Comparing Sushi Rice and Calrose Rice: Notable Differences, Advantages, and Cooking Guidelines

Sushi rice and Calrose rice are rice species grown in Japan and California. They have a sticky and mushy feel when cooked and are popularly used to prepare Sushi (a Japanese cuisine).

But, what is the difference between them?

The major difference between Sushi and Calrose rice is their size; Sushi has a characteristic short-grain feature while Calrose is medium grain rice. Aside from this, there are a few differences between Sushi rice and Calrose rice.

Continue reading to learn more about these two Sushi recipes and preparation methods. 

What is Sushi rice?

Sushi rice is a type of short-grain rice with a characteristic sticky texture.

It is more rounded and has higher starch content than the long-grain variety. It is the most ideal for making Sushi.

What is Calrose rice?

Calrose rice is a medium-grain rice variety primarily grown in California.

It is one of the most widely available rice brands in the US and is fast becoming a household name in many countries worldwide. 

Like Sushi rice, Calrose has a fluffy texture but slight stickiness when cooked.

What is the difference between Sushi rice and Calrose rice?

Aside from their size, Sushi rice and Calrose rice differ in the following ways:

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Calrose rice is characterized by a white physical appearance, while Sushi rice is available in white and brown short-grain rice.


Calrose rice is more versatile and suits a range of cooking styles. Moreso, it can be used as a substitute for long and short-grain rice.

Sushi rice, on the other hand, is more commonly used in Asian-themed dishes. 

Rice to water ratio

In preparing Sushi rice, the rice to water ratio is slightly lesser than what’s required for Calrose rice.

For Sushi rice, the ideal ratio is 1:1 – 1:1.2, while in cooking Calrose rice, the recommended rice to water ratio is 1:1.3 – 1:1.4. For one cup of Calrose rice, you should use about 1.3 – 1.4 cups of water.

Cooking process

The cooking time and process of the two rice species also vary slightly. 

For Calrose rice, you have to cook it for 20 minutes (after washing it several times), then leave it to steam for about 10 minutes. Afterward, season with salt, vinegar, and sugar to get the unique Sushi rice flavor.

Sushi rice follows a more tedious process. 

Here’s a step-by-step process for cooking Sushi rice:

  • Wash the rice in running water.
  • Place the rice in a water bowl and soak for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the rice, and transfer it to a cooking pot.
  • Place the pot at high heat while stirring at intervals. Reduce the heat to low as the rice boils, then cover the pot. Leave it for about 6 minutes.
  • Check the rice to see if it is cooked. If there are no bubbles of water, the rice is ready. 
  • Mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a separate saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. 
  • Pour the mixture into the cooked rice and gently stir till it mixes well and becomes sticky.
  • Allow it to cool, and your Sushi rice is ready.
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Health benefits of Sushi rice and Calrose rice

Sushi rice and Calrose rice share similar benefits. Some of them are;

  • They reduce the risk of heart ailments such as Atherosclerosis and strokes
  • Promotes healthy hormonal balance
  • It may help increase red blood cell count
  • Boosts metabolism
  • They contain excellent anticancer properties

Can I use Sushi rice instead of Calrose rice?

Yes, you can safely substitute Sushi rice for Calrose rice; they have similar flavors, and you won’t notice many differences. 

Their stickiness is slightly alike, making them suitable for dishes where grains need to hold up, such as salads and Sushi.

Can I use Calrose rice instead of Sushi rice?

Calrose rice is the nearest alternative to Sushi rice, and it has even been referred to as the Western equivalent of Japanese rice, one of the best for preparing Sushi.


What is the main difference between Sushi rice and Calrose rice? 

Sushi rice is short-grained, while Calrose rise is medium-grained.

Can I use Calrose rice instead of Sushi rice?

Yes, Sushi rice and Calrose rice can substitute for each other.


The main difference between Sushi rice and Calrose rice is their grain size; Sushi rice is short grain, while Calrose rice is medium-grain rice, and you can use them interchangeably in recipes.

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