What to Use Leftover Sushi Rice For: 8 Delicious Ways to Repurpose Extra Rice

Got leftover sushi rice? Don’t let it go to waste! Sushi rice is versatile and can be repurposed in many delicious ways. Keep reading to discover creative recipes to use up extra sushi rice.

We’ve all been there – you order sushi takeout and can’t finish all the rice. Now what? With a little imagination, leftover sushi rice can become tomorrow’s meal. Beyond eating it plain, there are endless possibilities for giving leftover rice new life.

For a quick weekday meal, transform sushi rice into fried rice with eggs, vegetables, and soy sauce. Feeling fancy? Shape the rice into arancini balls, coat in breadcrumbs, and fry for an appetizer. If you want comfort food, simmer the rice into congee with chicken and ginger. For a light dinner, use the rice in a sushi bowl with fish and toppings. Looking for portability? Form onigiri rice balls stuffed with salmon for an on-the-go snack. Those with a sweet tooth can stir the rice into sweet vanilla pudding for dessert.

With a dash of creativity, leftover sushi rice can become fried rice, soup, arancini, congee, latkes, sushi bowls, onigiri, and rice pudding. Stop throwing away extra rice and whip up one of these savory or sweet dishes instead.

Keep reading for the full recipes to transform sushi rice into any dish you crave. Let’s start cooking!

Fried Rice

One of the easiest and tastiest ways to use up leftover sushi rice is to make fried rice. Toss the chilled rice in a skillet with soy sauce, sesame oil, eggs, vegetables and/or meat. The rice will absorb the delicious flavors and become an ultra-satisfying one-pan meal. Try adding shrimp, chicken, or pork along with onion, carrot, peas and scrambled eggs. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds for a quick weeknight dinner.


Congee is a type of rice porridge popular in many Asian cuisines. To make it, slowly simmer the sushi rice in chicken or vegetable broth until it breaks down into a creamy soup. Then mix in chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, and other add-ins. The rice becomes sweet and velvety smooth. It’s soothing food perfect for rainy days or when you’re under the weather.


Arancini are fried rice balls from Italian cuisine. To make them, form leftover sushi rice into balls, skewer them on a stick, coat with breadcrumbs, then deep fry until golden brown. For a savory filling, try provolone cheese, mozzarella, ham, minced meat, or vegetables. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping. They make a fun party appetizer!

Rice Pudding

If you have a sweet tooth, use extra sushi rice to make rice pudding. Simply simmer the rice in milk flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, raisins or other dried fruits. Sweeten to taste with sugar or honey. Top with fruit compote or whipped cream for a creamy, comforting dessert. It will satisfy any late night rice pudding cravings.

Onigiri (Rice Balls)

Onigiri are handheld Japanese rice balls, often filled with pickled plum, salmon, tuna, pork, or chicken. To make them with leftover rice, dampen your hands and form the rice into triangle or oval shapes. Fill the center with your desired fillings, then wrap with nori seaweed. Onigiri are highly portable, so they’re perfect in bento boxes or lunches on the go.

Sushi Bowls

Build a DIY sushi bowl by layering sushi rice with sliced raw fish or cooked seafood, avocado, cucumbers, edamame, carrots, daikon radish, nori, and other sushi toppings. Drizzle with soy sauce, Sriracha, and Japanese mayo. You can recreate the flavor of sushi without having to meticulously roll it. Just scoop and enjoy!

Rice Latkes

If you love latkes, try making them with leftover sushi rice instead of potatoes. Shred an onion and mix with eggs, salt, rice, flour, then form into patties and fry until crispy. Top with sour cream and salmon for an inventive twist. They make fantastic appetizers or side dishes.


Jazz up your soups with leftover rice. For chicken soup, add some rice and turn it into chicken congee. For vegetable or miso soup, toss in rice to make it more hearty. Hot and sour soup also benefits from the thickening effect of some rice. Get creative with adding rice to your favorite soup recipes.

In Conclusion

With just a little innovation, sushi rice leftovers can become tomorrow’s meal. So instead of tossing excess rice in the trash, transform it into something delicious. Try fried rice, congee, arancini, rice pudding, onigiri, sushi bowls, rice latkes or soup. Stop wasting rice and start cooking up these tasty creations!

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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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