6 Best Rice Substitutes: Which is the Right One for You?

Rice is an indispensable part of the daily diet for Japanese people.

However, it is also famous as a fattening food, so it is the first thing we restrict ourselves from eating when going on a diet for sugar restriction or beauty purposes.

Although you have to refrain from eating such rice while dieting or restricting carbohydrates, you may be tempted to eat it.

Moreover, although a meal without rice can be tasty, there are many times when you feel that you are lacking something.

I want to eat something close to rice…

Isn’t it possible to make it feel like eating rice somehow? I’m sure there are many people who have thought about it.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to some “rice substitutes” that you can use as a reference.

Why does rice make you fat?

Rice contains a lot of carbohydrates, and it is said that a cup of rice contains about 14 sugar cubes.

This may make some people feel uncomfortable eating rice, but since this sugar is used as energy for burning fat, not consuming it at all can cause problems in the body.

Therefore, it is necessary to consume it to some extent.

However, if you exceed the amount of carbohydrates your body needs, it will be stored as fat, which will cause you to gain weight.

Many people tend to add a lot of rice or second helpings of rice when eating curry or other richly flavored meals.

However, not only rice but also curry contains carbohydrates contained in vegetables and seasonings, so it is understandable that people will go ahead and eat rice, but if you are not careful, you will gain weight.


Before I introduce rice substitutes, here are some points to consider when choosing a substitute.

Rice is characterized by…

  • White
  • A collection of small grains
  • Has a sweet taste
  • Soft and chewy
  • Good for the stomach

These are just a few examples.

If you can keep these points in mind when finding substitutes, you will be able to find a substitute that is not perfect, but very close to rice.

6 substitutes for rice

1) Cauliflower


Cauliflower is famous among carbohydrate restrictors as a substitute for rice.

When using it as a substitute for rice, it is very easy to make as all you need to do is to finely chop the boiled cauliflower and serve it.

The white color of the cauliflower makes it look more like rice, so it is highly recommended.

Cauliflower itself has almost no flavor, so it goes well with simple flavored dishes, and if you eat it with curry, you can easily feel as if you are eating regular rice.

One thing to note is that while cauliflower is soft, it does not have the chewy texture of rice, so the texture is a little difficult to replicate.

However, the white appearance and soft texture can create the illusion that you are eating rice, so even if you are on a diet and can’t eat rice, you will be satisfied!

2) Okara


Okara, which is leftover from making tofu, is a very diet-friendly food that is inexpensive, nutritious, and low in calories.

To use it as a substitute for rice, simply lightly fry the watered-down okara in a pan.

Lightly frying the okara will release the excess water and give it a texture similar to fried rice.

Okara can be boiled, stir-fried, or rolled up and fried, so it is a great way to save money on your daily diet.

One thing to keep in mind is that okara has a rather soggy texture, so if you remove too much water from it, it will not taste good.

If you don’t like the texture of okara, you can make it into rice porridge, which has a lot of water and is easier to eat.

3) Tofu


Tofu is an essential ingredient for weight loss.

Such tofu can be cut up and eaten as is, but with a little ingenuity, it can become a substitute for rice.

When using tofu as a substitute, we recommend cotton (momen) tofu, which has less water and is more firm than silken (kinugoshi) tofu.

By lightly draining the cotton (momen) tofu and then breaking it into small pieces, you will be able to make it more like rice.

If frying is too much trouble, simply heating the tofu in the microwave will also remove the water.

If you can’t be bothered to fry it, you can heat it up in the microwave to remove the water. Rather than cold tofu, the steamy tofu will look more like rice, and it can be easily combined with warm dishes such as curry and rice bowls.

4) Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts

Bean sprouts, which are inexpensive and popular as a money-saving food, can also be made into a perfect rice substitute during sugar restriction by making good use of them.

You can also eat them as is.

If you have room, you can also boil the bean sprouts, chop them into small pieces, and lightly fry them to make them more like rice by letting them wilt while releasing just the right amount of water.

One thing to keep in mind is that bean sprouts are crunchy, so even if you fry them thoroughly to soften them, the unique texture of bean sprouts will not disappear completely.

So, if you are looking for something with a lot of texture, this may not be the best choice for you.

However, you can make the most of the texture and eat them in a porridge style or with something like soup curry.

5) Broccoli


Although not as white as rice, broccoli is a popular substitute for rice during carbohydrate restriction.

It is easy to prepare, as all you have to do is boil salted broccoli and chop it into small pieces, and if you take advantage of its bright green color, it can be used as a color in your dishes.

Broccoli does not have the chewy texture of rice and is green in color, so it may not look or feel like rice, but it is rich in nutrients and contains twice as much vitamin C as lemon, making it a good substitute.

It is also full of dietary fiber, so eating it as a substitute can help relieve constipation and other pleasant effects.

6) Egg


It has been said that eggs are high in cholesterol and that eating a lot of eggs every day is not good for you.

Recently, however, it has been discovered that eating a lot of eggs does not change cholesterol levels that much, and it is no longer necessary to limit the intake to one egg per day, which used to be the limit.

Eggs are not only a non-fattening food but also a strong ally for dieters because they are rich in protein, which is necessary for building muscles.

Half-boiled, tossed eggs are of course delicious, but when using them as a substitute for rice, fry them thoroughly in a small amount of oil to make them look like minced rice.

In this way, the eggs become as fine as rice and fluffy, but with a slightly sweet egg flavor, making it a good substitute for rice.

Aside from curry, eggs are also a great ingredient that goes well with a variety of dishes, so you can match them with anything from Japanese to Western.

Substitutes are conveniently sold in supermarkets

Due to the recent popularity of carbohydrate-restricted diets, substitutes for rice are available at supermarkets for carbohydrate-restricted diets.

Popular rice substitutes such as broccoli and cauliflower are sold in finely chopped form.

Therefore, even if you find it troublesome to cook them yourself, you can eat them just by heating them up, which is very easy and recommended.

Also, because they are sold in a cooked state, there is little price fluctuation, so even during times when vegetables are expensive, you can purchase them at a stable price, which is a good thing!

Over-consumption of substitutes is poisonous to the body

I’ve introduced some rice substitutes, but there are some things to keep in mind when eating them.

There are some things to keep in mind when eating substitutes, but not just substitutes.

Even though they are low in carbohydrates and calories, if you eat too much of them every meal, every day, you may not lose weight, but if you overdose, you may experience diarrhea, stomachache, and other symptoms that are not good for your body.

In some people, allergy symptoms may occur in the worst case.

If this happens, there is no point in eating substitutes no matter how much you think they are good for your body.

Since you are using rice substitutes for health and beauty reasons, please refrain from excessive intake and eat the right amount.

In addition, if you see any abnormality in the body, it is recommended to examine it in the hospital!


  • Rice is very high in carbohydrates and will turn into fat if the intake is exceeded.
  • Fine and white-colored food is recommended as a substitute for rice.
  • Cauliflower is rich in nutrients and good for the stomach.
  • Cotton tofu can be made closer to rice than silken tofu.
  • Broccoli is also a good substitute, although it is a different color.
  • Be careful not to consume too much, as it may make you sick.