What’s The Best Way to Reheat Sushi?

So you have some leftover sushi to enjoy? Be sure to check the color and smell of your refrigerated sushi before consuming it. Also, consider that sushi should not be left at room temperature for more than 4 hours. Sushi is best eaten fresh, but if you’re too full for one more roll, reheating later is an option.

For best results, pop your sushi in the microwave for 30 seconds at 500 watt power (half power) within 24 hours of refrigerating. Reheating sushi is a better option than leaving it out to warm back up to room temperature.

Why Should You Reheat Your Sushi?

Sushi is served at room temperature. So you might think, why not just take it out of the fridge and leave it to warm up?

Actually, leaving sushi out will cause the rice to gain moisture and the topping to deteriorate. It could also ruin the flavor. Combine that with the food safety issues of leaving out raw fish, and it’s best to reheat.

How to Reheat Sushi in the Microwave

Perhaps the best method for reheating your sushi is also the simplest: the microwave! Sometimes we think the harder something is, the better the result. In this case, that’s simply not true. The low heat and time capabilities of a microwave do wonders for reheating sushi.

Sushi is normally served at room temperature. So when you reheat sushi, you’re not trying to do too much. You’re just reviving some of that delicious flavor. The microwave is just right for that.

  1. Remove your sushi from the airtight container you stored it in.
  2. Place it on a microwave-safe plate.
  3. Reheat the sushi at 500 watts (half power) for 30 seconds.
  4. Enjoy!

How to Reheat Sushi on the Stove

Maybe you don’t have a microwave or you prefer not to use it for reasons of your own. You can also use the good-old-fashioned stovetop method to reheat your sushi. Just be sure to keep the heat low and the time down.

Remember that your goal is only to remove that cold edge from the sushi. You’re not aiming to fry the poor roll. You also don’t want to go too long and lose the moisture. Just a quick heating will do!

Note that this method may not provide the same consistent heating throughout that the microwave method does. However, it is still an option!

  1. Preheat a lightly greased pan to a low temperature.
  2. Remove your sush from the airtight container you stored it in.
  3. Heat the sushi on each side for a few minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

Other Ways to Enjoy Reheated Sushi

Cooked Sushi

Perhaps your reheated sushi just can’t compare to that original taste it had yesterday. If you want to try an alternative, you can cook your leftover sushi. This is a popular way to enjoy sushi.

This provides a different experience than fresh sushi, but if you aren’t a big fan of leftovers or day-old raw fish, it may be a great option.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place your sushi on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  3. Cook the sushi rolls for 8 minutes total, flipping them at the 4-minute mark.

Again, this option will result in cooked fish, so if you only like your sushi raw, consider the microwave option.

Flavoring the Rice

One method to introduce some more flavor to reheated sushi needs just two ingredients: rice vinegar and soy sauce.

Put a paper towel covered with these two ingredients around your sushi an hour before you plan to eat it. Put it back in the fridge.

When you are ready to eat, remove the sushi and the paper towel and heat it in the microwave at half power for 30 seconds.

Mixing it Up

You could also try something altogether new! 

Remove the fish from the sushi and cook it over the stove with your favorite seasonings! Soy sauce and ginger are some of my favorites, but you can also consider what might complement your particular leftovers.

Add in the rest of the sushi to the pan and mix it up! Now you have a new dish.

How Does Reheating Sushi Affect the Ingredients? 

Nori

Nori is an essential ingredient in sushi. It is made of edible lava seaweed. It may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind, but nori is what gives sushi its shape.

As such, it is one of the most important parts. Newly produced nori will be crisp and resemble a sheet of paper. It gains flexibility once the dampness of the rice touches it and gives support to the roll when wrapped.

Once nori becomes soggy, it can’t go back. Sadly, this means that reheating will do very little to improve soggy nori. If the flavor no longer appeals to you, you can always remove the nori from the roll and reheat the rest.

Raw Fish

Sushi is made with “sushi-grade fish.” This simply means that it is safe to consume raw.

You might think it implies a special fish from some purified region of the ocean. More likely, it just means the fish has been flash-frozen to eliminate the risk of parasites.

Nevertheless, consuming raw fish always comes with a risk. When considering reheating your sushi, take extra care to make sure your fish is still good. You don’t want an unplanned trip to the restroom today. When in doubt, throw it out!

Be sure that the sushi is stored within four hours of being made at a maximum of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Consume it within 24 hours. Check for any colors or smells that seem off before reheating.

Note that nigiri sushi and sashimi have larger slices of raw fish. These varieties are best tossed if they are not eaten fresh. It’s just not worth the risk.

Rice

Sushi rice is made with vinegar and retains a certain consistency that makes it suitable for sushi. When served fresh, the rice is at room temperature.

Reheating sushi will bring some of the fluffiness back to the rice. The fish does not need to be warm, but you want your rice to be light and delicious!

Vegetables & Toppings

Part of what makes different sushi recipes so unique is the combination of different vegetables and toppings.

Some common vegetables are cucumbers, cornichon, carrots, asparagus, and mushrooms. Toppings may include sesame seeds or fish eggs, among other choices.

Just like nori, it is hard to revive the freshness of vegetables and toppings by reheating. However, when consumed within 24 hours, they should still have some of their goodness.

Garnishes

Sushi is often served with certain sides that create exciting flavor combinations.

Even with grocery store sushi, you’ve likely seen wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce as sides.

Try to store these sides separately from your sushi since they may transfer their flavor to the sushi while stored.

The Moral of the Story

Sushi is a real treat for many of us! While it may never be quite as good the second time around, there are several to reheat your sushi and still enjoy it.

Whether you want to keep it as close to the original as possible or mix it up in a new kind of dish, you have plenty of options. Just be sure to use safe food practices and keep an eye on that raw fish. 

If you’re curious about sushi or maybe even afraid to try it, you can always learn more about what sushi tastes like before you give it a try! Still, there’s nothing quite like trying it yourself, so next time you’re feeling adventurous, give it a go!