Creative Ways To Use Up Leftover Sushi Rice

Got leftover sushi rice? Don’t throw it out! Give it new life with these creative recipes.

You carefully crafted the perfect sushi rice – sweet, tangy, and sticky enough to hold your rolls together. But now you’ve got a bowl of the stuff left over. What to do? No need to waste that leftover rice. With a little creativity, you can transform it into all kinds of delicious new dishes.

Try mixing in spices like basil, cilantro or cayenne to give your rice a flavor boost. Stir in shredded cheese or ground meat to take it savory. Or use it as the base for fried rice or rice balls. You can even make it into porridge or latkes.

Here are some specific ways to repurpose leftover sushi rice:

  • Store it overnight by covering with a damp towel and plastic wrap. Keeps up to 24 hours.
  • Form it into Italian-style arancini rice balls, coated in breadcrumbs and fried.
  • Add veggies, eggs and soy sauce to make quick fried rice.
  • Simmer it into a savory chicken congee porridge.
  • Shape it into crispy rice latkes, similar to potato pancakes.
  • Layer it in a bowl with fish, veggies and spicy mayo for sushi bowls.
  • Stuff it into onigiri, Japanese rice balls wrapped in nori.

With so many options, that leftover sushi rice won’t go to waste. Now, let’s get cooking! Read on for full recipes to repurpose rice.

Store It Properly Overnight

If you’re not ready to use up your leftover sushi rice just yet, you can store it in the fridge to enjoy the next day. Here’s how to store it to maintain taste and texture:

  • Place the rice in a bowl made of ceramic, glass or metal. Metal is best for evenly retaining temperature.
  • Cover the surface closely with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel. This prevents drying.
  • Wrap the entire bowl in plastic wrap or place it in a sealed container. This stops it from picking up fridge odors.
  • Refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Any longer and the rice can dry out or spoil.

Stored this way, leftover sushi rice keeps its subtle sweetness and chewy-yet-tender texture. Use it the next day for an easy sushi meal.

Whip Up Fried Rice

One of the tastiest ways to use leftover sushi rice is to make quick fried rice. The rice provides the base while you can add any proteins and veggies you have on hand.

Try stir-frying the rice with frozen peas, carrots and shrimp. Or add egg, chicken and kimchi for a Korean bibimbap vibe. Drizzle with soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha.

The seasoned rice already has great flavor. So you don’t need a complicated recipe. Just toss it in a skillet with your favorite veggies and proteins.

Shape Into Snackable Rice Balls

Called onigiri in Japanese or arancini in Italian, shaped rice balls make an easy snack or light meal. Just mold the cooled sushi rice into compact triangles, balls or rounds.

For a Japanese style, wrap balls of rice with nori seaweed. Brush with soy sauce. Or stuff them with pickled plums, salmon or tuna.

For arancini, coat shaped rice balls in breadcrumbs and parmesan. Fry until crispy and serve with marinara sauce for dipping. So good!

Rice balls are handy portable snacks. And they put your leftover rice to good use.

Mix Up Seasoned Rice Bowls

Modern sushi bowls or poke bowls are basically deconstructed sushi. They layer rice with raw fish or other proteins, vegetables and flavorful toppings.

Use your pre-seasoned sushi rice as the base. Then build up the bowl with spicy tuna or salmon poke, avocado, edamame, cucumbers, seaweed and more. Drizzle over wasabi aioli for a flavor punch.

You can recreate the flavors of your favorite sushi rolls in easy bowl form using leftover rice. It’s a fresh and fast dinner solution.

Whip Up Savory Rice Porridge

Leftover sushi rice also works great as the starting point for okayu, a Japanese style rice porridge. Okayu makes a comforting breakfast or brunch dish similar to congee.

Simply combine the cooked sushi rice with additional water or dashi broth in a pot. Simmer, stirring frequently, until it achieves a porridge-like consistency. Then season it up.

Try adding shredded chicken, sautéed mushrooms, greens, pickled ginger and a soft boiled egg on top. The porridge takes on all the flavors while still retaining that distinct sushi rice taste.

Make Crispy Rice Pancakes

For a fun twist, use your leftover sushi rice to make crispy rice patties or latkes. They provide a crispy textural contrast to the soft rice interior.

Pulse the chilled rice in a food processor to break it up slightly. Then mix in chopped scallions, grated carrot, egg and flour to bind.

Form into patties and pan fry in oil until browned and crispy on both sides. Top with smoked salmon and spicy mayo for an appetizer everyone will love.

Don’t let leftover sushi rice go to waste. With these quick recipes, you can reinvent it into all kinds of delicious new dishes. Get creative with seasonings and mix-ins. Your rice will never be boring again!

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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