A Guide to Planning a Sushi Party

If you’re looking for a new kind of theme party to throw, you might want to consider a sushi party. Sushi is becoming increasingly popular in western countries, making sushi a fun activity for guests. Alternatively, you could have the sushi already prepared when they come.

When you are planning a sushi party, you should make sure that there are different types of sushi available to eat or make and appetizers, drinks, and desserts. If the guests are making their sushi, you should have sushi rolling stations set up and all of the ingredients organized.

If you’re interested in planning a sushi party for the near future, read on. We have some helpful tips that you can use to put together a party that all your family members and friends will enjoy.

Different Types of Sushi Parties

There are two major categories when it comes to sushi parties. You can either prepare the sushi in advance and serve it to your guests or have the guests prepare it themselves. It might come down to what you think your guests would enjoy. If you are inviting people who want artistic activities, they might enjoy making their sushi.

Why does it matter? Because the steps you take to prepare for the party will depend on the exact type of party.

For both types of sushi parties, you will need to know the procedure for making sushi. Whether you are making it on your own or guiding your friends in making their own, you’re going to need to be familiar with the steps. However, if you are preparing the sushi in advance, you will want to be adept enough at the procedure to create a presentable result for your friends.

Preparing the Sushi Yourself Before the Party

If you prepare the sushi beforehand, you will need to do so before your guests arrive. The setup will be a little bit less complicated since you will need to put out the serving plates,  and prepare any garnishes you are planning to use, and make sure that your sushi is properly sliced and looking presentable.

Having Your Guests Make Their Sushi

In contrast, if you will have your guests prepare their sushi, you will have to prepare the ingredients and set up the sushi rolling stations.

You will want to have the sushi rice prepared before they come since this is a fairly time-consuming step. You should also have all the vegetables sliced, any sauces ready, and any other ingredients prepared as necessary (such as fish that needs to be cooked is ready).

You should have a minimum of two sushi rolling stations to have two guests working on sushi at the same time. You will want to have all of the ingredients available to choose to use for their sushi rolls. If you have the ingredients for multiple different recipes, keep them separate from one another, making the organization simpler.

For each recipe that you have, your guests roll, have all of the ingredients at the sushi rolling station right in front of them. You will be able to instruct them however you want, whether you choose to guide them through it verbally, play an instructional video, or have written instructions in front of them at each sushi rolling station.

Once each of your guests has finished their sushi roll, have the individual clean up his or her station and put the roll on a plate. After all of your guests have made one sushi roll from the first recipe, you can repeat all of these steps for the next guest.

Things That You Need for a Sushi Party

In order to host a successful sushi party, there are certain things that you will need. You can research different types of sushi and their ingredients, or if you want to allow for creativity among your guests, you can allow them to choose their combinations.

Here are several ingredients that would enhance your sushi party. You don’t have to get all of them, of course, but if you get several of them, you will give your guests a lot of room for innovation.

  • Ahi tuna. You can get bigeye or yellowfin, sashimi-grade ahi tuna. Then, cut it into strips that are 1/4 inch thick, 1/2 inch wide, and 3-1/2 inches long.
  • Crab. You can either get drained canned crab or shelled cooked crab. You can mix every eight ounces of it with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and approximately 2 teaspoons of soy sauce.
  • Smoked salmon. You can cut smoked salmon into strips that are 1/2 inch wide.
  • Carrots. Shredded carrot will be a good addition to many different types of sushi rolls.
  • Avocado. You can pitch and then peel one ripe avocado. Then slice it lengthwise into strips, and then coat them with lemon juice.
  • Asparagus. After removing the tough stems on the ends and rinsing the asparagus, boil it in a water. Ensure that it cooks until it is just a little bit tender when you pierce it, which should take about three or four minutes. Drain it, and then put it in a bowl of ice water right away before cutting it into smaller pieces.
  • Sprouts. Rinse, and then drain some broccoli or radish sprouts, and then trim off the root ends.
  • Spinach. Boil these in water until it is a little bit wilted, and then immerse in ice water until it’s cool. Squeeze it within a towel to take away as much liquid as you can.
  • Mushrooms. Trim the ends, rinse, drain, and gently dry the mushrooms.
  • Cucumber. Rinse and then cut into slices, then cut the pieces lengthwise.

