What to Do with Leftover Sushi Rice?

What to Do with Leftover Sushi Rice
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The small rice wraps are very tempting, and greediness is in human nature, so it is very common to order or make too much. If you’re stuck with leftover sushi, you can always try to revive it. But we all know that that’s just not good enough the next day as it was the day sushi was made. Instead of bringing your sushi back to life, you can create an entirely new dish. So what to do with leftover sushi rice?

Rice balls, rice cakes, katsu chicken, rice pudding, stuffed grape leaves, shrimp fried rice, mushroom risotto, jambalaya, poke bowl, stuffed bell peppers, egg fried rice, chicken and chickpea rice, tuna rice, burrito, and dirty rice are some ideas to put your leftover sushi rice to good use. 

Rice is a versatile and nutritious grain, and it is a shame to let it go to waste, especially when nothing is wrong with it. Another thing that makes rice such a great ingredient is that it quickly takes in the taste of whatever you cook it with. So sushi rice can easily become chicken rice with no trace of sushi. Since the chances of having leftover sushi rice are pretty high, in the following paragraphs, I will give you some ideas and explain what you can do with your leftover sushi rice to make the most of it. 

Rice Balls

If you cannot think of anything else, rice balls are always there for you. Incredibly simple yet very delicious, rice balls are a great use for leftover sushi rice. 

Heat up the rice in a pan adding just a little bit of water, less than half a cup, just enough to make the rice creamy; add salt, pepper, and herbs and stir it for a minute. After you take the rice off the stove, make the rice balls by hand or with an ice cream scoop and leave them for about 20 minutes to harden and stabilize. Pour your favorite sauce over them, soy sauce, BBQ, or something else, and enjoy your rice balls. 

Feel free to top your rice balls with parmesan, bacon bits, avocado slices, or another topping you like. 

Rice Cakes

Delicious and versatile as the rice balls and just as easy to make, rice cakes are yet another excellent idea to put your leftover sushi rice to good use. You can make them with whatever you want, but my favorites are zucchini, scallions, and eggs. 

Mix the rice with the beaten eggs and add grated zucchini and chopped scallions. Mix everything well until the mixture homogenizes and forms flat circles, just like burger patties. Pop them on the frying pan and let them sizzle for a few minutes; combine them with your favorite sides, or have them as they are. 

Katsu Chicken

Simplicity embodied, this dish is ready in just over 10 minutes and is incredibly rich and satiating. You’ll need chicken breast, eggs, and flour for this recipe. Dip the chicken in the beaten eggs and then cover it with flour. 

Fry the chicken for about five-seven minutes, and it’s done. Pop the leftover sushi rice into the pan where the chicken was and let it soak up the juices for a minute. Place the chicken in a place along with fresh cucumber stripes and cabbage, and put the rice in a bowl; you’ll have a fancy meal in no time. 

What to Do with Leftover Sushi Rice

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is an incredibly healthy and nutritious dessert, not to mention how simple and easy it is to make it. [1] Considering that you’ll be making it with cooked rice makes things even more straightforward. 

Place the rice in a saucepan and add a cup of coconut milk; regular milk works too. Cook over medium heat for five to seven minutes, and add cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, or any other dessert spice you love. The rice will become creamy and silky, just like regular pudding. 

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma) 

This Middle Eastern dish has found its way into many’s hearts. It isn’t complicated, but it is time-consuming. For this recipe, you’ll need lots of grape leaves, and you need to soften them by submerging them in hot water for about 20 seconds. 

Chop some onions, carrots, and mushrooms (you can also add ground meat) and fry them nicely. Take them off the stove and mix the rice in, season the mixture, and stuff each leaf with a spoonful of the stuffing, forming rolls. Take a bigger pan and layer it with a few grape leaves, place the rolls inside, fill the pan with water to cover the rolls, and cook over medium heat for about half an hour. 

Shrimp Fried Rice

This is an excellent use of your leftover sushi rice, especially since you’re mixing it with seafood. Sizzle the shrimp for a few minutes and remove them from the pan; put the rice in the same pan and let it fry for five-six minutes. Add some soy sauce to the rice and top it with the shrimp. 

Chop some fresh cabbage, lettuce, or cucumber and have it as a side. This dish also goes excellent with kimchi, so don’t be afraid to use it if you have it. 

Mushroom Risotto

Chop the mushrooms and fry them with some scallions. Once they’re done, add the rice into the pan and pour half a cup of cooking cream. This dish is elegantly created in ten minutes. 

The rice will turn creamy with an incredibly soft texture, but you’ll still be able to separate the grains from one another, which is the magic of this dish. Season it the way you like it best and enjoy. 


