Sushi rice, which is known to some as sticky rice, is a short-grain variant of rice that’s rich in carbohydrate. The high level of carbohydrate present in the rice is what gives it its sticky nature. Sushi rice is additionally flavored with both vinegar and sugar – which makes it taste so great with fish.
In the preparation of delicious sushi rolls, the quality of sushi rice used means a lot. Some people suggest using ordinary rice to make sushi, but it just doesn’t taste as good as proper sushi rice.
If you like cooking, your sushi rice can easily be prepared at home; all you need are the few ingredients – Japanese rice vinegar, salt, white short-grain rice, and sugar. Considering how popular sushi is these days, it won’t be a surprise if you’ve somehow found yourself with surplus sushi rice at home. When this happens, you’ll be in need of an efficient storage method.
Can you freeze sushi rice? Yes, you can freeze sushi rice. When done right, freezing can preserve sushi rice for up to 12 months. The sushi rice should be stored in an airtight container before being placed in the freezer for long-term preservation. You can always take the rice out of the freezer to thaw and use in a sushi recipe.
When preserving sushi rice through freezing, the packaging is the most important step. If the rice isn’t packaged well before freezing, you’ll get undesirable results. For the best approach to freezing sushi rice, keep reading this article.
Freezing Sushi Rice
Sushi rice can be made from white or brown rice. However, the white rice will usually last longer than brown rice. So, if you plan to freeze some of your homemade sushi rice, you should consider using the white variant of short-grain sticky rice. Refrigeration is an alternative method for preserving sushi rice. If packaged correctly, sushi rice can keep for over 6 months in the fridge.
The free is however the best way to preserve sushi rice for a long period of time. Unlike storage in the pantry, freezing will protect your sushi rice from pests like rats and insects. Once the rice’s container is sealed tight, you don’t have to worry about freezer burn from direct contact with cold freezer air.
How to Freeze Sushi Rice
Sushi rice isn’t hard to freeze; you just need to follow the correct steps. Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Allow Sushi Rice to Cool
After cooking the sushi rice, you’ll need to let it cool down. Placing hot rice directly in the freezer will cause some unwanted effects – the freezer’s temperature will be raised and other frozen foods will become defrosted. There will also be a formation of moisture that turns to ice crystals and causes freezer burn.
Let the freshly cooked sushi rice cool to room temperature – you should be able to touch it without getting burned. So that the rice cools fast, you can spread it out on a cookie sheet. Once the rice has cooled down, start packaging it for long-term storage in the freezer.
Step 2: Transfer Sushi Rice into Freezer-Safe Container of Bag
You can make use of either freezer-safe plastic bags or containers to store your sushi rice. Simply transfer the rice into the freezer-safe container and leave a little space on top so that the lid doesn’t squash the rice. Wipe off any trace of water from the lid and the container’s opening before shutting it tight. Once the lid has been sealed tight, make use of some tape to wrap the container’s lid. Doing so will keep out cold freezer air.
If you wish to store your rice in a plastic freezer bag, let the rice lay flat in the bag. You can first freeze the rice in the bags for some hours till they’re solidly frozen. After that the solid bags of frozen rice can be stacked on top of each other to save space in the freezer.
Personally, I prefer to store my rice in sealable freezer bags because they don’t take up as much space as the containers.
Step 3: Label Freezer Bag and Store in the Freezer
After packing and sealing the sushi rice, use a marker to write the present date and content of the packaging on the freezer-safe bag or container. If you don’t want to write directly on the bag with a marker, you can make use of paper tape. Tear a piece of paper tape and stick it to the freezer bag; you can then write the date on the tape.
Put the freezer-safe bag in the coldest part of your freezer and let it sit till you need the sushi rice.
How to Thaw Frozen Sushi Rice
To thaw your frozen sushi rice, you can make use of the microwave. However, you’ll need to take the frozen rice out of the freezer-safe bag and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. When thawing frozen sushi rice, make sure you only thaw a portion of the rice that you can finish at once. After putting the frozen sushi rice in the microwave-bowl, cover its lid lightly – the lid shouldn’t be shut tight. It should only rest lightly on the bowl.
Use a spoon to break up the frozen rice in the bowl and set your microwave’s temperature to high. Place the sushi rice in the microwave and let it heat for 60 seconds. After the first 60 seconds have lapsed, use a spoon to separate the mounds of rice some more and heat for another 60 seconds – repeat this process till the rice is completely thawed.
When thawing with a microwave, you must be careful so that the rice doesn’t get burned. Microwave can get very hot quickly, which is why close attention to the process is required.
Alternatively, frozen sushi rice can be left to thaw inside the refrigerator. Simply leave the container of frozen rice to sit in the fridge overnight.