Can You Really Make Sushi With Brown Rice?

Sushi lovers, rejoice! You can still enjoy those tasty rolls and nigiri, even with nutritious brown rice. While not traditional in Japan, brown rice can totally be used to make homemade sushi.

The key is finding short or medium grain brown rice, which gets stickier when cooked. Long grain just won’t cut it. Prepare the rice as you would for regular sushi, just with a longer soak and cook time. Season it up with vinegar, sugar and salt.

Then, roll or top the brown rice just like any sushi, filled with fish, veggies, or anything you crave! Brown rice adds extra fiber and minerals to boost nutrition. It may not taste exactly like white sushi rice, but it still makes delicious, healthier sushi.

Want to give healthy brown rice sushi a try? Let’s dive in deeper to the secrets of cooking and seasoning the rice perfectly. What types of filling pair best flavor-wise? Read on for everything you need to know about crafting nutritious and tasty brown rice sushi!

Why Use Brown Rice for Sushi?

So why would you want to venture away from the traditional white sushi rice anyways? Here are some excellent benefits of brown rice sushi:

  • Much higher fiber – Brown rice packs up to 4 grams of fiber per cooked cup, thanks to the bran. This promotes better digestion and heart health.
  • More minerals – Brown rice offers more magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc compared to white.
  • Lower glycemic index – Nutty, chewy brown rice won’t spike your blood sugar as much as white.
  • Nutty, hearty flavor – The bran layer gives brown rice a delicious, almost wheat-like taste.

So for a nutritious twist, substitute brown rice in your next sushi making session!

Choosing the Right Brown Rice

Not all brown rice works equally well for sushi. Here’s how to pick the right variety:

  • Short or medium grain – You want plump, starchy grains like Calrose or Kokuho Rose brown rice that get sticky when cooked.
  • Avoid long grain – Long slender grains like brown basmati and brown jasmine rice won’t properly cling together.

The best texture comes from short or medium Japanese and California brown rice cultivated for sushi. Shop at specialty Asian grocers to find it.

If you can only find long grain, try blending it with some sticky white sushi rice.

Adjusting Cooking Methods for Brown Rice

Compared to white rice, brown rice requires some tweaks to cook perfectly:

  • Soak for 2+ hours – Soaking softens the hard bran layer so the grains cook up tender.
  • Use a 1:1.5 rice to water ratio – The extra water prevents dryness.
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes – The bran layer takes longer to soften and steam.
  • Allow a 15 minute steam after cooking – This helps the grains cling together better once fluffed.

Be sure to cook the rice a little softer than al dente. Test grains should squeeze easily between fingers.

Seasoning Brown Rice Sushi Vinegar

Here’s how to infuse brown rice with the flavorful sweet-sour tang of sushi rice:

  • Use less vinegar – Start with 2 tbsp vinegar per cup of cooked rice. The bran absorbs more seasoning.
  • Increase sugar slightly – Try 1 tsp per cup to balance the vinegar.
  • Massage thoroughly – Spend 5-10 minutes mixing in vinegar-sugar for even flavor.
  • Let rice fully cool first – Vinegar won’t absorb into hot rice properly.

Adjust vinegar and sugar to suit your taste. The rice should have a subtle sweet-sour taste.

Rolling Brown Rice Sushi

Once your brown rice is cooked and seasoned, you’re ready to start rolling!

  • Use a sushi mat – This helps shape the rice and fillings neatly.
  • Wet knife between cuts – Prevent sticky rice from clinging to your knife.
  • Add 20% more rice – Brown rice is lighter so you need more volume.
  • Roll tightly but gently – Compress the roll but don’t squeeze out the rice.
  • Store sushi with damp paper towel – This prevents drying out.

With a little practice, you’ll be rolling beautiful brown rice sushi!

Creative and Nutritious Filling Combinations

One benefit of brown rice sushi is that the nutty rice pairs well with both traditional and non-traditional fillings. Some delicious ideas:

  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese
  • Spicy tuna and cucumber
  • Shrimp tempura with avocado
  • Tofu and pickled vegetables
  • Grilled zucchini and bell peppers
  • Edamame, carrots and sesame seeds
  • Chicken, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes

Let your imagination run wild with healthy veggie sushi ideas!

Should You Switch to Brown Rice Sushi?

At the end of the day, brown rice can be a clever way to add whole grain goodness to your sushi while keeping the rolls you love.

Just prep the rice with more care, adjust the seasoning, and allow some learning curve with rolling. The result is nutty, hearty sushi that’s better for your health!

What’s your take on brown rice sushi? Would you be willing to give it a try? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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