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Sometimes I have only one sushi rice and want to prepare risotto, sometimes is the other way around.

Both varieties have a lot of starch, but I don't know if it's the same starch. Is it?

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I've done risotto with other short grain rices (which includes sushi rice), with good results. I've even used medium grain rice in a pinch, and you'll have to stir more, but it'll come out.

I'd assume the same would be true in reverse -- that most short grain rices (incl. arborio) would make a decent sushi ... unless it's short grained brown rice, that'd likely less you up.

Basically, there's three main varieties of rice: short, medium and long (not including 'wild rice' or how it's treated (white vs. brown vs. parboiled). So long as you stay within one group, you're usually fine, so long as you don't change the treatment or technique used to cook it.

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I personally just used sushi rice to make risotto just the other night and it was some of the best I've ever made –  sarge_smith Oct 9 '10 at 20:00
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According to a Cook's Illustrated test, other medium and short grain rices (including sushi rice) can be used to make a creamy risotto, though it may not turn out "al dente" like with arborio.

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/tastetests/overview.asp?docid=13283

Because of the "chalk" in arborio, it might be too firm for good sushi, but I've never tried it.

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I think that by the time you got the sushi rice to release enough starch to make something approaching risotto, the interior would be overcooked. I would invest in the separate varieties.

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That's part of why technique is important -- don't rinse the rice, like you would for sushi rice, and stir to rub off the sharch as it cooks, and it'll thicken just fine. There are some subtle differences in varieties, but when all you have is a spanish or asian short grain rice, and you want risotto, it works fine. –  Joe Oct 9 '10 at 23:01
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