Sushi is a constant crowd pleaser, but how can you turn it into an extravagant meal, especially when entertaining? Here are some great ideas of What to Serve with Sushi at a Party.
Sushi is a popular and diverse dish popular in Japanese cuisine. It is made by rolling together raw fish (or another form of protein), a nori sheet, and sushi rice. There are so many ways to combine these ingredients along with various toppings, leaving you with sushi options galore (check out these 16 Different Types of Sushi for some inspiration!).
Sushi is spectacular, but it’s even more fun when paired with the various side dishes that make up the meal! These recipes will provide you with ideas and inspiration of What to Serve with Sushi. You can serve these at a party or just alongside your dinner menu.
Types of Sushi
There are 5 different main types of sushi: Sashimi, Nigiri, Maki, Uramiki, and Temaki. Each “type” is a different form of sushi, utilizing the protein and rice in a different way. It can be confusing ordering at a sushi restaurant if you don’t know what everything means. Here is a brief description:
Sashimi is a piece of protein (usually fish, shellfish, or seafood) on its own. It is served alone, unaccompanied by rice, toppings, or other ingredients. This is great for people who want to taste the fish on its own, without any outside influences.
Nigiri is only slightly more complicated than sashimi. Nigiri takes a piece of fish and serves it on top of a mound of rice. Nigiri is usually served raw, though it can be cooked, too.
The toppings popular in more complex sushi rolls are usually not found on Nigiri. Instead, it is served plain, making it another great option for people that want to taste the cut of fish or seafood all on its own.
Maki is what we traditionally think of when we hear the word “sushi”. It is the sushi rolls that are layered with seaweed on the outside, then rice, and then fish or seafood on the inside layer. It is also common to have other ingredients and flavors rolled into the sushi.
Uramaki takes maki to a whole other level, and is usually called “inside out sushi”. In this variation, the seafood is still rolled with seaweed, but the rice is rolled on the outside.
This gives the sushi chef the ability to add many toppings to the roll, including fruit, sauces, more fish, etc. Rainbow Roll and a California Roll are a great example of uramaki sushi.
Temaki is sushi that has been rolled into the shape of a cone, often known as a hand roll. One long piece of nori seaweed wraps up the rice, seafood, and toppings. This type of sushi is not cut into slices like maki and uramaki.
Sushi rice is a vital ingredient to making the perfect sushi. To make sushi rice, use Japanese short grain rice, unseasoned rice vinegar, sugar or honey, and salt. This combination of ingredients makes a sticky rice that will hold the sushi together. If you are making your own sushi at your sushi party, this is a vital step!
For instructions on how to make the perfect sushi rice, visit this post.
Common Ingredients for Sushi
You can order your rolls from sushi restaurants (so the professional sushi chefs are making it) or you can have some fun and make it at home! If you are making sushi at home for your sushi night, here are some great ingredients to have on hand:
- Fruits: Mango, avocado, pineapple
- Vegetables: Cucumber, carrots, sweet potato, green onions (spring onions), bell pepper
- Meats: Tuna, salmon, yellowtail shrimp, spicy crab, imitation crab meat (crab sticks), tofu, egg
- Sauces: Hot sauce, mayonnaise, eel sauce, sriracha sauce, spicy mayonnaise (here are some great sushi sauce recipes)
- Toppings/Fillings: Masago, cream cheese, tempura, fish roe, sesame seeds, black sesame seeds
Tools Needed to Make Sushi
When making sushi at home, it’s important to have a few different tools that will make your process much simpler:
- Sushi Mat: In Japanese, a bamboo rolling mat is called a makisu. It is a mat that is connected by cotton strings. You can lay the ingredients on top of the bamboo mat and then use the mat to roll the sushi rice. This forms the perfect sushi shape!
- Plastic Wrap: Plastic wrap is great for protecting your sushi mat when you are making an uramaki roll (an inside out roll). Because the rice is on the outside of uramaki rolls, the plastic wrap will keep the bamboo clean and away from the rice.
- Sharp Knife: A sharp knife is necessary when making sushi, and is helpful both for assembly as well as serving. You can use the knife to cut the ingredients into slices as well as to cut the finished sushi into small pieces for serving.
- Cutting Board: A cutting board is helpful for slicing your sushi and ingredients into thin slices.
- Sushi Platter: For serving your creations
- Rice Cooker (optional): You do not need a rice cooker to make sushi, but it certainly doesn’t hurt! You can also make the sushi rice at home using these instructions.
What to Serve with Sushi
Here are some great options of easy sides to serve with sushi. Many of these ingredients can be found at Japanese grocery stores:
- Wasabi Paste
- Pickled Ginger (often used as a palate cleanser between sushi variations)
- Soy Sauce
- Seaweed Salad
- Miso Soup
- Bamboo Leaf
- Green Tea
- Vegetables with Miso Paste
- Dipping Sauce
- Rice Balls
- Matcha Ice Cream
Recipe Ideas for What to Serve with Sushi for a Party
Here are some popular dish choices to serve with sushi. Some are traditional Japanese dishes and others are simply Asian-inspired side dishes that will entice your taste buds.
