supermarket sushi

Have you ever tried sushi at a supermarket outside of Japan? Unless it’s a country of full time fish eaters, it’s useless to complain about the quality of ingredients. But besides that, I am always frustrated with one thing.

The rice is horribly HARD!!

In this page, I will show you how to store sushi to keep the rice soft.

Table of Contents

What’s the correct temperature for sushi?

First of all, I need to make one point clear:
Sushi is normally “room temperature” food!

However, you find pre-made sushi in refrigerators at supermarkets. In Japan, they keep pre-made Sushi in perfect temperatures between 55F and 64F(13C and 18C), which is higher than the temperature that would make rice get hard and lower than the temperature that would allow the ingredients go bad.

At least in the USA, the temperature of the refrigerator which they tend to keep sushi at the supermarket, is commonly way too low.

refrigerated sushi

fridge temp

But I understand that in a supermarkets situation, it might be impossible for them to change the temperature of the fridge. So, we should always get fresh sushi as often as possible. place an order and get it from worker’s hand.

How to store pre-made sushi

Now let’s focus on the main topic, protecting sushi’s soft rice.

In a situation where:

  1. You’re Not going to eat sushi imediately
  2. you need to keep sushi in a cool place
  3. You’re not able to adjust the temperature of the refrigeration unit to the recommended range only for sushi.

Simply wrap the container of the sushi with a big piece of paper (like newspaper) and store it in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. That will help to keep the right temperature and moisture for the sushi.

wrap the sushi

paper wrapped sushi

sushi in the right spot

Then, take it out from the fridge for 30 minutes before eating it.

However, this is the proper way to eat pre-made sushi which is made out of perfectly fresh ingredients. If you have any doubt about the quality of your sushi, this trick is not for you.

How to revive the rice after too much refrigeration

If you notice the rice for sushi is way too hard after it has been left in cold temperatures for too long, you can microwave the rice.  When you’re buying refrigerated pre-made sushi in the USA,  you will normally have to revive softness of rice.

nigiri and maki sushi

If you want to try that, I recommend Nigiri (The sushi to the left in the above image), because it’s very easy to separate the piece of fish from the rice. So you can heat up only the rice in the microwave for 10-15 secs per rice ball. Let the revived rice cool down to the room temperature, then put the fish back on.

separate the piece of fish from the nigiri sushi

separate the piece of fish from the maki sushi

I hope this Japanese life hack will help sushi lovers all over the world!