How to Store Sushi Rice: 5 Simple Steps

Sushi naturally tastes best with freshly prepared rice. That delicious full flavor of sushi rice then comes into its own. Your sushi tastes so much better. But what if you have made too much rice, can you keep your sushi rice? How do you store left over sushi rice?

Because it can always happen to you that you miscalculated the amount of rice and you have some left over. A shame to throw it away, right? Fortunately, you can save sushi rice and use it the next day. Here I’ll give you 5 simple tips on how to store your leftover sushi rice so it stays fresh, tasty and ready for your next sushi adventure.

Suhirijst bewaren - store leftover sushi rice

Tip 1: Let the sushi rice cool down

Before storing your leftover sushi rice, it is important to let it cool to room temperature. This prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and keeps your rice safe to eat. Just wait 10-15 minutes or until the rice is no longer steaming hot. Spread out your sushi rice in a large, shallow bowl or dish and let it cool to room temperature gently.

Tip 2: Preserving your sushi rice

Once the rice has cooled, it’s time to store it. The best way to store sushi rice is to put it in an airtight container or plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Personally, I think two days is already too long. I prefer to make fresh new rice for my sushi then. But know that you can keep it so longer than a day. In any case, make sure you squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent oxidation and preserve the quality of the rice.


Sushi rice that you store in this way is fine for consumption, but you will notice that the taste of your sushi does diminish. By storing in the refrigerator, your sushi rice loses some of its unique flavor. Keep that in mind.

Whatever you decide, never leave it outside the refrigerator. First, your rice will become rock-hard and second, you have a chance that it will spoil and then you can still throw it in the trash.

Don’t forget to write the date the rice was made and stored on the package hehe! That way you keep track of freshness and avoid eating stale rice. In a real professional kitchen, that’s standard that you label everything and it’s considered a big sin if you forget. Just watch an episode of Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmare” and note how he rants when the chef forgets to label his ingredients 🙂



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Tip 3: Reheat the sushi rice

When you are ready to start making new sushi rolls from your leftover sushi rice, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature gently. You can reheat it in the microwave or as many Japanese do on the stove. If you use the microwave, be sure to cover the rice with a lid or microwave-safe container. Sprinkle a little water over your rice before reheating it.

The Japanese prefer to use a different method, using a stove and bamboo mat. Get a pan of water and put it on your stove. Make sure the water will boil and turn the heat down low. Meanwhile, grab a bamboo mat and spread your chilled sushi rice on it. Once the water boils place the bamboo mat with the rice over your pan. The vapor coming off the boiled water will make your sushi rice warm and soft again. So you steam your rice as it were.

After 10 minutes, remove the bamboo mat with your sushi rice from the pan and voila, you can start rolling sushi again!


Tip 4: Smell your sushi rice when in doubt

Have you stored sushi rice neatly in the refrigerator according to the steps above, but still have doubts about whether it’s still good enough to use? Then use the best way to check if a product is still consumable: your nose!

Smell your sushi rice and if you don’t smell that delicate soft smell of sushi, but a somewhat sour smell, then it’s better to throw away your rice and make new ones.

Tip 5: Get creative with your saved sushi rice

Of course, from that fantastic short-grain rice from Japan, you would most like to make a plate full of delicious sushi for your guests. But did you know that you can also make other dishes with it? No. I only have to ask you one question and you know.

What is the single most important ingredient of ‘Fried rice’? Right! One-day-old rice! So don’t be afraid to get creative with your leftover sushi rice. In Japan, they make their delicious ‘Yakimeshi’ (Japanese Fried Rice) from it. A great and easy dish to make. Ideal for day-old leftover rice.

So you can use your leftover rice as a base for different dishes, such as fried rice but also Japanese stir-fry dishes. Add different spices or ingredients if necessary to change the taste a bit. The possibilities are endless! Experiment and you will see that you can do more with this rice than just make sushi.

Conclusion: Can you store sushi rice? Yes!

So, as you read above, storing leftover sushi rice is incredibly easy. With these simple steps, you can safely store your rice for the next day and get it back in good taste when you reheat it gently. Yes, fresh sushi rice is much tastier than day-old rice, but it’s fine to use it. Sin to throw away your rice right? I myself then do not use it to make sushi, but I use the one-day-old rice to make delicious fried rice. which remains one of my favorite dishes of Asian cuisine.

In conclusion, the next time you make sushi, pay close attention to how much rice you use per person. The better you can estimate it, the less rice you will have left over. But if you have leftovers, don’t throw it away, but store and handle it according to the tips above.

Oh, and before you get started, check out how to cook the perfect sushi rice right here.

Enjoy your sushi!


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