How to Host a Sushi Party

This tutorial will be a little bit different than most because I am not teaching a specific sushi recipe, but instead, I’ll be teaching you how to host a sushi party! Sushi parties are a ton of fun and a great way to have a unique event for your family and friends. 

Below is a checklist of things you will need, a timeline for when you should prepare your rolls and a few options for how to host different kinds of sushi parties.

How to Host a Sushi Party - Bryan showing a man and his daughter how to roll sushi

Things you will Need:

  • Rice Cooker
  • Hangiri
  • Makisu
  • Short or Medium Grain White Rice
  • Su (rice wine vinegar + sugar + salt)
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Platter (Glass, wood, and plastic work best)
  • Sauce Bottles
  • Wasabi
  • Ginger
  • Soy Sauce
  • Small Sauce Cups (for dipping sushi into soy sauce)
  • Drink Pitcher
  • Plates (preferably paper or wood)
  • Cups (preferably paper)
  • Napkins
  • Chopsticks
  • To-go boxes
  • Ingredients for the sushi recipe(s) that you will be making.

Recommendations

Sushi parties are complimented by appetizers! I highly recommend making edamame and/or gyoza to go along with your sushi. This adds some diversity to the meal as well as gives an alternative food option for guests who may not like the recipe that you’re preparing for your sushi party (e.g. someone who doesn’t like raw fish). 

Edamame is quick to make, affordable, and makes for great finger food! I recommend buying the bags of frozen edamame and boiling the beans for approximately 5 minutes.

The frozen edamame is already cooked, so you should only boil the bean pods long enough to warm them up. I like to sprinkle shichimi togarashi on top of my edamame, yet if you know that some of your guests don’t like spicy food you can simply sprinkle salt on top of your edamame. 

how to make sushi - edamame
Gyoza on a plate - how to host a sushi party

Gyoza is a little more involved to prepare, but worth the effort. I like to use my electric skillet to prepare large amounts of gyoza in one batch. To make gyoza, add a small amount of oil (I like using sesame oil) to the pan or skillet on high heat. Add your frozen gyoza to the skillet and sear until golden brown on one or two sides. Once browned, add water until the gyoza is covered. 

Bring the water to a boil and let the gyoza boil for 5 minutes. Next, drain the water and remove the gyoza with a pair of tongs.

Types of Sushi Parties

There are two main categories that sushi parties fall under two main categories: prepared in advance & prepared by the guests.

Sushi parties prepared in advance is the most diverse because it can be applied to any dinner party. You can take the sushi with you if someone else is hosting the party or you can make sushi for a party that you are hosting. 

It works well for potlucks, birthdays, pool parties, and even Thanksgiving! I often host “Friendsgiving” where friends come over with their Thanksgiving leftovers and we all eat & play board games together. It doesn’t seem like sushi would be a great addition to the Thanksgiving theme, but it’s really well received!

Sushi prepared *by* the guests is an event all on it’s own. It’s a ton of fun to invite a few friends over and make sushi all together! This is particularly enjoyable when everyone involved is close to the same experience level. On the other hand, if a few people are in the mood to teach their friends that could be an entertaining sushi party idea, too!

Sushi Prepared in Advance

Choose which recipes you would like to make for your sushi party. I usually try to make 3-4 recipes per party – 1 or 2 simple rolls, and 1 or 2 fancier rolls. I always go with one roll that is completely cooked seafood and at least one recipe with raw ingredients. 

For a list of recipes that you could make for your sushi party, click here.

California Roll with Sri Racha dots - How to Host a Sushi Party

Sushi Party Timeline

This is the order of steps that I use when hosting a sushi party: 

 

  1. Wash & cook the sushi rice
  2. Setup cutting board and lay out the ingredients
  3. Cut the vegetables
  4. Mix the sauce(s)
  5. Prepare the other ingredients (seafood, fish, etc.)
  6. Season & cool the sushi rice

 

Now that all of your ingredients are made and you are ready to start rolling, I have a slightly different timeline and set of steps for preparing sushi for a large group of people:

 

  1. Set up your sushi serving plates. 
  2. Prepare the garnishes, if you plan to use any
  3. Roll ALL of your sushi rolls, but don’t cut them
  4. Slice the rolls one recipe at a time.
  5. Arrange all of the rolls of the same time onto your plates/platters
  6. Top those rolls. 
  7. Repeat steps 4 – 6 until all of your rolls are cut, plated, and topped

Sushi Prepared by the guests

Plan out which recipes you and your guests want to make. I usually try to make 1 or 2 recipes per party – 1 simple roll and 1 fancier roll. Go with one roll that is cooked seafood and at least one recipe with raw ingredients.

How to host a sushi party - two women rolling sushi

Sushi Party Timeline

Here is the order of steps that I use when hosting a sushi party: 

  1. Wash & cook the sushi rice
  2. Setup cutting board and lay out the ingredients
  3. Slice the vegetables
  4. Mix the sauce(s)
  5. Prep the other ingredients (seafood, fish, etc.)
  6. Season & cool the sushi rice

 

Now that all of your ingredients are made and you are ready to start rolling. I highly suggest having all of the ingredients ready by the time your guests arrive.

 

  1. Set up your sushi rolling stations – I suggest having at least two stations. 
  2. Lay out all of the ingredients for one of your recipes, divided among the rolling stations. 
  3. If you need to instruct your guests on how to make the recipes, this would be the step to do just that.
  4. Have your guests come up and create their roll from beginning to end.
  5. Once your guest has finished their roll, have them clean up their rolling station and plate their roll. 
  6. After all of your guests have made their first roll, you can repeat these steps for the second recipe!
  7. If there are ingredients leftover, keep making sushi until all of the ingredients have been used. 

Make sure you keep a few to-go boxes on hand in case your guests can’t eat off the sushi! I highly recommend using environmentally friendly to-go boxes.

Now it's time for you to try hosting a sushi party!

Your first sushi party might be a bit bumpy, but they get better and better each time! Let me know how your parties go in the comment section below.

If you’d like to get insider tips on how to make better sushi at home, sign up for my email newsletter to get professional sushi advice once a week! You also get priority email responses if you’re on my list. 😉

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Bryan Sekine with Secrets of Sushi

Bryan Sekine

I’ve been a professional sushi chef since 2008, but my passion is in teaching others. I have taught over 300 people in my live sushi classes and countless others online!

My goal is to teach people how to make sushi at home while educating them about sustainable seafood practices.

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