms White Arborio Gourmet Rice

What’s really nice about Lundberg Family Farms White Arborio Gourmet Rice is that the product doesn’t have things that you might not want to welcome in your mouth — gluten and modified genes.

If you are always in a time crunch but regularly in the mood for risotto or any other dish that requires sticky rice, you will be glad to know that the product cooks surprisingly quickly, and many of those who bought it agree.

Available in a 32-ounce pack with a price tag of almost $13, the product is certified vegan and kosher.

Lundberg Family Farms, by the way, was founded by a family that has been growing rice since 1937 using sustainable farming practices and 100% renewable energy in order to keep the planet out of harm’s way. So, in other words, you can bask in the pleasure of having Arborio rice without any guilt toward the environment.

Roland Foods Superfino Arborio Rice

Want to cook and serve the most authentic Italian dish requiring Arborio rice? Then look no further than Roland Foods Superfino Arborio Rice. While its manufacturer is based in New York, it imports a wide array of specialty foods from across the globe — the Arborio rice it offers included, which comes straight from Arborio, Italy.

And many consumers can’t be any happier — the product has allowed them to enjoy risotto as they imagined it!

Roland Foods Superfino Arborio Rice’s name makes it clear that it’s Arborio rice with a superfino rating, which means that it’s high-grade Arborio rice with a creamy and chewy texture.

An 11.02-pound pack of Roland Foods Superfino Arborio Rice costs less than $30. For that price, you can surprise your family and friends with risotto that’s as close to the real deal as it possibly can.

Riso di Molinella Arborio Rice

There’s another Arborio rice product that hails from Arborio itself, and it’s called Riso di Molinella Arborio Enriched Rice. Although it’s distributed in the US by an Illinois-based company, Fine Italian Food, the content is produced and packed in Italy. Needless to say, with this item, your risotto can never be more authentic.

Costing almost $9, the 16-ounce packaging is vacuum-sealed for freshness.

You will be glad that the manufacturer does that because it will let you fully experience firsthand the fact that Arborio rice is rice like no other, thanks to its high starch and protein content.

By the way, the back of the packaging has a couple of Arborio rice dish recipes. No matter if you have been using Arborio rice for a while now and would like to do a little experimenting in the kitchen or it’s your first time to give cooking with Arborio rice a try, Riso di Molinella Arborio Rice got your back!

Supremo Italiano 100% Arborio Rice

Many consumers who bought Supremo Italiano 100% Arborio Rice are confused — they can’t decide whether the product is perfect for making risotto or phenomenal for whipping up rice pudding. Well, that’s a testament to the fact that this particular brand of Arborio rice is versatile.

You will also love the fact that it’s vacuum-sealed, which guarantees a locked-in freshness.

Just make sure that you transfer Supremo Italiano 100% Arborio Rice to an airtight container after opening it — unlike some of the Arborio rice brands that we have discussed thus far, the product doesn’t come in a plastic jar with a cover or a resealable bag that can protect it from the elements.

Costing less than $12 per 2.2-pound box, the product is from a manufacturer offering a wide variety of Mediterranean food products that would make for wonderful additions to your kitchen or pantry.

365 by Whole Foods Market Arborio White Rice

Arborio rice doesn’t have to cost more than $5 to impress. Case in point: 365 by Whole Foods Market Arborio White Rice that costs less than $3 per 16-ounce bag.

Despite the cheap price tag, it has just about everything you would want in Arborio rice — starchy, sticky, creamy, chewy and tasty. It’s no wonder why a lot of budget-conscious shoppers agree that it’s great for making all kinds of recipes calling for the use of Arborio rice, from risotto, arancini to sushi.

Because the product is from 365 by Whole Foods Market, naturally, it appeals primarily to plant-based diet fans.

And by the way, 365 by Whole Foods Market Arborio White Rice comes in a packaging that’s not only resealable but also shares a recipe to get you started if it’s your first time to have Arborio rice around.

Golden Crown Arborio Rice

Having Arborio rice in your pantry all the time helps make sure that you can satisfy your craving for sticky risotto or rice balls or puddings without any delay. Well, that’s what Golden Crown Arborio Rice is for — costing less than $10, this product in a 2-pound plastic container guarantees that there’s Arborio rice you can cook.

It’s a good idea to have the product around if you love the many health benefits of grains but hate the unfavorable effects of gluten found in some of them.

Because it’s absolutely free of gluten, you can enjoy Golden Crown Arborio Rice to your heart’s content no matter if you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or simply like to steer clear of the protein with a bad rep. The product is also certified non-GMO, so you can be certain that you will be eating nothing but 100% natural Arborio rice.

This Arborio rice is grown in the US and produced and harvested in the best possible way, says its manufacturer.

Happy Belly Arborio Rice

The majority of consumers who gave Happy Belly Arborio Rice two thumbs up love the fact they are happy with both the flavor and value — a 1-pound package is just a little over $2.

Each time you long for risotto or any other dish that calls for the use of Arborio rice, the product can put a smile on your belly with its creaminess, richness and chewiness — all you have to do is cook it either according to package instructions or by following the recipe you swear by.

Besides your belly, the health-conscious in you will also be very happy with the product.

The manufacturer takes pride in the fact that it’s offering something free of things that can wreak havoc on the health, such as sodium, cholesterol and fat. And it goes without saying that this Arborio rice brand is devoid of gluten, just like other Arborio rice products available on the market.

DeLallo Italian Arborio Risotto Rice

Just because it has the word “risotto” on its name doesn’t mean that you can no longer use it for cooking outside the risotto realm — DeLallo Italian Arborio Risotto Rice is as versatile as any Arborio rice brand around can get. Needless to say, you can count on it whenever you get the craving to enjoy rice balls, rice pudding, rice cakes and even sushi.

And there’s no reason to limit the use of the product in the kitchen, especially because it’s naturally free of gluten and non-GMO, too. Plus it has good stuff such as protein and dietary fiber.

Costing less than $5, DeLallo Italian Arborio Risotto Rice comes in a hefty 17.6-ounce packaging.

Haven’t tried using Arborio rice for anything before and would like for risotto to be your very first masterpiece? No worries! At the back of the packaging, the manufacturer has included a handful of tips on cooking risotto with the product. With this, serving terrible risotto should be the least of your concerns.

Just Before You Buy or Cook Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is famous for making rich and creamy risotto alright. However, since it’s a versatile kind of medium-grain rice, it can also be used for making so many other culinary creations, including sushi.

One of the nicest things about using Arborio rice for your sushi-making needs is that there is no need to make adjustments to your favorite sushi recipes each time. After cooking Arborio rice according to the manufacturer’s directions, you can immediately proceed with using it for forming sushi.

Above, we talked about a number of some of the best-selling and highest-rated Arborio rice brands online.

No matter if it’s your first time to shop for Arborio rice or you are no longer happy with your current brand, consider any one of those mentioned above for the best possible Arborio rice experience.

Read Also: Brown Rice vs. White Rice: How to Substitute

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