Seared Baby Bok Choy
This seared baby bok choy recipe (from She Keeps A Lovely Home) includes a sweet, sesame-ginger, garlic-soy sauce to drizzle on top! The seared bok choy is delicious enough on its own, but with that special sauce, it’s sensational! A perfect side dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make!
A delicious side dish or appetizer, this Agedashi Tofu recipe (from Carmy) comes together quickly with only a few pantry staples. Crispy fried tofu coated in a savoury, umami-filled sauce, this tofu recipe comes together easily in a few simple steps.
Asparagus Tempura with Miso Aioli
The ultimate Asian-inspired appetizer, this crunchy asparagus tempura (from Tao of Spice) is served up with a mouthwateringly tasty umami-rich miso aioli. Naturally vegetarian and gluten-free adaptable.
Miso Egg Drop Soup with Kimchi
Umami rich, this miso egg drop soup with kimchi (from Tao of Spice) is brimming with flavor and is incredibly simple to prepare in less than 15-minutes. Naturally gluten-free w/ vegetarian option.
Easy Korean Plum Wine Recipe
The easiest alcohol you can make- an easy korean plum wine recipe (from Greedy Girl Gourmet) that only requires 2-3 ingredients & a few minutes. maesil-ju, which is very similar to umeshu (japanese plum wine) and mei jiu (chinese plum wine), can be drunk on its own both hot and cold, or made into cocktails.
Cold Cucumber Salad
The easy cold cucumber salad chinese recipe (from Greedy Girl Gourmet) is delicious and full of spicy flavor but only requires 4-ingredients and 5 minutes to make. a perfect summer recipe- it’s not only super refreshing, you don’t have to slave in a hot kitchen to make it!
Miso Glazed Aubergine
This Miso Glazed Aubergine (from The Vegan Larder) is one of my all time favourite dishes that I learnt from one of my old Japanese flatmates. This is called Nasu Dengaku in Japan, and once I learnt how to make it I’ve made it again and again!
Air Fryer Shishito Peppers
Pop some shishito peppers (from The Short Order Cook) into an air fryer to char them up and you have one of the best appetizers. For a sweet, mildly spicy, and smoky bite there is nothing more simple yet delicious as these peppers. If you have never had one before, they are mild, and sweet, with hints of citrus and an almost grassy flavor.
Mushroom Salad with Ginger Sesame Dressing
This warm mushroom salad (from Champagne Taste) is tossed with bitter greens and a ginger sesame dressing, and is a perfect way to use wild, homegrown, and specialty mushrooms.
Easy Pickled Ginger
Thin slices of sweet pickled ginger (from It’s Not Complicated) ; perfect to cleanse your palate and enjoy alongside sushi, sashimi and so much more. “Gari”, as it is known in Japan, is for ginger lovers, who enjoy the flavour and warmth this delicious plant has to offer.
Japanese Style Silverbeet
Blanched silverbeet (from Mrs. Jones’s Kitchen) is mixed in a Japanese sesame miso dressing to make a vegetable side that is salty, nutty and so delicious – and even loved by silverbeet sceptics!
Asian Cucumber Salad
Crunchy Asian Cucumber Salad (from Recipes From A Pantry) is tangy, flavorful, and loaded with thinly sliced cucumbers. This easy cucumber salad Asian recipe is the perfect side dish to serve with all of your favorite Asian-style dishes and requires very little prep time.
Sugar Snap Peas
10 Minute, quickly sauteed sugar snap peas recipe (from Healing Tomato) with mint and ginger mixture. This stir fried snap peas are an easy summer vegan side dish to make.
Air Fryer Gyoza
Gyoza (from Hungry, Healthy, Happy) is always our go-to for a quick and easy meal or snack. Although they are usually steamed, we have cooked them in the air fryer, not only because it’s easy, but they get deliciously crispy. Cooked from frozen, this is the only way we cook gyoza now.
Cold Silken Tofu
Cold silken tofu (from Couple Eats Food) is a simple side dish that is popular in East Asia. We love it because it’s a no-cook recipe, and is ready in 5 minutes top! This savory tofu dish requires a handful of basic ingredients, and will make any non-tofu lover turn into a tofu fanatic!
Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings
Fast, easy, and extremely flavourful, these Air Fryer Rice Paper Dumplings (from Galaxy Gastronomy) are so simple to make! Crispy on the outside, chewy inside, and loaded with healthy veggies and Asian-inspired flavors, these vegan rice paper dumplings are perfect for a party appetizer or snack. This air fryer recipe is completely gluten-free as well!
Konjac Jelly with Fruits
Delicious, low-calorie and high in fiber, traditional japanese konjac jelly with fruits (from Greedy Girl Gourmet) is almost the perfect gluten-free, vegan dessert for those on a diet. it’s extra refreshing in the summer!
Broccolini with Asian Marinade
Sauteed broccolini (from Cooking with Elo) is great as a side dish and can be eaten hot or cold during fall, winter and spring. The 4-ingredient Asian dressing brings the flavors to the next level and won’t disappoint you.
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