Sushi rice is the main ingredient in making sushi. This rice is also known to some as sticky rice, which has a sticky texture when compared to other varieties of rice. If you are making sushi at home, you’ll probably end up with leftovers of sushi rice. Rather than throwing them away, would freezing sushi rice be an option?
Can you freeze sushi rice? Yes, you can freeze sushi rice. Properly stored, rice can last for up to 1 year in the freezer. Since it’s rice, they will need to be handled with care to prevent bacteria contamination. After the sushi rice has cooled down, freeze them as soon as possible.
Does Sushi Rice Freeze Well?
Sushi rice does freeze well, and they last quite for a long time. This goes for cooked sushi rice.
For uncooked sushi rice, they freeze well too, but there’s no need to freeze them. Freezing uncooked rice doesn’t do much in regard to its shelf life. Uncooked sushi rice will last for a year or more if it’s kept dry.
How To Freeze Sushi Rice
Freezing sushi rice is quite simple and doesn’t require a lot of time. You can freeze uncooked sushi rice, but it’s really not necessary as storing them at room temperature will have the same shelf life as in the freezer. Also, you’ll have more space in the freezer to store other foods.
Therefore, the instructions below will be for cooked sushi rice.
Step 1: Allow Sushi Rice To Cool
Once the sushi rice is cooked, allow it to cool down to room temperature. Freezing rice while it’s still warm can cause condensation in the storage container. This will lead to moisture that turns to ice crystals and cause freezer burn.
Also, warm rice will cause the temperature of the freezer to rise. Other food in the freezer will become defrosted.
If you want to cool the sushi rice down quickly, spread them out on a baking tray.
Be sure to never leave sushi rice out at room temperature for too long. Doing so will cause bacterial growth. Therefore, make sure it’s not left out on the counter for longer than 2 hours.
Step 2: Portion The Sushi Rice
Portion the sushi rice is a great way to store it. Doing so will prevent any leftovers since you’re removing them in small quantities.
If you’re preparing a large sushi platter, you can freeze the rice in a large container. Otherwise, it’s better to freeze them in small multiple containers. Any leftovers will have to be discarded since you can refreeze sushi rice.
Step 3: Storage Container
It’s best to store sushi rice in an airtight container. You can also use freezer bags if you like.
Place the rice into the container or freezer bag. Leave a little space at the top, so you can close the lid tight.
For the freezer bag, squeeze out the excess air before sealing it tightly.
For an airtight container, check the seal on the lid to make sure there are no damages. If not, secure the lid to the container as tight as possible.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
After packing and sealing the sushi rice, use a marker to write the date of freezing on the airtight container or freezer bag. If you don’t want to reuse the bag, you can write on paper tape. Simply tear off a piece of paper tape and stick it to the bag or container. Then write down the date on the tape.
Then place the sushi rice into the freezer. For the freezer bag, lay it flat in the freezer and allow it to be completely frozen before stacking anything on top of it.
How Long Can You Freeze Sushi Rice?
Cooked sushi rice will last for up to 12 months in the freezer. It could last much longer than that, but the quality of the rice will start to deteriorate. Usually, after that time, the rice will become dry and break apart when it’s thawed. If you’re planning to make sushi with frozen sushi rice after that time, you may not enjoy it very much.
Therefore, always try to use sushi rice within 12 months for the best quality.
How Do You Defrost Sushi Rice?
To defrost sushi rice, you can leave it in the fridge. Remove the rice from the freezer, place it onto a plate, and pop it into the fridge. Let the rice sit overnight or for at least 5 hours to thaw completely before using it.
If you need sushi rice much sooner, you can use the microwave to defrost it. It’s simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. Follow the steps below to successfully thaw sushi rice in the microwave:
Step 1: Microwave-safe Bowl
Remove the frozen sushi rice from the freezer. Take the rice out of the container or freezer bag. Then place it into a microwave-safe bowl and cover the lid on it lightly. There should be a small gap to allow the moisture to escape.
Step 2: Thaw in Microwave
Set the microwave’s temperature at the highest heat setting. Microwave the rice for 1 minute. After a minute, use a spoon to break up the rice in the bowl.
Then microwave it for another minute. Repeat this process until the sushi rice is completely thawed.
Can You Refreeze Sushi Rice?
You should not refreeze sushi rice. Freezing the sushi rice more than once will cause the texture of it to break down even more. After it is thawed for the second time, you’ll notice the rice will be soft and mushy. This is due to the extra moisture that it had absorbed when it was thawed the first time.
To avoid having to refreeze sushi rice, you should try to portion them. This way, you’ll only remove them in a small portion without worrying about any leftovers and having to refreeze them.
Other Questions about Sushi Rice
Can you freeze uncooked sushi rice?
You can freeze uncooked sushi rice, but it’s highly recommended that you do not. Uncooked rice is better stored at room temperature in a cool and dry place. Storing them in the pantry will have the same shelf life as in the freezer.