How to Reheat Sushi (2-Minute Read)

Leftover sushi never tastes the same the next day – it is a fact. The rice becomes dry, vegetables that were so crunchy before start to soften, and the flavors become dull.

That is why packing sushi after sushi night seems like a waste.

What if learn that you could reheat sushi and enjoy it the next day?

We aren’t joking!

We tried different methods with different types of sushi to bring you the best reheating method that will allow you to enjoy day-old sushi from the comfort of your home.


How to Reheat Sushi?

One of the easiest ways to reheat sushi is to microwave it for 30 seconds. Set the temperature on medium- 500 –watt power- and keep a glass of water next to the sushi. The sushi needs to be reheated in 10-second bursts. You also need to do a touch test to determine whether it needs to be heated more.

However, sushi tends to try out due to the fillings and fish edges. If you are only reheating a couple of pieces of sushi, we recommend that you lower the heating time.

Here is what to do:

  • Get a microwave dish and add the sushi to it. Place each piece in a way that there is ample space around every piece.
  • Next to the sushi dish, put a glass of cold water in the microwave. This will ensure that your sushi does not dry out.
  • Set the microwave timer for 10 seconds and heat on medium. Touch the sushi to check if it has reached room temperature. Reheat in 10-second bursts till you find that the sushi is a little warm.
  • Get the dish out of the microwave and serve as soon as possible. You will find that the fish is soft and the rice is moist. Don’t wait too long; otherwise, the sushi will dry out again.


What Does Microwave Sushi Taste Like?

When you microwave sushi, you will find that the rice becomes softer and moister, while the raw fish tastes better than when it was cold and has a better texture.

Nori, on the other hand, does not change in taste when reheated. If there are any leftovers, it may be better to get rid of them rather than consuming them the next day (1).

Some vegetables like carrots and asparagus can be reheated, and they taste fine. However, other vegetables like avocado and lettuce should be removed from the sushi and thrown away.


Quick Tips to Reheat Sushi in the Microwave

  • Depending on how much sushi needs to be reheated, the heating time needs to be adjusted. For example, you do not need to heat a single maki roll for 30 seconds in the microwave.
  • If you are reheating a big sushi plate, reheat it in small bursts.
  • Heating times depend on a 1000-watt microwave set at medium power.
  • Get rid of vegetables like lettuce and avocado before you reheat the sushi, as these vegetables will make the sushi turn unpleasant and limp.
  • Heat ingredients in different batches, if possible. For example, if you have a plate of nigiri, heat the fish and rice separately.


Ideal Sushi Temperature

Sushi tastes the best when it is served at room temperature (2). This falls in the range of 20-to-22-degree Celsius. You can also eat it cooler, but the ingredients’ flavor will be different. The sushi will not taste as pronounced as it would if consumed at room temperature.


Can Sushi be Revived Without Reheating?

If sushi has been left in the fridge throughout the night, you might not want to use heat to revitalize it. If you have maki rolls that contain tempura, vegetables, and other ingredients, heat may not be the best option as it will make the sushi go limp.

In situations like these, soak a paper towel in a tablespoon of rice vinegar or lemon juice and a teaspoon of soy sauce. Carefully wrap the maki roll in the towel and put it in an airtight container. Put this container in the fridge for a few hours. This hack will help soften the rice that has become hard and will also provide a boost of flavor to the sushi itself.


How to Ensure that You Do Not Consume Leftover Sushi

Because of quality and food safety reasons, we recommend eating fresh sushi, which means consuming it as soon as it is made. Usually, with other kinds of food, you can order as much as you want and take home the rest. However, with sushi, you should try to be precise and calculate how much sushi every person in your group will eat.

You always have the option of buying side dishes with your sushi to make it a filling meal. These side dishes can be stored over a couple of days as well.

When organizing a sushi party, it isn’t easy to guess how much sushi you should make. If you hold a do-it-yourself night, everyone can roll their own sushi rolls, making the night more fun and vastly reducing any sushi wastage.

