Throwing a sushi party is fun for guests and the host with some simple planning, the right equipment and some careful preparation ahead of time. You will need to decide if sushi will be prepared in advance or if the guests will prepare their own sushi. Once you have determined the number of guests attending your party, you can prepare a shopping list of ingredients so that each guest will be served approximately 6 pieces of rolled sushi, sashimi or nigiri-zushi, or 2-3 hand rolls.
Whether you will prepare sushi in advance or have guests prepare sushi as part of the festivities, it is important to prepare all the ingredients in advance. Sushi rice should be prepared right before serving to achieve best results. Fish and vegetable chopping and slicing can be done an hour or so ahead of time. Pickled ginger, wasabi paste, soy sauce, sake, Japanese beer, can be purchased in most supermarkets, and are ready to serve right from their containers. Sake can be served chilled, or warmed to a temperature just above body temperature.
If guest will roll sushi or create hand rolls, you will need several bamboo mats for easy sushi roll preparation, and a few bowls of water to rinse hands that come in contact with the sticky sushi rice. Its recommended that all cutting of fish and seafood be done in advance as the preparation requires a very sharp cutting instrument, typically a chef or sushi knife.
In addition to sushi, you may wish to serve traditional miso soup, iceberg salad with a ginger dressing, and green tea ice cream. You’ll find recipes for each of these traditional Japanese side dishes with our sushi recipes. Each of these dishes take minutes to prepare and much of the work can be done in advance.
For serving consider how you will seat guests and how sushi will be served. Special sushi platters are encouraged, as well as decorative sushi plates for sushi, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Individual rice and salad bowls are required for serving Japanese soups and salads.
Will your party stick close to traditional customs, or will you just be serving the sushi as an entrée? Check out our serving sushi, sushi etiquette and traditional customs articles for more information on how to present sushi, add some traditional Japanese customs and behavior to your sushi party.