Koshihikari: The best rice for Sushi

Step into the enchanting world of Koshihikari rice, a true gem in Japanese cuisine! This extraordinary rice is the star of many Japanese dishes, especially sushi, and has captured a special place in the hearts of top chefs and aficionados worldwide. Even Michelin-starred chefs prefer Koshihikari, gladly making it the hero of their most elegant rice creations.

Personally, I always choose Koshihikari rice when making sushi. That unique flavor and the slightly sweet touch of the grains? Perfect for my sushi rolls, and unmatched by any other sushi rice. Although sometimes it’s a challenge to find this rice outside of Japan, I can assure you: it’s worth it. So, embark on a quest and bring this rice into your home!

In this article, I will take you on an adventurous journey through the history, character, and special attributes of Koshihikari rice. I will show you why this rice is so unique and beloved. Let’s get started!


What is Koshihikari Rice?

Koshihikari rice is often regarded as the star among rice varieties for sushi, and for good reason! This jewel among rice types originates from Japan and is famous for its short, almost shimmering grains. They are super sticky and have a delicious, soft sweetness, making them simply irreplaceable in Japanese cuisine. What truly makes Koshihikari special is the love and care invested in it. Years of careful selection and enhancement, along with precision agriculture, ensure that each grain of rice excels in quality and flavor.

What does Koshihikari Mean in Japanese?

The name ‘Koshihikari’ is not chosen lightly; it is an ode to the beauty and top quality of this rice. ‘Koshi’ refers to an ancient region in Japan, and ‘Hikari’ means ‘light’ or ‘shine’. Together, they perfectly capture the brilliance of the rice grains and the radiant quality and taste that Koshihikari brings to the table. It’s as if each grain is a tiny beacon of joy and deliciousness. As you can see, even the name carries a promise of something special.

Is Koshihikari rice the same as Sushi rice?

While we often equate Koshihikari rice with THE sushi rice, there’s an interesting fact worth knowing. ‘Sushi rice’ is actually a general term for rice that is prepared with a mix of vinegar, sugar, and salt to achieve that delicious sushi flavor. But Koshihikari? It plays in its own league! This rice shines with its unique flavor and texture, making it the top choice for creating authentic sushi. In short, if you want the best of the best for your sushi, then Koshihikari is what you go for.

What makes Japan's Koshihikari rice unique?

What makes Koshihikari rice so special? The secret lies in the way it is grown. Imagine: fertile soil, clear mountain water, and the unique climate of certain places in the world (Yes, Koshihikari rice is also grown outside Japan) come together to give this rice its delicious taste and perfect texture. And that’s not all! The cultivation of Koshihikari also involves a lot of love and attention to sustainability and preserving ancient traditions. All of this ensures that the rice is not only incredibly tasty but also carries a piece of authenticity and tradition.


Why is Koshihikari rice popular?

Koshihikari rice is truly a hit, and for good reason! This rice is versatile and excels in what it does. What makes it so special? Well, Koshihikari has just the right mix of stickiness and a soft bite. Perfect for keeping your sushi beautifully shaped AND melting deliciously in your mouth. Plus, its natural sweetness enhances the flavor of fresh fish even more. Whether you’re going for a traditional Japanese dish or want to try something new and exciting, Koshihikari is always a great choice. That’s why I use it…and that’s why you’ll find Koshihikari rice in the kitchens of the best sushi restaurants in the world.

Why is Koshihikari rice expensive?

The price of Koshihikari rice really shows how much care and work goes into its production. Everything starts with carefully selecting the best seeds, and ends with a manual harvest where no detail is overlooked. Each step requires precision and a love for the craft. Add to that the fact that this rice can only grow in areas with just the right climate and perfect soil. That makes Koshihikari rice a bit rare and, therefore, extra special and valuable.


Is Koshihikari rice healthy?

Koshihikari rice is not only super tasty, but also quite nutritious. Packed with complex carbohydrates, it gives you a delightful energy boost that lasts. It’s also rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, making it a top choice for anyone wanting to eat healthily and balanced. And we haven’t even talked about the unique texture and flavor yet, which provide a truly mindful eating experience. Pair this rice with the nutritious fish from our seas, and you have a healthy meal in the form of delicious sushi!

How do you cook Koshihikari rice?

Perfectly preparing Koshihikari rice is an art in itself and requires a bit of know-how. Start by carefully washing the rice and then let it soak in cold water for a while. These steps are crucial for achieving that delicious texture we all love. Curious about all the steps to cook the perfect rice? Then take a look at: How do you cook the perfect sushi rice? To avoid all the beginner mistakes when making sushi rice, I’ve also laid them all out for you. Take advantage of it! Doe er je voordeel mee!


What are some good substitutes for Japanese Koshihikari rice?

Can’t find Koshihikari rice? No worries! There are plenty of great alternatives available on the shelves of your local Asian supermarket. There, you’ll find various types and brands of short-grain rice that are also perfect for your sushi adventures. Especially for you, I’ve written an entire article on this question: Which rice is best for sushi?



Koshihikari rice is so much more than just an ingredient; it’s an essential element at the heart of countless beloved Japanese dishes. What makes this rice so special is the combination of its top quality, nutritiveness, and the loving care with which it is cultivated. Koshihikari rice is a true treasure in the world of culinary arts. Choosing Koshihikari not only means a feast for your taste buds but also an enrichment for the soul.

As a sushi chef, I can tell you that this rice forms the foundation of many dishes that my guests and I enjoy time and again. It is the backbone of authentic sushi and brings a piece of Japanese tradition and craftsmanship to my kitchen every time. Let yourself be inspired by the unique qualities of Koshihikari rice and enrich your kitchen with this beautiful Japanese heritage.

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