7 Best Substitute For Jasmine Rice

Jasmine Rice Substitute

Jasmine rice is a fragrant long-grain rice known for its slightly floral aroma and tender, yet sticky texture. Originating from Thailand, this rice type is a staple in various Asian cuisines, particularly Thai and Vietnamese dishes. It complements a wide array of flavors, from spicy curries to stir-fries, and is revered for its unique capacity to elevate the overall dining experience. Often, it’s the secret behind the dish that leaves you yearning for just one more bite. While many online definitions describe jasmine rice in terms of its sensory appeal, its true essence lies in its ability to bind flavors and textures, creating a harmonious plate that delights the palate.

However, what if you’re in a pinch and discover that your pantry is suddenly bereft of this quintessential ingredient? Or perhaps you’re interested in exploring other grains for health reasons or culinary experimentation. Our comprehensive guide offers you seven highly effective substitutes for jasmine rice, each with its own set of characteristics to fit different types of dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a culinary novice, understanding these alternatives will empower you to adapt and innovate in your own kitchen.

What is Jasmine Rice?

Jasmine rice, native to Thailand, has a fragrance reminiscent of the jasmine flower, hence its name. Characterized by its long, slender grains and slightly sticky texture after cooking, jasmine rice is a staple in various Asian dishes. Often used in Thai curries, stir-fries, and other aromatic meals, it holds flavors well and complements a plethora of ingredients. Its unique texture and aroma make it challenging to replace, but there are several alternatives worth considering.

Quick View of Substitutes For Jasmine Rice

  • Basmati Rice
  • Long-Grain White Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Arborio Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Wild Rice
  • Couscous

Best Substitutes For Jasmine Rice

Finding the right substitute for jasmine rice depends on the dish you’re preparing and your personal preferences. Here are seven substitutes, described in detail.

Basmati Rice

Ah, the Basmati rice—another aromatic grain that is often compared to jasmine rice. Originating from India, Basmati rice is less sticky than jasmine rice, but it compensates with its nutty flavor. It’s a marvelous substitute in almost any dish that requires jasmine rice. The long grains have a characteristic elongation after cooking, a feature distinct to Basmati.

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The versatility of Basmati is another attribute that makes it a go-to alternative. Whether you’re preparing a curry, a biryani, or a simple side dish, Basmati rice offers a unique experience, often considered luxurious in many culinary circles. Its relatively low glycemic index makes it a more health-friendly option for diabetics and those watching their sugar levels.

To best mimic jasmine rice, soak Basmati rice for 20–30 minutes before cooking. This will yield softer grains that can absorb flavors well. Combine this with a pinch of saffron for an exquisite aroma, and you have a worthy alternative to jasmine rice.

Long-Grain White Rice

Long-grain white rice is perhaps the most straightforward alternative to jasmine rice. Its neutral flavor profile allows it to absorb seasonings well, making it suitable for a variety of dishes, including stir-fries and pilafs. However, it doesn’t have the same aromatic quality as jasmine rice.

Long-grain white rice is less sticky compared to jasmine rice, which makes it beneficial for dishes that require individual grains. It’s often used in Mexican and Caribbean cuisines, as its subtle flavor allows the spices and proteins to shine.

Unlike jasmine and Basmati rice, long-grain white rice doesn’t require soaking. Cooking it is relatively straightforward: rinse, boil, and simmer. Just remember, the absence of a floral aroma means you may want to amp up other flavors to make up for it.

Brown Rice

Brown rice provides a chewier, more robust texture compared to jasmine rice. The grains are whole and retain a bran layer, providing more fiber and nutrients than most other rice types. If you’re on a health-conscious mission, brown rice is the way to go.

Despite its health advantages, brown rice has a longer cooking time. This can be problematic if you’re in a rush, but planning ahead can alleviate this hurdle. Its nutty flavor can be an added bonus or a distraction, depending on the dish you’re preparing.

Brown rice can be a showstopper in salads, casseroles, and stir-fries where its texture can shine. To reduce the cooking time, consider soaking the grains overnight. However, the soaking method can make it a bit more sticky, a useful tip if you’re trying to replicate the stickiness of jasmine rice.

