I want to make maki rolls for my 10 year old's lunch box.

As I will be making the sushi rice the evening before, I will be refrigerating it until the next morning when I will do the maki rolls with smoked salmon (it's for a 10 year old).

Obviously my primary concern is food safety over texture and I have come upon conflicting information on whether or not to refrigerate the sushi rice.

Any thoughts or ideas?

  • 1
    Are you asking whether you need to refrigerate overnight or for the time your child has the box at school?
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 19:46

4 Answers 4


If your primary motivation is food safety, then you shouldn't keep rice at room temperature for extended periods of time.

There are some people who say that leftover rice shouldn't be kept at all, because there's a risk of Bacillus cereus multiplying between the time that you cooked the rice and got it chilled down.

As such, you should cook your rice, cool it down to make the sushi, and then either consume it, or refrigerate it immediately.

Also possibly of interest (although I don't know if it would work for sushi), scientists have found that adding coconut oil when cooking rice, then chilling it can convert sugars to a non-available form, if you're concerned about diabetes risk.

  • I probably should've also mentioned that I've heard that there are some varieties of rice that have less texture issue when chilled. Shorter grain rice typically is less problematic than long-grain rice, though.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 4:23
  • This is all true, but the question states she's going to put the rice in the fridge right away and prep lunch the next day.
    – Escoce
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 20:14

I think four hours out of the fridge is no problem at all. You can always isolate the lunchbox with a towel, to keep it cool, but given that there are millions of japanese that do exactly what you are planning to do, and given that they are alive and kicking, even that seems unnecesary..


As sushi rice is marinated it can not be kept for more than few hours regardless of refrigerator. Japanese do not keep sushi rice, and even supermarket sushi has about 4 hours best before.


Sushi rice tends to harden up if kept exposed in air and 0-5°C which is fridge temperature. Use cling film to wrap them up, then roll it with newspaper and keep them in your fridge. Vinegar in Sushi rice can keep rice safe to eat for up to 2 days.

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