This Is How Far in Advance You Can Make Sushi

Serving sushi at a party can be intimidating because of the time it takes to make. But it’s still possible to make it in advance and have enough time to socialize with your guests. Now the question is, how far in advance can you make sushi?

You can make sushi anywhere from 6 to 24 hours in advance, depending on the type and ingredients used. You can make sushi rice up to 3 days in advance. When making sushi in advance, ensure that anything longer than 6 hours is refrigerated, and remember that the freshest sushi is always the best.

People get intimidated by the idea of rolling sushi, but some tricks can make it easier for you. In this article, I’ll be going through some ideas to help you host the best sushi party. Stick around because I’ll also show you a variety of sushi you can serve at your party.

Preparing Sushi in Advance

Sushi is one of the best dishes to serve your guests at a party, but preparing it can be time-consuming. The best sushi also needs to maintain proper temperature, so timing is crucial. 

If you’re hosting a party and you want to serve the best sushi to your guests, you may want to prepare it ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll have very little time to socialize and enjoy your get-together.

Preparing Sushi in Advance

Figuring out the fillings that you’re going to serve should be the first step. Remember, the more ingredients you have prepared, the easier it’ll be for you to roll sushi, and the more time you’ll have to socialize with your guests.

Many people get overwhelmed with the idea of rolling sushi and serving it to the guests. But if you already know what you’ll serve and the fillings you want for it, the process will be very simple.

People have varying preferences when it comes to the sushi they like. You can test yours by making different sets for 6, 12, 18, and 24 hours in advance. Personally, I prefer sushi made within the last 6 hours, preferably even less. 

It’s best to make sushi as close as possible to serving time, but it wouldn’t really be a problem if you’re making them 24 hours in advance.

If you decide to make sushi 6 hours ahead of the party, you don’t have to refrigerate them. Placing them on a plate and covering them with a cling wrap should suffice in keeping them fresh. 

However, if you’re going to make the sushi 12 to 24 hours ahead of time, it would be best to keep them refrigerated until at least 3 hours before the party starts to let them get to room temperature.

Preparing the Sushi Rice in Advance

Fish, seafood, and vegetables are the components that many people pay attention to when preparing sushi. But rice is just as important because it’s the base that holds the other ingredients together. 

In fact, one could argue that it’s the most important component of any sushi, and it’s also the most time-consuming. 

It needs proper seasoning to bring out the taste of the other ingredients, and it needs to be at the right temperature to prevent it from going bad. 

Although it’s possible to refrigerate sushi rice, it’s not the best option because it can significantly affect the texture.

When To Start Preparing Sushi Rice

You can start making sushi rice 5 to 6 hours in advance if you’re not planning to refrigerate it. This will allow you to have enough time to work on the other ingredients without having to worry about seasoning another batch of rice when you run out.

However, you also need to remember that it will greatly depend on other environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity, which will affect how far in advance you can make sushi.

How To Work With Refrigerated Sushi Rice

Refrigerating sushi rice can add up to 3 days to its shelf life, giving you plenty of time to put all the ingredients together. You just have to be careful because the low temperature can cause the rice to harden and ruin the texture of your sushi.

If you decide to refrigerate the sushi rice, make sure that you let it sit and get to room temperature before you use it.

Another crucial part of using refrigerated rice is to ensure that you microwave it for a few seconds before making sushi. 

Types of Sushi

Another way to help you prepare sushi in advance is to know the various types of sushi that you can serve at your party. After all, it won’t be a sushi party if you’re only serving one type, right? 

Different types of sushi have varying complexities when making them, which can lead to confusion, especially when trying to make it ahead.

For example, Temari Sushi might look great, but their round shapes and varied toppings make them much more difficult to make for a crowd. 

Some popular types of sushi include:

Knowing the differences between each type and the ingredients needed will be invaluable for preparing your sushi platter ahead of time. 

Let’s take a closer look at the different types below. 

Dragon Roll

Dragon Rolls are a very popular American-style sushi that you’ll normally see at buffet joints. 

It’s an inside-out sushi with the nori sheet wrapping around the ingredients, then covered with sushi rice. Topped with tobiko fish roes and spicy mayonnaise, it resembles the scales of a dragon, hence the name.

This can easily be made ahead by prepping the ingredients in advance and rolling a few hours before you need them. Since the filling is wrapped in rice, they should stay nice and moist.

Nigiri Sushi

Nigiri is a more traditional type of sushi with a nice slice of fish on top of the sushi rice. It’s usually very simple, letting the fish speak for itself without needing any elaborate toppings. 

If your guests prefer seafood and raw fish, this should be on the top of your list. It’s easy to make and won’t take a lot of time to prepare.

Since this sushi features a slice of raw fish over the top, you will need to cover it with a clean, damp cloth to keep it from drying out. 

California Roll 

The California Roll is another inside-out sushi with a nori sheet wrapping around crab meat, avocado, and cucumber. You’ll then cover it with sushi rice and top with tobiko or masago fish roes that add more texture and presentation to the roll.


Futomaki is one of the most classic sushi rolls. In fact, if you’re going to ask for a sushi roll in Japan, chances are you’ll get futomaki. 

It’s a thick roll of sushi rice with fillings and covered by a nori sheet on the outside. It looks similar to the California Roll, but the fillings differ slightly.

Like the California Rolls, these can also be made ahead easily. 


Hosomaki is perfect for beginners because they’re easy to make. It’s a thin roll of rice with various fillings, depending on what you’ve decided to serve for the party. 

Unlike other sushi rolls that you assemble as one before cutting them into pieces, you’ll assemble hosomaki individually.

Temaki Sushi

The most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch, Temaki sushi is cone-shaped and served with rice and a variety of fillings. 

It adds personality to the platter you’re going to serve, but it doesn’t take much time to prepare as you can lay everything out and let your guests make their own.

Since you don’t need to roll these yourself, it’s easy to slice and lay out the ingredients and keep them covered until your guests arrive.


Preparing sushi in advance is the best way to host a sushi party. Rolling sushi is simple, but it’s not easy. Several things could go wrong if you’re preparing them very close to serving time. So working on it in advance saves you from all of these issues.

There are only four things that you have to determine when making sushi in advance: how much sushi you need to make, what types of sushi you’re going to serve, how far in advance you should make the sushi rice, and how far in advance you should start assembling the pieces.

Here are some of my favorite sushi making tools

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you find it useful as you make sushi at home. Here are some tools I’ve used that I hope you’ll find helpful, too. These are affiliate links, so if you decide to use any of them, I will earn a commission. But honestly, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my family.

Rice cooker: For getting started, I really like Zojirushi Rice Cooker. The Zojirushi Rice cooker does not only make rice-cooking dirt simple, but it is a quality gadget that cooks better than most chefs can. Unlike most kitchen gadgets, it does not sacrifice quality for convenience.

Knife:The Kai Knife is one of the best sushi knives in the market. Made in Japan’s famous knife-making capital, Seki city.