How far in advance can I make sushi?

I'm considering serving sushi at an upcoming gathering. How far in advance can rolled sushi be made? Is there a better type of sushi to make for a crowd in advance?

  • Posted by: Andrew
  • November 8, 2017


702551 November 8, 2017
Sushi is best fresh. The rice should be room temperature, the cold ingredients cold, the hot ingredients hot, and the nori sheets should not start soaking up moisture from the rice. That's why it is ideally made to order.

That said, I've had some pretty good sushi bento boxes in Japan. This stuff is probably 6-12 hours old. I bought one sushi bento made to order from a 300 year old sushiya in Kyoto and ate it on the bullet train back to Tokyo a few hours later. That was very good sushi for something premade.

I think the quality noticeably declines after 12 hours and it's a shame when the nori in makizushi starts getting sticky because it has absorbed moisture. The sushi bento boxes I enjoyed in Japan had a mixture of both makizushi and nigirizushi.

Clearly there is sushi in US supermarket deli section refrigerator cases that was made a day earlier and some people seem to enjoy these offerings.

It's really up to you to decide what quality you'd like to serve to your guests. And that's not about sushi for this particular situation, that statement is applicable to every meal you prepare.

I suggest you do some test runs, make various sushi and refrigerate then for 6, 12, 18, 24 hours and taste them.

Good luck.
Andrew November 9, 2017
Thanks for the response. I'm just wondering if the sushi could hold a few hours. I'd like to make it 1-3 hours before my guests arrive so that I'm able to bar tend and socialize.
702551 November 9, 2017
Should be fine, that's what a hotel banquet kitchen or caterer would do.

Make sushi, arrange on serving platters, cover with plastic wrap, store in refrigerator until shortly before guests arrive.

If you are making the sushi an hour before your guests arrive, no real reason to refrigerate. Just cover with plastic wrap so things don't start drying out too quickly. Best to make the sushi as close as possible to serving time.
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