This is by no means an exhaustive list; you can prepare other ingredients that you deem appropriate. One important thing to note is that you should make sure that any raw fish you and your guests will be eating is sushi-grade. If it isn’t, and you eat it, it can end up making you too sick.

However, it isn’t just about having the right food ingredients; you will also need the right tools to roll sushi properly. Here are the supplies that you’ll need for your sushi party:

  • Cutting boards. This is if people want to slice the materials that you give them into smaller pieces, and of course, they will need to slice the sushi rolls.
  • Sharp knives. These knives need to be very sharp to cut through the sushi roll without making a mess.
  • Rolling mats. Usually, you will want to use a rolling bamboo mat. You should probably try to have one for every cutting board. You may also want to include silicone rolling mats if you want to make sushi rolls with rice on the outside.
  • Plastic wrap. If you’re going to be using bamboo mats, you will need a plastic wrap to put between the mat and the sushi. Otherwise, rice grains could get stuck to the mat, which will be hard to clean.
  • Chopsticks. You’ll want to include enough for all of your guests and forks and knives for the people who aren’t able to use the chopsticks.
  • Small water bowls. You want one of these for each cutting board since you might need a little bit of water since there are steps in the process.
  • Rice cooking pot. You will need this to cook your rice and store it while your guests aren’t directly using it.
  • Kitchen towels or paper towels. Sushi rolling can get quite messy, so you’ll want to have plenty of towels on hand.
  • Mixing bowls. You’ll need these for the people who want to mix different ingredients.
  • Plates. These will help hold ingredients, as well as finished sushi rolls.

How to Make Sushi

As we have mentioned, if you are going to be hosting a sushi party, you probably need to know how to make sushi. This is why we are going to provide you with a series of steps to making great sushi.

Prepare All the Ingredients

The first thing that you will need to do is organize and prepare the ingredients you plan to use to make sushi. You will need rice, seaweed paper (nori), and fillings (meats, fish, and vegetables).

Cut the meats, fish, and vegetables that you will be using into strips. You will want to make them into strips because this is the form in which they will be most amenable to rolling into sushi. You’ll also need to cook sushi rice or sticky rice.

The rice should be short or medium-grain white rice. This is a good choice for sushi rice because it is “stickier” than the other types. First, rinse it off until the water around it is clear to remove any unwanted residue from the rice.

After this:

  1. Put the rice into a bowl with a volume of water three times the volume of rice.
  2. Shuffle the rice around with your hands to get rid of any remaining residual powder.
  3. Pour the rice and water through a mesh strainer to drain the rice, and then do it again and again until the water is clear going through the strainer.

Cook the rice, and then allow it to cool until it is at room temperature. This way, it’ll be easier to mold it the way you need to for the sushi rolling. Additionally, mix in a small amount of rice vinegar once it has cooled, give it some more flavor, and distribute it evenly throughout the rice.

Prepare the Sushi Mat

Usually, you will want to use a bamboo sushi mat to roll sushi. You’ll also want to cover the mat with plastic wrap; if you don’t, the rice will stick to the mat and be hard to clean up. You could also put the mat into a big Ziploc bag if this is an option.

Lay Down the Ingredients

The first ingredient you (or your guests) will be putting down is the nori. You should start by putting a single half-sheet of nori on your bamboo sushi mat; make sure the shiny side is facing down. Also, make sure that you align the edges of the nori with the bamboo mat’s edges.

Then, it’s time to spread a layer of rice on top of the nori. The layer of rice should be about ¼ inch thick. Spread the rice all over the sheet, leaving ½ inch of the seaweed sheet bare on each of the four edges. Spread it as evenly as you can.

Once you’re done with the layer of rice, you can start with the fillings (meat, vegetables, and other fillings). You should put the fillings in a horizontal line on top of the rice, close to the bottom (with respect to you). This will make sushi easier to roll.

