How to Reheat Sushi Rice with 5 Easy Methods

Reheating sushi rice can be tricky, you want to make sure that the rice is evenly heated while avoiding overcooking it or drying it out. However, if you follow a few tips and tricks it is possible to reheat sushi rice.

The best ways to reheat sushi rice are in the microwave, steamer, pan, oven, or air fryer. These methods will allow you to reheat your rice without losing its texture or drying out.

This article will cover how sushi rice is made as well as the best ways to reheat it.

What is Sushi Rice?

Whenever you make sushi, you’ll notice that the recipe calls for something called sushi rice.

Sushi rice is a type of short-grain Japanese rice that is seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. This gives it the classic sushi flavor and helps to keep the rice together once it is formed into a roll. 

To make sushi that sticks together properly, you need sticky rice. Long-grain rice is typically dry whereas short-grain rice is soft and sticky which allows it to stay together. Short grain rice also stays soft after cooling which is important since most sushi is served at room temperature or slightly cooler.

After the rice is cooked, the rice vinegar and other seasonings are added to the rice to help flavor it.

Can You Reheat Sushi Rice?

Yes, you can reheat sushi rice. However, you must be careful to not overcook it. If you overcook it the rice could become mushy which will decrease its ability to hold its shape. 

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You must also be careful to not dry out the rice. The best way to do this is to add an extra source of moisture. If you’re reheating your rice in the microwave or an oven this can be done by adding a small container of water alongside the rice container.

How Do You Reheat Sushi Rice?

There are several ways to reheat sushi rice and each has its pros and its cons. Keep in mind, that rice is almost always best used the same day it is cooked. That way you can have it while it is fresh and hasn’t dried out or aged.

Some of the most popular ways to reheat sushi rice are in the microwave, steamer, pan, oven, and air fryer.

1. Microwave

Reheating rice using a microwave is one of the most popular methods. It allows you to heat the rice quickly and usually won’t change the texture significantly. However, in microwaving you run the risk of drying out the rice or overcooking it so the texture becomes gummy.


  1. Place rice in a microwave-safe dish
  2. Place an ice cube on top of the ice
  3. Microwave the rice in 10-15 second increments
  4. Once the rice has reached the ideal temperature remove it from the microwave
  5. Remove ice cube
  6. Mix the rice and enjoy

Adding an ice cube to your rice while you microwave allows the rice to slowly steam while it’s reheating. This helps prevent the rice from drying out or accidentally adding too much liquid. Alternatively, you can add a small dish of water to the microwave.

2. Steamer

Using a steamer is another popular method to reheat rice. This allows you to gently reheat the rice without losing moisture.

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  1. Place cold rice in a steamer
  2. Fill the pot below with approximately two inches of water
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then lower it to a simmer
  4. Place steamer over pot and cover
  5. Steam for roughly 5 minutes or until rice is reheated

3. Pan

Reheating rice in a pan is a great option when you want some crispy rice or want to prepare fried rice. Fried rice is one of the best uses of day-old rice, as it does not absorb the flavor as well when it is fresh.


  1. Heat a pan on medium heat with a small amount of oil or cooking spray
  2. Place the cold rice in the pan
  3. Break the rice apart and stir it as it cooks
  4. Remove the rice once it is hot

If you want to avoid crispy rice you can also add a few tablespoons of extra water to the rice. This will help the rice to steam instead of fry. In this case, you should also reduce the amount of oil.

4. Oven

Another way that you can reheat rice is by reheating it in the oven. This is frequently done when you want to reuse your sushi rice in something like a sushi bake. However, it can also be used to reheat plain rice.

This method is best used when you have large quantities of rice that you need to reheat. If you use the oven to reheat small amounts of rice, you may end up burning the rice or making it crispy and hard to chew.


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Break rice apart and place in baking dish
  3. Spread water over the rice, 1 Tbsp per cup of rice
  4. Cover rice with foil
  5. Poke several small holes in the foil
  6. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until rice is soft
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Adding in the extra water and covering it with foil allows the rice to steam, returning the rice to its original consistency.

5. Air Fryer

Using an air fryer is one of the most simple ways to reheat your day-old rice. The benefit of this method is that as long as your rice doesn’t feel dry, you don’t need to add extra moisture. This is because since the air fryer is a closed system, it will maintain the moisture levels of your rice.


  1. Place the rice in the air fryer basket
  2. Cook the rice for about 8 minutes
  3. After 8 minutes check the rice to see if it is heated enough
  4. If not, continue to heat for 2-minute increments
  5. Once the rice is hot, remove it and enjoy


Like other types of rice, sushi rice can be reheated. However, it is important to do it in the correct way to maintain the rice’s texture and flavor. 

Some of the best ways to reheat sushi rice are in the microwave, oven, steamer, pan, and air fryer. With most of these methods, you will want to be careful to add in an extra moisture source that way your rice doesn’t dry out while you are reheating it.