After all, who likes throwing away sushi?


How to Reheat Sushi if You Don’t Have a Microwave

If you don’t have a microwave but still need to reheat sushi, don’t fret it; there are multiple other options to avail. However, we must warn you- do not expect the original texture as the reheated sushi may look a little different.


1. Pan-Frying

If you have leftover maki rolls, nigiri, or inari, you need to pull them apart on a platter. Separate the rice from the fillings and throw away any nori you find. Before you cook, you can also slice bigger chunks into tiny pieces to make the process easier.

Take a wok and throw in all the other ingredients, along with a tablespoon of heated oil. Use medium-high heat for cooking until you find that the fish is starting to brown and is sufficiently cooked on the inside. Take your favorite sauce and add it to the wok for some extra color and flavor. You can choose between hoisin, unagi, oyster, soy, or teriyaki sauce.

The entire process of pan-frying the sushi should not take more than a couple of minutes, leaving you with a wonderful, cooked snack. By cooking sushi this way, you can also lower the probability of foodborne diseases.


2. Baking

If you want to reheat sushi, baking it is another option you have. Simply place it in the oven for eight minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also adjust the timing based on how long it will take for the ingredients to become slightly warm. After four minutes, you should flip every piece of sushi so that it can be evenly heated.

If you cannot wait to eat the sushi, you can also use a toaster oven. This will help heat the sushi quicker than a traditional oven.

Keep in mind that baking the sushi might cause the rice on the outside to become a little crispy. However, this texture will taste delicious- a lot better than crumbly, dry rice at the very least.


3. Deep-Frying

Deep-frying your sushi will taste delicious if you are a fan of fried food. To do this, carefully remove ingredients that cannot be deep-fried, like avocado and lettuce.

Take some panko crumbs, eggs, and flour, and coat the sushi rolls with the mixture. This will ensure that the rolls have a wonderfully crispy golden exterior.


4. Steaming

Another way to reheat sushi is by steaming it. This is a simple technique that anyone and everyone can use. All you have to do is take a pot and fill it with ½ inch water. Add some aluminum foil at the bottom. Then, cover the pot and allow the water to boil.

Next, put the sushi in a heatproof bowl and ensure each piece of sushi is kept at a distance from the other. The seaweed wraps should be wrapped perfectly, so they do not end up sticking to the other rolls.

The heatproof bowl with the sushi needs to be put inside the pot filled with water. We recommend using steam racks so that the dish does not fall into the water. These will help keep your sushi stable. Once the sushi dish is kept higher than the water level, cover the pot and allow the sushi to steam.


What is the Ideal Time to Consume Sushi Within?

We would recommend using sushi within 24 hours of purchasing or making it. After this time frame, the sushi quality starts to decline, and consuming it puts you at risk of diseases like E. coli and listeria.

Even though many people think that raw fish is the main culprit, one should also be careful of old sushi rice.


How Soon Should Fresh Sushi be Refrigerated?

As a rule of thumb, sushi is a perishable food item that should not be kept at room temperature for over 2 hours. Leftover sushi should be transferred to an airtight container which should then be put right at the back of the fridge to ensure that temperature fluctuation does not take place.

In case you can’t utilize your sushi within 24 hours, you can always freeze it.


In Conclusion

Across the planet, food waste is a big problem. Hence, we don’t blame you if you want to reheat your sushi and consume it the next day instead of throwing it into the trash.

But, we recommend keeping your expectations in check while doing this rather than looking for miracles. Old sushi will never taste as good as fresh sushi, so it should never be compared.

Keep everything else aside, and try not to over-order sushi when you visit a restaurant. Eat the sushi fresh and give it away to family members if you find that you cannot finish it.

Sushi generally goes bad extremely fast, and storing it for too long can attract several bugs and diseases – two things that are terrible for the human body.

Further reading: Is eating cold chicken safe, how to keep sushi fresh overnight and Maki vs. Temaki (Differences, Techniques, and Other Types of Sushi).