Start Rolling the Sushi

Now, it’s time to start rolling your sushi into its final shape. To make it easier, you can put a few drops of water on the nori edges that you have left bare. This will facilitate the sealing up of the sushi roll when you’re done.

At this point, you can begin to fold one of the ends of your bamboo sushi mat towards the other side. As you are rolling it, push the fillings to the center with your fingers. Once the mat is completely rolled, seal it, make it firm and compact, and use your fingers to shape the roll as you wish.

Extract the Mat

Once you’re done rolling and have the sushi shape that you prefer, slowly remove the mat. You want to do this carefully to prevent a complete collapse of your sushi roll. After this, cut your roll into bite-sized pieces with a freshly sharpened knife.

Appetizers, Desserts, and Beverages

Of course, the sushi is going to be your main course, but you might also want to have appetizers for your guests. Beverages and desserts would be a good idea as well.

Some good ones are edamame and gyoza (a type of Chinese dumpling) in terms of appetizers. In addition to spicing things up and providing variety, it’ll give an option to guests who don’t necessarily like sushi.

You can buy bags of frozen edamame. It is fairly affordable, as well as easy to make. You need to boil the beans for about five minutes, and they will make great finger food. Even though it is frozen, it comes precooked, so you need to boil the beans’ pods long enough to warm them.

You can sprinkle sea salt on top and put some shichimi togarashi on the side for your guests to spread at their own discretion if they prefer a spicier snack.

Alternatively, you can prepare some gyoza. In this case, start by adding a little bit of the oil of your choice to your skillet or pan and putting it on high heat. Put the frozen gyoza into the pan and spirits until you see a golden brown color on one or two sides.

Then, add in water until the gyoza is completely covered, and let the water get to its boiling point. Once this happens, drain it and remove the pieces of gyoza using tongs. You can season it the same way that you would season edamame.

Other good ideas for appetizers and snacks include the following:

  • Salted or seasoned chicken wings
  • Chicken karaage
  • Cucumber salad
  • Miso soup
  • Crab salad with some kind of dressing, such as ponzu mayonnaise dressing
  • Salad with an Asian dressing, such as carrot ginger dressing
  • Wasabi flavored rice crackers

You’ll also want to provide your guests with something to drink, ideally something other than water. In keeping with the theme of a sushi party, here are a few great options:

  • Traditional green tea, or matcha
  • Hot green tea, or iced green tea lattes
  • Rose wine
  • Champagne
  • Beer
  • Sake (you can even get really creative and make sake mojitos)

After the sushi is made and enjoyed, you might want to provide your guests with dessert options as well, such as the following:

  • Green tea ice cream
  • Mochi ice cream
  • Green tea chocolate
  • Green tea cookies

Sushi is great, but it won’t be the only option that your guests have to eat at the best sushi parties. If they can also enjoy appetizers and beverages to wash the sushi down and dessert to enjoy afterward, they’ll be much more likely to think of your party as a success.


A sushi party can be a lot of fun, both to plan and to experience. You’ll all get to participate in an entertaining activity together if you decide to make the sushi together, and you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor as well. This definitely won’t be one of those parties looking for something to keep them occupied!

Even if your first sushi party doesn’t turn out the way you planned, that doesn’t mean you should never throw another one. Sometimes, practice makes perfect, both in terms of making sushi and organizing the event.

Here are some of my favorite sushi making tools

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you find it useful as you make sushi at home. Here are some tools I’ve used that I hope you’ll find helpful, too. These are affiliate links, so if you decide to use any of them, I will earn a commission. But honestly, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my family.

Rice cooker: For getting started, I really like Zojirushi Rice Cooker. The Zojirushi Rice cooker does not only make rice-cooking dirt simple, but it is a quality gadget that cooks better than most chefs can. Unlike most kitchen gadgets, it does not sacrifice quality for convenience.

Knife:The Kai Knife is one of the best sushi knives in the market. Made in Japan’s famous knife-making capital, Seki city.