Home Cuisines Japanese 6 Delicious Uses for Leftover Sushi

6 Delicious Uses for Leftover Sushi

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A piece of sushi next to a wok with a stirfry.

If you’ve ever ordered too much sushi, you’ll know it never tastes as good the next day. You could try to reheat it so that it gets revived, but why not get creative? We’ve come up with a handy list of ways to use up leftover sushi. They’re all so good you’ll you may be tempted to ask the sushi chef to make extra just for these dishes.

What can I make with leftover sushi?

If you’re stuck with unused sushi, you can use it to make stir-fries, deep-fried bites, a breakfast stack, chirashi, broth, or bean curd pouches.

1. Stir-fries

Our favorite use for sushi is to turn it into a stir-fry. You probably won’t have enough to feed a hungry family, but it’s a great idea for feeding one or two people. This idea is great for using up maki rolls, nigiri, inari, or sashimi.

Start by pulling apart the sushi and dividing it into rice, vegetables, and protein like salmon or tuna. Unsuitable ingredients for stir-fries such as lettuce, avocado, and cucumber can either be discarded or used for another purpose like sandwiches. Nori (seaweed paper) should be tossed out.

Pour a tablespoon of sesame oil into a hot wok and allow it to heat before adding the sushi ingredients. Be careful not to overcook fish as it will quickly become tough and dry.

Tip: To provide a more substantial meal, cook garlic, onion, chili, and broccoli in the pan first then add the sushi ingredients.

2. Deep-fried bites

For a quick and easy way to use up any remaining sushi, try deep-frying them. You’ll get delicious bite-sized snacks with a crunchy exterior.

Before cooking them, coat each piece of sushi in tempura batter or an egg wash. Then smother their outsides with a generous handful of crisp panko crumbs. They’re excellent for deep-frying and will give your food a mouth-watering golden coating that’s crunchy.

Serve fried sushi bites with small bowls of your favorite dipping sauce. Sriracha, sambal oelek, mayo, chili sauce, or eel sauce are all tasty options.

3. Breakfast stack

While sushi makes an enjoyable, healthy lunch or dinner, many don’t want it for breakfast. That is unless you cook it until piping hot in a pan and turn it into a breakfast stack.

To make your first meal of the day a little more exciting, cook extras like eggs and hash browns. Next, create alternating layers of each ingredient with a splodge of HP sauce or mayo between each layer.

4. Chirashi

Chirashi is a simple dish that means scattered sushi. It usually starts with a bed of rice that gets topped with a mélange of ingredients. In Japan, the fish is usually cooked but this isn’t essential.

To make your own, pull apart whatever sushi you have remaining and place the rice at the bottom of a bowl. You may need to make extra rice if it doesn’t look enough. Next, toss the other sushi ingredients over the top of the rice along with a splash of sesame oil and soy sauce.

You can also make this in an airtight container and take it to work for a nutritious lunch. Just remember to refrigerate it as soon as possible.

Chirashi in a dish and chopsticks
Chirashi is a simple way to use up leftover sushi.

5. Broth

Make a pot of your favorite soup – it could be a basic vegetable soup or heat a store-bought fish broth. Add the sushi fish towards the end of cooking along with any other fillings that make sense to toss in. To bolster this broth, you can also add some freshly chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and chili.

Any nori should be picked out and thrown in the rubbish. Heat the rice and serve it as a separate side dish.

6. Bean Curd Pouches

Inari is a type of sushi that takes a bean curd pocket and fills it with rice and sometimes other ingredients. Visit a local Japanese grocer if you have one nearby and pick up a pack of these pouches. Now you can fill them with your broken-up, leftovers. These snacks won’t look as good as the ones bought from a sushi chef, but they’ll make an enjoyable meal.

Commonly asked questions

What can I use leftover sushi rice for?

Leftover sushi rice can be used to make arancini balls, congee, mochi balls, bibimbap, fried rice, or crispy rice latkes. If you want to use the rice to make sushi then consider chirashi, inari, onigiri, or try your hand at rolling maki rolls.

Is it safe to use leftover sushi?

Sushi should never be left at room temperature for longer than two hours as the risk of foodborne bacteria greatly increases. If it has been safely stored in the refrigerator for less than one day then it should be suitable for consumption.

Is sushi rice suitable for fried rice?

Although most Chinese fried rice recipes call for medium grain rice, you can use short grain rice to make yakimeshi. This is a traditional Japanese fried rice that includes fried eggs, bacon, and scallions.

Related reading:
What can I serve with sushi?
Can you freeze sushi?
Seaweed vs. soy paper – how do they differ?
What is some good sushi for fussy eaters?

Summing up

If you’re ordering sushi for a big group of people, it’s expected that there will be some leftovers. Take care not to leave the food at room temperature for over 2 hours. Although people are okay risking leaving some foods out a little longer, sushi shouldn’t be one of them. Pack it away in an airtight container and refrigerate it once you’ve finished eating.

If you’re looking for ways to use up leftover sushi then make stir-fries, deep-fried bites, a breakfast stack, chirashi, broth, or bean curd pouches. They’re all quick and easy recipe ideas, ideal for anyone who doesn’t feel like the same meal the next day. Cooking your sushi is also a good idea because it will help revive rice that usually becomes dry within 24 hours of refrigerating.