Make Your Own Sushi Dinner Party!

One of my favorite meals to make with friends and family is make your own sushi. Everyone enjoys choosing their own fillings, being creative, and making their own custom rolls! Kids especially appreciate being able to build their own sushi roll because they know exactly what it is in it. So make your next gathering into a make your own sushi dinner party!

Step 1. Make your sushi rice.

I prefer white sushi rice, as it is lighter and goes with all fillings, although once in a while I make pressure-cooked brown rice for more hearty vegetarian rolls. Here is my fool-proof recipe for making sushi rice without sugar! Make sure the rice is not still hot when making a roll, so it doesn’t “melt” the nori sheet or making the fillings warm.

Step 2. Prepare your fillings.

I like to fold a nori sheet in half (with stripes going vertically) and cut filling ingredients to the length of the half sheet width. I usually slice ingredients fairly thinly so that I can put multiple fillings into each roll. Almost anything can go into a sushi roll, but you might try:

  • cucumber (deseeded)
  • spring mix (no need to slice)
  • carrots (raw, blanched, or sauteed)
  • sweet potato (sautéed)
  • avocado
  • edible flowers
  • red bell pepper (raw or roasted and peeled)
  • snap peas
  • fresh herbs- mint, cilantro, basil, shiso
  • mushrooms- shiitake, oyster, portobello (sautéed and seasoned)
  • tofu or tempeh (pan-fried and seasoned with shoyu or tamari)
  • pickles (red or green sauerkraut, red radish pickles, daikon pickles, etc.)
  • umeboshi paste
  • condiments- shiso powder, gomashio, ao nori flakes
  • toasted sesame seeds- tan and/or black
  • Dijon or whole grain mustard

Step 3. Prepare an awesome dipping sauce.

There are all kinds of sauces that go well with sushi, such as shoyu-ginger, wasabi mayo, and various spicy sauces. Try this simple and delicious recipe my husband created called insanely delicious miso dipping sauce or my sweet and savory almond butter dipping sauce.

Step 4. Make a 5-minute miso soup.

Use my basic vegetable miso soup recipe to make a delicious start to the meal. The soup can be warmed up at the last minute and garnished after serving in individual bowls.

Step 5. Prepare your sushi rolling station and roll your sushi!

If making hand rolls, you can all sit around a table and make one at a time from your seat. Watch my Facebook video for tips on making regular nori rolls and inside out rolls.

Each person will need:

  • A sushi mat and a little space to roll
  • A bowl of water to dip hands in and a hand towel
  • A plate to set their finished rolls

Have accessible for everyone to share:

  • A platter or two of fillings, pickles, condiments, and sauces
  • A stack of nori sheets (I usually use half sheets that I half myself) and/or soy wrappers
  • A cutting board and sharp knife for slicing sushi (link to Japanese veg knife)
  • Platters for displaying sliced sushi

For making a basic nori roll, lay the sheet of nori (i usually use a half sheet but you can also use a whole sheet) on a dry bamboo mat with lines on nori sheet going vertically. Wet hands in bowl of water and shake off excess. Take a handful of sushi rice (about 1/2-3/4 cup) and very gently spread out over the lower 2/3 of the nori sheet, all the way out to the edges. Do not put pressure on rice, as it can tear the nori sheet. The sushi rice will easily stick to the nori sheet without any pressing. Take several fillings and place horizontally over the rice on the lower 1/4 of the sheet (almost to the bottom). Start rolling the nori from the bottom, enclosing the fillings into the first turn. Keep rolling, using the bamboo mat for support, until you reach the part of the nori without rice. Dip your index finger into the water bowl and wet the edge of the nori to help seal the roll. Keep the roll intact until ready to serve. Slice just before serving.

Step 6. Set a beautiful table.

Place sushi platters on table and garnish with fresh herbs or edible flowers. Serve up miso soup into individual bowls and garnish with thinly sliced scallions or some fresh herbs. Have an assortment of drinks off to the side to sample such as green tea, iced green tea, warm or cold sake, or a crisp, dry white wine. Give everyone a plate, dipping sauce bowl, and chopsticks.

Enjoy your meal… Itadakimasu!  いただきます!


Maple Roasted Wild Salmon with Fresh Rosemary

We make Maple Roasted Wild Salmon at home when we want something easy, hearty, and delicious. It is also great for dinner parties because it can be cooked at the last minute after everyone has arrived.

This recipe is quite simple. It has only 6 ingredients, including olive oil and sea salt! There are many variations on this recipe, but one of our favorites is to add toasted pecans.

When selecting your salmon fillet, make sure it is wild caught. The taste of wild caught salmon is unparalleled, and is higher in minerals (including potassium, zinc and iron) than its farm-raised counterpart. Wild caught salmon contains about half the fat as farm-raised salmon, so it is important to use some oil if baking or roasting in the oven.

Maple Roasted Wild Caught Salmon with Fresh Rosemary
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1¼ lb. wild caught salmon fillet (coho, sockeye, or king)
  • sea salt
  • about ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lightly oil a 9" X 9" glass baking dish or roasting pan with a thin coating of olive oil.
  3. Cut salmon into 4 equal pieces. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Place salmon pieces in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle evenly with sea salt (a few large pinches). Alternatively, leave the salmon fillet whole to have a nice presentation the table.
  4. Roast salmon in the oven for 8 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, sauté garlic in olive oil until garlic is soft but not browned. Remove from heat and stir in rosemary, maple syrup, and a large pinch of salt.
  6. After salmon has roasted for 8 minutes, remove from oven and spoon garlic-rosemary oil over each fillet. Return salmon to the oven and roast for another 3 minutes, and then check for doneness.
  7. Serve with a fresh salad, sauteed greens or broccolini, or other vegetable side dish.
Variations
  1. Maple-pecan version: Toast up to 1 cup pecan pieces with the garlic until fragrant, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Keep the rest of the recipe the same, or omit the rosemary for a pure maple-pecan flavor. This variation is especially good in the fall and early winter when pecans are fresh.
  2. Maple-balsamic version: Add 2 teaspoons good quality balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction) to the garlic-olive oil mixture. Omit rosemary.
Note
  1. To check for doneness, plunge a small sharp knife all the way through the thickest part of one of the fillets and hold it there for 5 seconds. Pull it out and carefully touch the flat side of the knife to your lower lip, which is very sensitive to temperature. If it feels warm, the fish is just cooked through and ready to serve. If the knife is still cold or cool, the fish needs more time.
  2. Another way to gauge doneness is to watch for the appearance of a white substance that starts forming on the outside of the salmon. Usually this indicates the salmon is close to being done.

Some ideas for completing your menu:

  • With basmati, jasmine, or sushi rice and a green vegetable.
  • To top your favorite salad.
  • With Niçoise Salad.
  • With sushi hand roll fixings like cucumber, carrot, avocado, toasted nori, and a dipping sauce.
maple-roasted-salmon-6
Salmon with sushi rice, toasted nori, and steamed green beans

Try other seafood recipes from Cook Love Heal:

Brazilian Fish Stew (Mocqueca)

Crusted Halibut with Caper White Wine Sauce

Grilled Halibut in Cedar Wraps

 

Enjoy!

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Questions?

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(512) 217-1259

rachel@cookloveheal.com

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