Beyond Sushi: Innovative Recipes Using Leftover Sushi Rice

Why Save and Reuse Leftover Sushi Rice?

Sushi rice is typically seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt to give it the distinct flavor and stickiness required for sushi. While its distinct flavor makes it perfect for sushi, it can be used for many other unique and flavorful dishes, like sushi salads, onigiri, and ice cream balls. By reusing your leftover sushi rice, you’re not only reducing food waste, you’re also saving your own time and energy.

Basic Techniques for Reusing Sushi Rice

Reheating and Refreshing Sushi Rice for Reuse

To reheat the rice, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for about 1-2 minutes or until the rice is heated through. Remember to fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

To refresh the sushi rice for reuse in other recipes, add a small amount of water to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Place the sushi rice in a steaming basket or colander and steam it over the simmering water for a few minutes. This will help restore the rice’s texture and remove any dryness.

Appetizers and Snacks

Sushi Rice Balls With a Twist

Sushi rice balls, also known as onigiri, are a popular and delicious Japanese snack. While traditionally filled with ingredients like pickled plums or grilled salmon, you can get creative and add your own twist to these rice balls using leftover sushi rice. One idea is to mix in some shredded crab meat, chopped scallions, and a splash of soy sauce for a flavorful filling. Another option is to roll the rice balls in toasted sesame seeds or furikake, a Japanese seasoning, to add a crunchy texture.

Crispy Sushi Rice Crackers

If you’re looking for a crispy and savory snack, try making sushi rice crackers. Simply spread the rice in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven until it becomes crispy and golden brown. You can season the rice with ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, or chili flakes for added flavor. Once cooled, break the rice into smaller pieces. These crispy sushi rice crackers are perfect for munching on while watching a movie or as a party appetizer.

Main Course Ideas

Stuffed Peppers

Sushi rice stuffed peppers are a delicious and creative way to use up leftover sushi rice. Simply cook your rice using a rice cooker. Once the rice is ready, mix it with your favorite ingredients like diced vegetables, cooked shrimp, or shredded chicken. Stuff the rice mixture into halved bell peppers and bake until the peppers are tender and the rice is heated through. The result is a flavorful and colorful dish that combines the freshness of sushi rice with the sweetness of the peppers. It’s a great option for a light lunch or dinner.

Sushi Rice Stir-Fry With Vegetables and Protein

Heat some oil in a pan and sauté your vegetables. While you can go for whichever is your favorite, bell peppers, carrots, and snap peas are the most common. Add protein options like tofu, shrimp, or chicken and cook until they’re completely cooked through. Mix in the leftover sushi rice and some soy sauce for added flavor. The result is a satisfying and flavorful dish that’s quick and easy to make.

Rice Cooker Bella

Side Dishes

Sushi Rice Salad With Fresh Ingredients

This salad is not only delicious, but also incredibly versatile and easily customizable. Start by mixing the cooled sushi rice with a dressing made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, and a touch of sesame oil. Then, add in an assortment of colorful vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, and avocados work best). For an extra burst of flavor, top the salad with some pickled ginger and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top. The result is a light and flavorful dish that showcases the fluffy texture of the rice. While it makes for the perfect side dish, you can also enjoy it as a light lunch.


To create these crunchy, golden-brown treats, mix the sushi rice with beaten eggs, chopped scallions, and a bit of flour to bind it all together. Shape the rice mixture into small patties and coat them in panko breadcrumbs. Then, fry the croquettes until crispy. Serve the sushi rice croquettes with a side of soy sauce or a spicy mayo dip for an extra kick.

Rice Cooker

Delicious Desserts Made With Rice Cooker Sushi Rice

Sushi Rice Pudding With a Twist

This unique dessert combines the creamy goodness of traditional rice pudding with the flavors of sushi rice. Start by cooking the rice in a rice cooker. While the rice is still warm, mix in a combination of milk, sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Let the mixture simmer gently until it thickens, then either let it cool in the refrigerator, or eat warm!

Ice Cream Balls

Begin by preparing a batch of sushi rice with a rice cooker. Once the rice is cooked and slightly cooled, take small handfuls and shape them into bite-sized balls. Place the rice balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up. In the meantime, prepare your favorite ice cream flavors. Remove the rice balls from the freezer and carefully press a small indentation into each one. Fill the indentations with scoops of ice cream, using flavors that complement the savory nature of the rice. Return the rice balls to the freezer until the ice cream is firm. These sushi rice ice cream balls are a delightful and unexpected treat that will impress your loved ones with their unique combination of textures and flavors.

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