How To Keep Sushi Fresh Overnight? (Storage Tips For Extended Shelf Life)

Don’t worry if you accidentally made or bought too much sushi. You can still eat sushi the next day if it’s stored correctly. However, sushi is one of those delicate dishes that cannot be left in the fridge or freezer without careful preparation, or you may be in for an unpleasant surprise the next day. 

So, why should you be very careful when storing it? Sushi tastes the best if eaten immediately after it is made. However, with the leftovers, there are health risks associated with many ingredients used in sushi. 

Depending on the type of sushi and its ingredients, most of them will deteriorate quickly and lose their premium quality, freshness, taste, and texture if not stored correctly. 

Below, I will cover some helpful tips on how to keep sushi fresh overnight and extending its shelf life. 

Different Types Of Sushi And Ingredients Used

different type of sushi

When buying sushi from a supermarket, restaurant or looking for popular recipes online, you are most likely to come across four main types of sushi. These are Sashimi, Chirashi, Maki, and Nigiri. 

There are also some other combinations and variations like Temaki, Uramaki, and all sorts of rolls like Tiger roll, Tempura rolls, California roll, etc. 

So, whatever type you bought or made, you should apply a careful storing method to all of them because raw fish (sashimi) is not the only ingredient you need to worry about. There are many other highly perishable ingredients that must be adequately sored to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

Here are some of the most used ingredients in sushi that are highly perishable and prone to spoil quickly if not stored properly. 

Sushi Rice (Shari)

Fish, Sashimi And Other Seafood

  • Salmon 
  • Tuna
  • Yellow Tai
  • Butterfish
  • Amberjack
  • Halibut
  • Ocean Trout 
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon Roe
  • Scallop
  • Squid
  • Crab
  • Clam
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • and more

Other Ingredients

  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Mango 
  • Daikon radishes
  • Seaweed 
  • Nori 

Sides, Sauces, And Condiments

  • Cream cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Asian dressing
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Pickled ginger
  • Vinegar
  • Sriracha

How Long Does Sushi Last In The Fridge?

keeping sushi in the fridge

The ingredients in sushi and the storage method will determine how long it lasts in the fridge. Some spoil quicker than others. As a general rule, sushi should be consumed within 24 hours of being made and placed in the refrigerator. [1]

If the sushi is only made of rice and vegetables, it could stay edible for up to 3-4 days but make sure there are no sauces or condiments used that have a short self-life. 

Do Not Freeze Sushi! Although technically it will stay safe when fresh frozen, the taste and texture will suffer significantly once thawed as many of the ingredients just won’t be able to withstand the freezing process. 

How To Store Leftover Sushi Overnight?

salmon sushi roll

Once the package has been opened, wrap the leftover sushi tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container at the back of the refrigerator. Recommended fridge temperature for storage is 40°F (4°C) or below.

You should always check the expiration date of store-bought sushi. You should not store it longer than the date indicates on the packet. 

Unopened, prepackaged sushi from grocery stores has a shelf life of 2-3 days when kept in the fridge. These rolls may contain dressings, sauces, and other stabilizing and emulsifying agents to help maintain the freshness, consistency, and appearance. Rice is also often prepared with corn syrup and extra preservatives. 

supermarket sushi

Sushi bought from the supermarket should be stored in the fridge unopened in its original packaging until you are ready to eat them. Once opened, follow the storage instructions above.

The FDA requires that packaged sushi purchased in stores be refrigerated. Purchase nothing that isn’t in the refrigerated section at your supermarket.

Leftover sushi from the restaurant should not be stored overnight as it is difficult to determine how long it has been left out before it was served, and including the time it was left on the table, and the time it took to get it home. 

Although it may still look and smell fine once you get home, I would not risk eating it the next day or even later on the same night. 

Can You Eat Sushi That Is More Than A Day Old?

eating expired sushi

Some people may want to store their sushi in the fridge for longer than 24 hours, but I do not recommend this as the quality will decline significantly after one day.

  • After one day of storage in the fridge, even when well wrapped, the rice in sushi starts to dry out. It becomes crumbly and tough.
  • Traditional sushi made with raw fish can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours. This is because the raw fish mixed with other ingredients makes it more susceptible to spoilage and bacterial growth.
  • Nori, which is a common ingredient in sushi, becomes hard and chewy in the fridge.
  • Vegetables and fruits will start to go brown, lose their texture, and become soggy and slimy. 

You should not eat sushi after 24 hours in the fridge. The quality of the raw seafood and other ingredients will decrease quickly due to loss of moisture and hardening.

How To Keep Sushi Fresh For A Few Hours?

Freshly made sushi should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Keep it away from direct sunlight, hot surfaces, and heating elements. Cover it up to prevent drying out.

To keep it fresh and safe for extra few hours, keep it in a chilled display case or on ice. 

If you are not planning to eat it straight away, fresh homemade sushi should be kept in the fridge to prevent bacteria growth.

You can keep freshly homemade sushi in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. 

For homemade sushi to remain fresh longer, you should.

  1. Wrap each sushi roll in clear plastic wrap.
  2. Place them in an airtight container and immediately put them in the fridge.

Other Tips For Making And Storing Homemade Sushi

making sushi at home

To ensure that sushi stays fresh, tastes the best, and is of good quality, you must prepare it properly. 

This is how you can do it:

  • Get the best and the freshest ingredients.
  • Use sushi-grade fish. [2]
  • Use clean utensils and clean work surfaces.
  • Keep everything cool and dry.
  • Wait for your rice to cool down.
  • Be sure to follow the right steps.
  • Use proper storage practices.

Read Also: 20 Innovative Ways To Keep Food Fresh Longer

How To Know If Sushi Has Gone Bad?

bad sushi

Fresh sushi should have appealing, vibrant colors and no strong overpowering smell of anything. If you noticed dull colors and a strong fishy, sour or rotten smell, it is a good sign that it has gone bad.

Also, if it tastes bitter, has a slimy or mushy texture, or browning of the edges, these are all sure signs that sushi has gone bad and should be thrown away. 

Read Also: 5 Easy And Delicious Ways To Cook Frozen Gyoza

Summary

Here are some good guidelines to help you enjoy sushi safely.

  • Eat fast, keep it cool.
  • Your roll will last as long as your fastest expiring ingredient.
  • Throw it away if it smells fishy, icky, or is dull in color.
  • It doesn’t matter what food you eat; the “when it doubts, throw it away” mantra is a great way to go.

Sushi is definitely one of the dishes that require a little more thought when storing it overnight or even longer. Although it will not taste as fresh and delicious when first made, you can safely extend its self-life for another day with these simple storage techniques above.