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Arborio Rice

Arborio rice, a short-grain Italian rice variety, is mainly associated with risotto dishes. When cooked, it releases starch that gives a creamy texture, a complete contrast to the grain separation in jasmine rice. However, it’s this very quality that can add a unique twist to your recipes.

A fundamental difference between Arborio and jasmine rice is the former’s ability to absorb large amounts of liquid, which makes it suitable for dishes like soups and creamy risottos. While not a traditional substitute, it’s a fun and experimental choice for adventurous home chefs.

Remember, the cooking process for Arborio rice is more labor-intensive and involves constant stirring. If you’re up for the challenge and craving a creamier texture, Arborio rice is worth a try. Consider it especially for recipes that benefit from its creamy texture and rich, almost velvety finish.


Quinoa is not a rice grain but a seed. However, its nutty flavor, protein content, and grain-like appearance make it an interesting substitute for jasmine rice. Known for its health benefits, including being gluten-free and rich in protein, it’s an excellent choice for the health-conscious.

The texture of cooked quinoa is slightly crunchy, and its appearance is somewhat translucent. Unlike jasmine rice, quinoa offers a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans.

Cooking quinoa is quick and easy, often taking just about 15 minutes. Consider using it in salads, bowls, or as a side dish where its unique texture and nutrient profile can shine. If you’re trying to mimic the stickiness of jasmine rice, you may not find an exact match in quinoa, but its distinct qualities offer something new and exciting.

Wild Rice

Contrary to its name, wild rice isn’t rice at all; it’s a type of aquatic grass. Nevertheless, it serves as an intriguing alternative to jasmine rice with its chewy texture and nutty, earthy flavor. Its dark, almost black grains offer a visually appealing contrast in dishes.

Wild rice takes the longest to cook among the substitutes mentioned here, often requiring up to an hour of boiling. Its grains burst open when cooked, revealing a tender interior. Because of its potent flavor profile, it works best in dishes that can handle or complement these stronger flavors, like hearty stews or holiday stuffings.

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Do note that wild rice can be on the pricier side. If you’re considering making a regular switch, it’s worth noting the cost factor. Its unique flavor and texture, however, make it a worthy experiment for those willing to try something entirely different from jasmine rice.


Couscous, a form of wheat semolina, is a quicker-cooking alternative to jasmine rice. It is most commonly associated with North African cuisines like Moroccan or Tunisian. While not a rice variety, its grain-like appearance and ability to absorb flavors make it a suitable alternative.

It has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, contrasting the stickiness of jasmine rice. However, its mild flavor profile allows it to take on the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with, similar to jasmine rice. It’s an excellent option for quick meals or salads and works well as a base for saucy dishes.

Cooking couscous takes mere minutes. Just pour boiling water over it, cover, and let it steam. This makes it an ideal option for quick weeknight dinners. Remember, however, that couscous is made from wheat and is not gluten-free, so it may not be suitable for everyone.

Substitutes for Jasmine Rice: Nutritional Profile

Grain TypeGlutenCalories (per ¼ cup)Fat (g)Carbs (g)Fiber (g)Protein (g)
Basmati RiceNo1910.4430.64
Long-Grain WhiteNo2050.4450.64
Brown RiceNo2151.8453.55
Arborio RiceNo2000.9451.23.5
Wild RiceNo1660.63536.5


In the realm of cooking, few ingredients are as indispensable as rice, and jasmine rice holds a special place in many kitchens. But don’t let a missing bag of jasmine rice deter you from preparing your favorite dishes. The alternatives we’ve explored offer a rich tapestry of flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles. Whether you’re seeking a straightforward substitute like long-grain white rice, or willing to be adventurous with grains like quinoa or even non-grains like couscous, the culinary world is your oyster.

Remember, the best substitute often depends on the dish at hand and your specific needs or preferences. So, go ahead, experiment a little. Who knows? You might just discover a new favorite that adds a unique twist to your cooking repertoire.

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