Let’s face it. It’s not always easy to estimate how much sushi rice we need. Sometimes, we end up with less. Other times, we end up with more. Either way, it’s a hassle. However, we might be able to help you with the latter one today. We don’t want good sushi rice going to waste, after all!
What to do with leftover sushi rice? Well, we have 10 suggestions!
1. Make Some Fried Rice
First, you can make some fried rice for your next meal.
If you have some of the other sushi ingredients left, you can also throw those things in there. However, you might want to skip throwing your fruit ingredients in there unless you’re feeling a little adventurous.
Fruits are not the most common things you would mix with fried rice, but such recipes exist. For one, you can check out this cucumber-fried rice by Food & Wine.
However, making some fried rice with your sushi rice is a hit or miss. Some really like the taste. Others? Well, not so much. Don’t worry, though! In case you end up not favoring fried sushi rice, we have nine more things you can try!
2. Make Some Rice Balls
Another thing you can do with your sushi rice is to make some rice balls. This one is probably one of the easiest things to do on the list.
There are many ways you can make rice balls. For one, similar to the fried rice, you can add your sushi ingredients to the mix. Don’t have any leftover sushi ingredients? Some furikake could also work.
Once you are happy with your rice mix, take a spoonful of it and mold it into a ball. That’s it! You have some tasty rice balls you can add to your next meal.
This idea might be the best one to go for if you don’t have much sushi rice left. Also, it is a mighty fine choice if your next meal would have some soup!
3. Make Some Rice Cakes
If rice balls are not your thing, maybe we could interest you in some rice cakes then?
If you are looking for some crunch, you can turn your sushi rice into some delicious rice cakes. It might not look that similar to the rice ball, but it is also easy to do. If you are interested and want to try it out for yourself, you can check the recipe at The Kitchn.
This one might be the best one to go with if you would be having something saucy. Its crispiness would go well with the sauce!
4. Make Some Tempura
As you might already know, there are many kinds of tempura. Seafood, vegetables, fruits, put some tempura batter, and you have some tempura!
You can do the same with sushi rice. Mold your sushi rice into your desired shape, dunk it in some tempura batter, roll it into some panko, deep-fry, and there you have it! You now have some sushi rice tempura on your hands.
With the slight sweetness of the sushi rice and the mild saltiness of the batter and panko, your sushi rice tempura is already flavorful enough to eat on its own. However, you can also get your favorite dipping to add more flavor to the mix.
This one might be the best one to go for if you are looking to get a taste of different flavors. This tempura will likely go well with a lot of dips.
5. Make Some Onigiri
On the other hand, you might want to make some onigiri! Onigiri is known as rice ball in Japanese, but this one is different from the rice ball we discussed above. There are many ways to make some onigiri.
As you might have noticed, the base is plain white rice and not sushi rice. You don’t have to worry, though. You can also use sushi rice for this dish. Take All Ways Delicious’ recipe, for example.
This one might be the best one to go for if you are looking at making some snacks!
6. Make a Poke Bowl
Not in the mood for some onigiri? Well, you might want to make a poke bowl then! Now, you might be surprised why it is on the list. After all, as you might already know, it is a Hawaiian dish.
It might not be a Japanese dish, but if you have some raw leftover ingredients with your sushi rice, this dish might be the perfect one on this list for you!
You can check this poke bowl recipe from The Recipe Critic for reference.
This one might be the best one to go for if you’re looking to go out of Japanese cuisine.
Make More Sushi
Finally, if all else fails, you can make more sushi!
Homemade sushi can last a few days up to a week when stored properly. On the other hand, sushi rice could also last for around the same time. With that, you can decide whether to make the sushi already or keep the sushi rice for later use.
With this, you will get the chance to be creative or try some new sushi! As you might already know, there are many different types of sushi. For example, we have the popular ones – the maki and the uramaki. However, there are tons of other types of sushi you might want to try. Let’s talk about some of them today.
7. Make Some Nigiri Sushi
Rolls are probably the most popular kind of sushi in the US. However, it is not the only sushi you can make.
If you have some wasabi and leftover sushi ingredients with your sushi rice, you might want to try making some nigiri! It is easy and a good choice if you still have some sushi rice but don’t have many leftover sushi ingredients left.
8. Make Some Chirashi Sushi
Did you like the poke bowl idea? Well, you might also want to try and make some chirashi sushi. It is a little like a poke bowl.
However, this one often uses more than one type of fish and seafood. So, if you have some leftover fish and seafood you also want to use fast, you might want to make some chirashi for your next meal!
9. Make Some Inari Sushi
On the other hand, maybe you’re looking for something simpler. You want to make some inari sushi then! There are many ways to make inari sushi, but you can make one with only some sushi rice, deep-fried tofu, and dashi.
10. Make Some Temaki Sushi
If you have tons of nori sheets left, you might want to consider turning your sushi rice into some temaki sushi! A temaki sushi can also be called a hand roll sushi.
It is a roll, but it is different from the usual ones you see. While you cut the maki and uramaki by the end, you don’t slice through this one. You could say it is a little like a Japanese shawarma. You make and eat it in a similar manner too.
This one might be the best choice if you are a big fan of nori!
Things to Keep in Mind with Leftover Sushi Rice
Now that you know what to do with your leftover sushi rice, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind before making any of these dishes.
Check If Your Sushi Rice Is Still Okay
If you’ve kept your sushi rice for some time, it would be best to check if it is still okay.
Never dealt with spoilt rice before? You don’t have to worry. It is easy to spot or smell. Spoilt rice will smell awful. Really awful!
Of course, if you would be using other leftover ingredients, don’t forget to check them too if they are still fresh enough to use. Safety, first!
Condiments Can Go a Long Way
As you might have noticed, some of these dishes added some sesame oil here; and some furikake there. If you have tons of spices on your rack, you might want to further experiment with them. However, don’t forget not to go overboard! Sushi rice, with its consistency, will easily absorb and soak up the different spices you would pour and sprinkle on it.
What to do with leftover sushi rice? We showed you ten ways you can use your leftover sushi today! Don’t let your delicious sushi rice go to waste. Turn it into one or two of the ten things we showed you today.
Whether you are looking for something adventurous like making fried rice with all kinds of things or something a little more traditional like some nigiri sushi, there is something on this list for you!
We hope we got to help and you’re no longer in a pickle as to what to do with your sushi rice! Happy eating!
Hiroshi Nakamura, a Tokyo-born sushi chef turned US-based writer and critic, is the voice behind ichisushi.com, blending traditional sushi wisdom with modern insights.