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Sushi Rice Pudding

This Sushi Rice Pudding is a comforting, healthy snack that’s totally vegan and gluten-free! Easily made with short grain Japanese rice, totally customizable, and affordable to make. Cozy up to a bowl now, it’s ready in just 30 minutes!

three bowls of vegan sushi rice pudding on a silver tray

What is sushi rice?

Sushi rice (also known as glutinous rice) is a short-grained Japanese rice that becomes very sticky when cooked. Japonica rice has two main cultivars, uruchimai 粳米 and mochigome 餅米. The grains are plump and only slightly longer than they are wide. Since the rice holds together very easily, it is simple to consume when using chopsticks. Translated, sushi literally means “vinegared rice,” so this ingredient is of course essential when preparing sushi. Virtually all sushi prepared in Japan is made with this kind of rice. Outside of the country, other types of rice can be utilized, including Calrose (a rice developed by Japanese residents in California).

It is important to note that this recipe is my no means authentic or meant to imitate Japanese cuisine. In Japan, rice is the daily staple, a source of cultural identity, and a driving force of the economy. If you’d like to learn more about its rich history, you can do so in this in-depth sushi rice article.

What is rice pudding?

Rice pudding is a dish of cooked rice mixed with water and milk. It is often served sweetened as a dessert (boiled or baked) with vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins. It can also be served as a main course; it is especially popular in countries where rice is a common staple ingredient, though can be found around the globe. Recipes can greatly vary even within a single country.

close up shot of vegan sushi rice pudding with pomegranate and rose petals

Benefits of Using Sushi Rice in Pudding

Sushi rice is naturally sticky when cooked. This eliminates the need for added thickeners – it naturally firms up during the cooking process! It also is very quick to cook though, given the shorter grains. Cooking it with coconut milk adds a nice richness and it is a blank slate for whatever flavorings you’d like to add.

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe

  • 1 cup short grain Japanese sushi rice
  • 1 15 oz can coconut milk (substitute 2 cups almond milk for less rich results)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt

How to Make Vegan Rice Pudding

1. Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear. Combine rice and 2 cups coconut milk and 1 cup water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, checking to see how quickly liquid is evaporating and stirring so that it does not stick to the pot. The goal is a very sticky consistency that remains on your spoon when stirring.

2. Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. It should be rather thick and sticking to your spoon.

3. Serve rice pudding warm or chilled, with toppings of choice. Rice will firm up considerably in the fridge, to reheat, add a splash of almond milk to rehydrate. Rice pudding will keep in a sealed, refrigerated container for 4-6 days.

side view of one bowl of vegan sushi rice pudding with lemon and cinnamon

What Kind of Rice Can I Use for Vegan Rice Pudding?

If you do not have sushi rice available, arborio rice will also work.Arborio rice is commonly used in risotto dishes, like this Asparagus Barley Risotto. This rice is not as naturally sticky. So, when making rice pudding this texture can be improved with the addition of a “flax egg.” To make a flax egg, add 1 TBS flax meal + 3 TBS water to a small bowl and let gel for 10 minutes in the fridge.

More Tips for Making The Best Vegan Rice Pudding

  • While cooking, this rice will want stick to itself and to the pot. Stir every couple of minutes to mitigate burning.
  • Coconut milk provides the a decadent flavor and creamy texture. For a less hearty option, use almond or soy milk.
  • Change the toppings of this recipe to fit your mood. This can be served as a breakfast, snack, or even dessert.

For more vegan pudding, this this Avocado Chocolate Pudding next.

Print
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close up shot of vegan sushi rice pudding with pomegranate and rose petals

Sushi Rice Pudding


  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Sushi Rice Pudding is a comforting, healthy snack that’s totally gluten-free! Easily made with short grain Japanese rice, totally customizable, vegan, and affordable to make. Cozy up to a bowl now, it’s ready in just 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale

For pudding

  • 1 cup short grain Japanese sushi rice (sub arborio rice if needed)
  • 1 15 oz can coconut milk (sub 2 cups almond milk for less rich results)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Optional toppings: whipped cream, fresh fruit, sprinkle of cinnamon, pomegranate, citrus zest

Instructions

  1. Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear. Combine rice and 2 cups coconut milk and 1 cup water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, checking to see how quickly liquid is evaporating and stirring so that it does not stick to the pot. If you’re using a different rice from sushi it make take longer to cook, so keep an eye on how firm the rice remains when tested. Mine was done after 15 minutes. The goal is a very sticky consistency that remains on your spoon when stirring.
  2. Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. It should be rather thick and sticking to your spoon.
  3. Serve rice pudding warm or chilled, with toppings of choice. Rice will firm up considerably in the fridge, to reheat, add a splash of almond milk to rehydrate. Rice pudding will keep in a sealed, refrigerated container for 4-6 days.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One fifth of recipe
  • Calories: 337 calories
  • Sugar: 12.7 milligrams
  • Sodium: 376.2 milligrams
  • Fat: 15.2 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 13.2 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2.2 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 48.9 grams
  • Fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Protein: 3.6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: rice, pudding

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

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