A traditional Japanese dish, sushi is a popular meal made with rice and ingredients such as vegetables and fish. Rolled up into a delicious delicacy, this dish is often served in Japanese restaurants.
If you have taken some sushi to go or purchased a box of sushi at a store, you may find yourself wondering after a few days if it is still good to eat. Since sushi often is uncooked and includes ingredients such as raw fish, you need to be careful about ensuring it has not spoiled.
Here’s the deal: Sushi does expire and it has a very limited shelf life. Read ahead to learn about signs of spoilage and how long sushi will typically last.
What Is Sushi?
Popular in Japanese cuisine, sushi is a unique dinner option. While many associate sushi with raw fish, there are numerous varieties of sushi that appeal to various preferences, even if you do not like seafood.
Sushi refers to foods that include sticky rice seasoned with vinegar and is garnished with vegetables or seafood.
Rolls of sushi are typically what is pictured, though this is actually a specific kind of sushi called makizushi. These sushi rolls are made by rolling a sheet of seaweed layered with rice, vegetables, and fish. The roll is then sliced into smaller pieces.
Other types of sushi include nigirizushi, which is a mound of rice topped with ingredients, and inarizushi, which is a deep-fried pouch of tofu filled with rice and toppings.
Of the various types of sushi, the common ingredients include seaweed, rice, vegetables, and fish.
Shelf Life Of Sushi
If you have brought a sushi roll home from a restaurant, you should understand it will not be good for very long. This won’t be something you can have for dinner in a week.
Typically, leftover sushi containing raw fish will last for around 24 hours. Even if it is still fine to eat, its texture and flavor may have changed, making it less desirable than a fresh roll of sushi.
Shelf life can also depend on the ingredients used in the sushi. If the sushi only includes vegetables or cooked fish, it may last for longer, potentially up to three or four days.
If you have purchased store-bought sushi, it may last a little longer than leftovers from a restaurant. The packaging on store-bought sushi boxes will typically have a use-by date. It is best that you not eat the sushi past that date. It is not worth the risk.
Proper Storage Of Sushi
When it comes to sushi, the fridge is your friend. Considering the ingredients in sushi, including raw fish, it will develop bacteria rapidly. Because of this, sushi must be refrigerated as soon as possible.
It is important that sushi is not kept at room temperature for long or it will quickly spoil. If the sushi has been at room temperature for more than a few hours, it should be tossed and is not worth trying to save for later.
Leftover sushi is typically brought home from the restaurant in a plastic or Styrofoam takeout container. While this may be fine for a short transport, the sushi should be transferred to something more airtight.
Exposure to air or moisture will make sushi go bad faster. Before storing your sushi, ensure it is not resting in liquid. It may even help to set it on a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid.
To best preserve your sushi, it should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in an air-tight container. Then, store your container in the refrigerator.
Keep in mind: Even when stored in ideal conditions, sushi will not last for very long and should probably be eaten within 24 hours.
Has This Sushi Gone Bad?
If you forgot about your leftover sushi at lunch, and have realized it has been over a day since you left the restaurant, you may be questioning if it is still good to eat.
Take a look at the sushi and pay attention to any changes in its color or smell. Look for anything that seems off.
Scent will be a key indicator of spoilage. If the sushi smells spoiled or different than a fresh roll, it should be thrown away. With ingredients such as seafood, it is best not to risk it, even if it only seems a little off.
Sushi’s appearance can also indicate spoilage. If it has developed a different color than what you recall, it may be a sign of bacterial development or that it has gone bad. It may have even developed some slime or a bit of mold. If this is the case, it should absolutely be thrown away.
If the sushi smells and appears okay, take a small bite to test its flavor. If it tastes off, it is best to throw it away. This may save you from a really bad stomach ache later on.
Sushi In Summary
- Sushi makes for a delicious meal, but will not last long once leaving the restaurant.
- Sushi will typically last for up to 24 hours. It is best not to exceed this.
- To store properly, the sushi should be wrapped in plastic and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- Sushi that has been at room temperature for very long should be thrown out. It has likely developed bacteria.
- To determine if sushi has gone bad, pay attention to its smell and appearance. If anything seems off, throw it out.
Sushi is great when freshly served, but when it goes bad, it will not be worth the risk. Paying attention to signs of spoilage will ensure you do not eat sushi that has gone bad, and your stomach will thank you.