We all order too many takeouts and end up with leftovers. But instead of throwing out those tasty sushi rolls, why not freeze them?
Sushi is one of the most popular foods of the 21st century. There is just something very comforting about this savory, vinegared rice with fresh seafood with a dollop of wasabi.
Not only is it a delicious meal option, but it is also super healthy too! So throwing away leftover sushi feels like a crime!
So the main question is, how long does sushi last, and can sushi be frozen? Let’s find out!
Can You Freeze Sushi?
We all love the taste of sushi with its slightly warm rice and fresh layers with high sushi-grade fish inside.
But sadly, sushi is one of the worst foods to eat as a leftover. It becomes mushy and bland. If it’s raw fish sushi, the fish will probably turn bad. The summary is, you can not leave your sushi on the countertop!
So what to do when you have a bunch of leftovers from a party or you just made way too many of them? You can freeze it!
How long can you keep sushi? A day? Yes, contrary to popular belief, you can actually freeze sushi and store it for a few days. It might not taste identical to the fresh one, it won’t taste bad.
How well you can freeze your sushi depends on what ingredients are inside it. Things like avocados don’t freeze well. If it’s raw fish sushi, water crystals can form and cause the sushi to taste watery. You can still eat it though.
Besides, throwing away food is not our style! So can you freeze sushi? You can by following a specific method. Let’s find out how to do it!
How to Freeze Homemade Sushi
If you are making homemade sushi and know there will be tons of leftovers, the best thing to do is to freeze the ingredients separately.
So prepare all the ingredients as you would but put the rice, nori, fish, and veggies in individual containers. Then put them in the freezer to preserve for longer.
This way you can keep your sushi for 4-5 days or more, depending on the type of veggies you choose.
When you want to have some sushi, just defrost them and assemble the sushi as you normally would.
It’s better not to slice the fish before you put it in the container. Slicing can cause moisture loss in the process of freezing and thawing.
How Do You Freeze Sushi Rice?
Whenever I make homemade sushi, I accidentally make too much sushi rice. No matter how much I measure beforehand, this happens every single time!
So I had to find a way to store them. Luckily, freezing sushi rice is a very common practice. The best thing is, rice can last for months in the freezer if you store it properly!
To freeze sushi rice, here’s what you need to do:
Let It Cool Down:
The first thing you need to do is, spread the rice on a large plate or dish and let it cool down completely. You should never freeze warm rice.
If you freeze rice when it’s still warm, it can cause condensation inside the container, this causes moisture to get trapped inside which results in ice crystals after freezing. So your rice will be extra watery after thawing.
I like to spread the rice in a baking tray as it fastens the process. Make sure to not leave the rice at room temperature for too long.
Portion the Rice:
Instead of storing all the rice in a massive container, why not portion them out and store them as batches. This way the rice stays fresh for longer.
Portioning also helps to not thaw the entire container when you need only a little amount. We like to use 2-3 small ones to store our sushi rice.
Container vs. Ziploc:
Some people use Ziploc bags or freezer bags to store food while others use airtight containers. There is no right or wrong approach. Whatever is convenient to you, is the right method.
Freezer bags are popular because they take very little space. So you can store a lot of things.
When you are storing your sushi rice in a freezer bag, make sure to squeeze out the excess air before sealing it. This way the rice stays moisture-free.
Don’t Forget to Label:
This is a very simple trick but saves a ton of confusion in the long run. Always make sure to write down the date on the Ziploc bag. For containers, use a label maker or tape to write down the freezing date. This way you know exactly how long the rice has been frozen.
How Can You Freeze Leftover Sushi?
Sushi is one of the easiest foods to order when we are hanging out with friends at home. Often time we order way too many and end up with leftovers.
Sushi is an expensive food item. So instead of throwing it away, freeze it. But can you eat leftover sushi? Of course!
Pop the sushi in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and pop it in the freezer. Do not leave your sushi at room temperature for too long as it can get contaminated.
How to Defrost Frozen Sushi
The best way to defrost frozen sushi rolls is by moving them from the freezer to the fridge. This way the ice melts and it stays at a safe cold temperature. Then just put the sushi on the countertop for 20 minutes or until it comes to room temperature.
If you are defrosting cooked sushi, the microwave can be a very quick option. We don’t really like using microwaves for this but when you are in a rush, there aren’t any other better options.
Place your sushi in a Ziploc bag and put them in the microwave. Then set the defrost setting for a few minutes.
You can defrost for 40 seconds and then give the bag a gentle shake and defrost it for another 40 seconds. Do this until the whole thing thaws thoroughly.
Another method we like to use is the classic warm water technique. Put the Ziploc bag into a bowl of warm water and let your sushi rest there for 20-30 minutes. This is a super easy and foolproof method of defrosting sushi.
Can I Freeze Raw Fish Sushi?
Yes, you can freeze raw fish sushi without any fear of food poisoning. This is because freezing destroys all the parasites in the fish. This makes the raw fish free from any harmful bacteria.
We however do not recommend freezing raw fish sushi for a long time. Even though raw fish can be stored in the freezer for up to 3-4 months, when you put it between the rice, fillings, and the nori sheet, it won’t last more than 3 days. Plus, it won’t taste good.
Frequently Asked Questions
01. How Long Can You Keep Sushi in the Freezer?
If you store your sushi properly in the fridge, it will probably last up to 4 days without any issues. The problem occurs when the fish inside the sushi isn’t fresh. To keep sushi for longer, the fish needs to be freshly caught and cut.
Raw fish can be kept inside the freezer for up to three months without any issues. But when it’s in the sushi form, three days is the maximum limit. More than that can contaminate it and cause stomach issues.
02. How Do You Thaw Frozen Tuna for Sushi?
To thaw frozen tuna, you have to put it on a paper towel straight from the freezer. This helps to soak the excess moisture.
Then place the tuna on an airtight container and close the lid properly. You can use plastic wrap instead of a lid too. This helps to prevent any moisture loss.
Then put the container in the refrigerator and let it defrost there. This process can take around 12 hours. We like to do it the night before so the fish is thoroughly thawed in the morning.
03. What Happens if You Microwave Sushi?
If you are wondering how to reheat sushi, the microwave is the best option. Even though it sounds super wrong, you can use the microwave to thaw frozen sushi. It might cook the fish but it will be ready to eat within minutes.
And let’s be honest, if you freeze your sushi overnight, the fish is already past its prime. A little heat won’t matter much.
04. Can You Eat 2 Day Old Sushi?
You can eat two-day-old sushi if it’s been stored properly in the freezer. If you leave the sushi on the countertop for hours before freezing it, it’s probably contaminated and should be discarded.
Do not eat raw fish sushi if it’s more than three days old. If you store your sushi in the fridge instead of the freezer, it’s not safe to eat after 2 days.
To Finish Off
We all understand what an art sushi making is. It requires a lot of skill and patience to create something so beautiful and delicious. No wonder sushi can not be stored like other normal food.
Can you freeze sushi? Yes. Is it safe? Yes!
Freezing sushi or any type of seafood can be tricky especially if you are not used to it. You might go through quite a few trial and error processes.
Anything is better than wasting food and throwing it away! Now that you know how to store sushi, you can enjoy them without worrying about leftovers!