This tasty Louisiana dish might be one of the best solutions for your leftover sushi rice. Fry some vegetables, such as corn, peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, or whatever you have lying around. Pour some water to bind everything together and let it simmer for a few minutes. 

Combine with whatever you think fits, from sausages to fresh salad, to cheese plate.


Paella vs. Jambalaya: Differences & Which Is Better?

What to Do with Leftover Sushi Rice

Poke Bowl 

Although traditionally made with brown rice, poke ball also works great with white rice. The original recipe calls for ahi tuna, but feel free to use canned tuna, it won’t taste the same, but you’ll enjoy it nonetheless

Place the rice into a bowl, put the tuna on the rice, and top everything with fresh pepper, cucumber, and avocado slices. Smear mayo over the veggies, and you’re done. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers 

This is another Middle Eastern dish, but much more straightforward than the Dolma. Fry the rice with ground meat and season with salt and pepper. Empty the bell peppers and stuff them with meat and rice stuffing. 

Put them in an oven pan and pour a cup of water into the pan. Bake at medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes. 

Egg Fried Rice

Beat two eggs, pop the rice on a pan and let it sizzle, and spill the eggs over the rice. Mix it a few times while the eggs cook, and that’s it. Delicious and ridiculously simple, this idea is excellent for those who don’t feel like they want to go the extra mile. 

You can combine this dish with mayo-based sauces, sour cream, crème Fraiche, cream cheeses, smoked meat, or veggies. 

Chicken and Chickpea Rice

As the name says, you’ll need chicken breast, chickpea, and your leftover rice for this dish, though you can use other vegetables, such as onions and carrots. Soak the chickpea in warm water until it softens, slice the chicken breast, put the chickpea and the chicken breast in a pan, and cook until the chicken is done. Lastly, put the rice inside the same pan and put soy sauce on it; cook for another two-three minutes until your dish is ready. 

Tuna Rice

Although it contains similar ingredients to the poke bowl, tuna rice is nothing like it. Sizzle some canned tuna on a pan and put the rice inside too. Cook the tuna and rice for three to five minutes until the rice slightly changes its color, and remove the pan off the stove. 

Slice a few olives and top your tuna rice bowl with them; you can also chop some scallions and add them to your dish. 

What to Do with Leftover Sushi Rice


It would be a shame if this list didn’t contain burritos. Simply wrap the rice in a tortilla and add veggies if you want a vegetarian meal, or fry up some chicken and wrap it nicely if you crave something meaty. 

Add flavorings and seasonings of your choosing, and you have a tasty and nutritious meal in ten minutes. 

How to Store Leftover Sushi Rice?

The best way to store leftover sushi rice is to refrigerate it in an airtight container. However, if you don’t have one, you can place it in a regular plastic container and wrap it with plastic foil to prevent air from going inside. 

If you freeze your leftover sushi rice, place it in a plastic container, airtight or regular. I don’t recommend freezing your rice, as it tends to turn into mush when you defrost it. 

How Long Does Sushi Rice Last?

In general, cooked rice cannot last for long, and it doesn’t do well in the freezer, though it is possible to save it. Don’t leave your leftover sushi rice on the counter for more than two hours, as it will start to go bad very soon after. 

If you refrigerate it, make sure that it isn’t exposed to fridge moisture. Your sushi rice will be good for four to five days if properly refrigerated. 

In the freezer, it will be safe and sound for a month. 

How to Keep Sushi Rice Fresh Overnight?

First of all, if you don’t have to, don’t make your rice the night before you make the sushi, especially since you can cook the rice in under 40 minutes. However, if you have already made the sushi and have rice leftovers, you need to refrigerate the rice to keep it fresh overnight.

Still, the fridge can dry out the rice, which isn’t a problem if you like it that way, and it is also preferable if you’re making another batch of sushi with it. 

If you like your rice more on the softer and moister side, you can put some water inside the storage container and leave it like that in the fridge. The next day, you have to strain the rice and let the excess water out. 

What to Do with Leftover Sushi Rice

What to Do with Leftover Sushi Rice?

Author: Laura Bais
Although the poke bowl is traditionally made with brown rice, it also works great with white rice. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Servings 4 people
Calories 1019 kcal


  • 1 lb ahi tuna
  • 4 cups rice leftover sushi rice
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1 avocado large
  • ¼ cup mayo


  • Place the rice into a bowl, put the tuna on the rice, and top everything with fresh pepper, cucumber, and avocado slices.
  • Smear mayo over the veggies.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seed, and you're done. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 1019kcalCarbohydrates: 153gProtein: 41gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 147mgPotassium: 794mgFiber: 6gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2583IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 3mg
Keyword leftover sushi rice, poke bowl, sushi rice
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