Sticky Rice vs. Sushi Rice, Taste and Experience The Differences

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Sticky Rice vs. Sushi Rice

Hi There! Have you ever wondered is there are any differences between sticky rice vs. sushi rice? If so, let’s get to know and taste them in this new post!

Any Differences?

Sticky and sushi rice

Unless you are a lot into cooking, the types of rice might confuse you and you might think if either can be a substitute for the other. This is usually very confusing for a lot of people.

There are various varieties of rice in the market which might help some to get their desired food outcomes but only lead to confusion in others.

To make that confusion clear, we have compared sticky rice vs. sushi rice so you can easily differentiate between the two and choose the one that will be better suitable for a certain recipe.

More About Sushi Rice

sushi rice

The word sushi literally translates to ‘vinegarized rice’. And as the name itself suggests, sushi rice are produced especially for making sushi. However that does not stop people for using it for other recipes as well such as stuffed balls or rice pudding.

If you want a simple meal made of sushi rice, throw on some sesame crusted seared tuna on top of the cooked rice and top it off further with some avocado, lemon juice and soy sauce dressing.

Coming back to what sushi rice really are, they are white and found in both short-grain and medium-grain size.

They are used in a similar fashion for any recipe; rinsed, boiled, poured in a vinegar mixture. The best vinegar to use is the white rice vinegar for a subtle and smooth flavor. This results in their sticky and glossy nature.

To familiarize yourself with the taste and texture of the sushi rice, try this simple and effortless recipe mentioned below!

Simple Sushi Recipe

how to make simple sushi

All you need for are:

  • Sushi rice- 300 g
  • Rice wine vinegar – 100ml
  • Golden Caster Sugar- 2 tbsp
  • Mayonnaise- 3 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce- 1 tsp
  • Nori/ Seaweed sheets- 25 g
  • Filling- Cucumber/Salmon/Crab meat/Tuna/Avocado/Pepper/Onion


  1. To make the rolls just lay a nori sheet on the mat and after dipping your hands in the vinegar water, arrange rice on top of it in a thick layer or 1cm.  Over it, spread the mayonnaise.
  2. Then add in the filling of your choice.
  3. Roll it up and brush the end edge with some water to wrap it tightly in the mat. Then remove it from the mat and do the same with it in a cling film and then cut the sushi into thick slices.
  4. Serve this with some wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.

Benefits of sushi rice

benefits of sushi rice

You must be wondering what the real deal is with this sushi rice and if they have anything more to offer than your regular white rice grain. Here is the surprise; you will find white sushi rice and wholegrain sushi rice, both, in the market.

The much-hyped about natural bran is only found in the latter. So if you are eating wholegrain sushi rice, you are eating fairly healthy.

You get dietary fiber in each bite! Also this short grain rice has about 70 percent water in it. And since these type of rice are engineered to cater to a certain set of needs, they are not fried which saves you from putting on any extra calories.

Keep reading below to know how these differ from the sticky rice.

The Truth About Sticky Rice

sticky rice balls

In comparison with the sushi rice, sticky rice has a very opaque and very low amylose substance. Due to it having lot of starch, it tends to become very sticky while it is cooked.

In China, it’s a popular activity to make tuanyuan and such desserts at the end of the Chinese New Year. The easiest way to enjoy sticky rice is by eating them with mangoes. They are also known as sweet rice or glutinous rice.

Try out this Thai dessert recipe below and judge the taste and quality of sticky rice yourself!

For this recipe you will need:

mango sticky rice
  • 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ¼ tsp white sugar
  • 3 mangoes, peeled and sliced


  1. Firstly mix the given quantity of rice with water in a sauce pan then boil it after covering it with a lid. Reduce the heat to very low. Simmer it till it absorbs the water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. While the rice is being cooked, take a large bowl and mix together the coconut milk, sugar, salt together. Then transfer the mixture to a saucepan and start heating it on a very low-medium temperature. After a few minutes, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. When bubbles start to form, it means it is done.
  3. Remove it from the heat and put it aside. Mix the cooked rice into the coconut milk fusion and then cover it. Let it cool down for an hour.
  4. This step is the easiest and yummiest. Whip up a quick sauce by throwing in the coconut milk, sugar and some salt together with some tapioca starch. Bring it to a low boil over a saucepan.
  5. Next, arrange the sticky rice on any preferred serving dish. You can place the mangos either on top of the rice or at the side. Next, let the sauce be all over the mangos and rice. Enjoy with some sprinkled sesame seeds!

Stick it Well

fit woman

Sticky rice are an amazing source of selenium. It is a mineral that provides antioxidant shield for your tissue cells and shields them from harm done by free radicals.

It also has benefits for your thyroid gland as it helps regulate the movement of thyroid muscles and your blood vessel walls doing their thing properly.

Every cup of well cooked sticky rice has some manganese content in it as well. This is really crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism – it aids you in digesting all the carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol intake.

Final Words

In conclusion, both types of rice are sticky but sticky rice tends to be much stickier. Sushi rice is rinsed prior to processing in order to get rid of their outer coating which has starch properties.

On the other hand, sticky rice grain is not washed prior to processing and since the outer skin is still these, it provides more starch content to the food, resulting in more stickiness. And while sushi rice are usually used only for sushi due to their texture which is suitable for trouble-free rolling in seaweeds, sticky rice are used in many Chinese recipes such as in the making of mochi, lor mei kai, dango and dumplings.

So while there may hardly be any difference in their taste, their texture makes all the difference.  Now go ahead, wear your apron and try out any of the delicious recipes mentioned above to know the difference for yourself!

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