Love sushi? You’re not alone: there are over 4,000 sushi restaurants in the U.S. and countless other Japanese and Japanese-Chinese fusion ones that serve the raw stuff.
That means the chances are good that you know other people who love sushi. So why not try something different for entertaining and make sushi the star attraction? Here’s everything you need to know about sushi parties.
Teach Your Guests How to Make Sushi
Sure, you can order several types of rolls and appetizers from your local Japanese restaurant. There’s nothing wrong with that. But for something a little more interactive and a lot more fun, how about teaching your guests how to actually make sushi?
It isn’t as hard as you think. Making your own sushi involves cooking up a batch of sushi rice, buying several nori (seaweed) sheets, and preparing a choice of raw and cooked fillings. These fillings can include:
- Cooked shrimp
- Cooked or smoked salmon
- Cooked crabmeat or imitation crabmeat
- Thinly sliced (like matches) cucumber and carrot
- Chopped avocado
- Cooked and cubed sweet potato
- Cream cheese
If you want to offer your guests raw fish, make sure it’s sushi grade. Anything less is risky because it can make people sick. To be on the safe side, you can supply only cooked seafood.
You’ll also want to purchase a few bamboo mats to make rolling the sushi easier. Each guest should also have their own bowl of water mixed with rice vinegar to dip their fingers in while rolling as sushi rice can get sticky.
Make sushi rice ahead of time. Use only short-grain Japanese or white rice.
If you happen to own a rice cooker, it’ll come in handy for this purpose. You’ll be seasoning it with rice vinegar, salt, and sugar to achieve that unique sweet and sour tang that sushi rice has.
Follow a sushi rice recipe to achieve the right consistency and flavoring. Instruct your guests to lay a nori sheet on the bamboo and spread it with an even layer of sushi rice. Next, spread your favorite fillings, roll up the sushi using the bamboo, and slice into even pieces.
Whatever fillings you offer, you want to make sure to cook what should be cooked (sweet potato, shrimp, and salmon) and offer ingredients that make good sushi combinations.
Offer Japanese Appetizers and Desserts
Sushi is healthy, low-calorie food. Because of this, it doesn’t always fill the belly.
You can add to your sushi party by buying or making some Japanese appetizers. Tasty ones include tempura vegetables and gyoza, which are dumplings filled with pork and cabbage.
You can also make spring rolls wrapped in lettuce or rice paper served with peanut sauce or rice vinegar.
For dessert, serve green tea ice cream or mochi ice cream. Showing up in many supermarket chains, mochi consists of a rice dumpling filled with ice cream. Flavors include everything from basic vanilla to salted caramel and mint chocolate chip.
Don’t Forget the Condiments and Beverages
Your guests will enjoy flavoring their sushi rolls with their favorite condiments. Some of the offerings to have on-hand include:
- Soy sauce
- Sriracha sauce
- Spicy mayonnaise (make your own by combining one part sriracha sauce with three parts mayonnaise)
- Pickled ginger
- Wasabi (mix wasabi powder with water before the party to create the wasabi paste Japanese restaurants serve)
- Eel sauce
Make sure to offer a selection of beverages such as beer, wine, and water. You can offer Japanese sake, beer, and plum wine to truly make your party a culinary experience.
Last but not least, you’ll want to have chopsticks and napkins on hand and a variety of dishware and bowls for dipping and serving. Set out glasses for guests to help themselves to their choice of beverages.
Set the Mood With Japanese Decor and Music
To really create the sushi party’s atmosphere, decorate your home or dining area with Japanese touches. These can include colorful paper lanterns, origami, paper parasols, geisha fans, and fake cherry blossoms.
Ask your Alexa to softly play some Japanese music for the background when your bash begins.
A sushi party is perfect for lunchtime, or you can host it as a different type of nighttime dinner party. Whatever time of the day you decide to hold it, it should be a smash with all of your guests.
Make Things Easier by Ordering Sushi or Hosting the Party at a Restaurant
If the idea of prepping ingredients and teaching your guests how to make sushi is overwhelming, you can order the food yourself or have the party at a Japanese restaurant.
If you do decide to order food for a party, be sure to include a selection of cooked sushi options as well as raw ones. Not everyone likes or can eat raw seafood. A selection of appetizers will be appreciated as well.
If you wish to have the party at a restaurant, try to get an accurate headcount ahead of time. You may need to reserve a private room. This location of this particular Japanese restaurant offers private dining and catering.
Just be prepared to spend more money, particularly if you need to reserve a private area. Hosting your own sushi party is often more affordable.
Sushi Parties Are a Lot of Fun
Sushi parties are a lot of fun, so why not try hosting one of your own? With the helpful tips outlined above, you and your guests are sure to have an enjoyable time.
Here at Wishes Planet we love showing people how to celebrate and entertain. Whether you need specific gift ideas for a friend or loved one or are looking for a unique party theme, we have you covered. Check out our newest celebrations and parties posts for more great party ideas!