Making Sushi at Home vs. Store-Bought: Which Is Cheaper?

Sushi is delicious and exotic food that can conquer everybody’s hearts and taste buds – whether you are planning a more extravagant family meal or an exclusive party. Undeniably, this food can be expensive, regardless of whether you are buying it at a supermarket or from a restaurant. So, is there a way to stay within budget while ensuring that your dinner guests get only the best?

Making sushi at home can be cheaper than store-bought platters, which are sold at $6 to $9 per roll. If you are preparing sushi for many people and you already have the necessary equipment and wish to limit your creations to fewer sushi varieties, you can keep the cost as low as $1.50 per roll.

Enjoying your favorite Japanese food does not have to come with prohibitive expenses. Here is what to know before heading towards the kitchen.

The Average Cost of Store-Bought Sushi

The cost of store-bought sushi varies depending on the platter’s size and the store you are shopping at. Generally, sushi lunch-boxes’ price varies from $5 and $12, and they will contain between 5 and 8 pieces. 

Depending on the quality, fish-to-rice ratio, and size, you are looking at paying between $1 and $3 per sushi piece. (if the box includes a variety of sushi types, we can consider the cost per piece, rather than per roll)

If you are buying a party or sharer platter, the cost will be different. You can end up paying a little less per piece and enjoy a larger variety. These platters often include ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi on the side. 

The Average Cost of Making Sushi at Home

Making sushi at home can be a clever way to enjoy this exclusive food while lowering the average cost per roll. If you are preparing a few types for some guests or friends, you can limit the cost of each roll to $1.40!

However, this depends on whether you have all the equipment necessary to make the sushi, how many servings you need, and what variety you are looking to have. In order to lower the cost so much, there are some compromises that you need to be ready to make. Below are the considerations to make before making sushi at home. 

Considerations to Make When Making Sushi at Home

It Can Take Time

Selecting and measuring rice are only two of the tasks involved in making sushi. Indeed, if you are not a sushi-making expert, you will spend much longer than ten minutes to roll it and slice it properly. 

While the average time of making sushi is about 50 minutes to an hour, this time-frame can depend on how many rolls you need to make and how many varieties you are preparing. 

The best way to enjoy the sushi-making process is by cooking together with your guests or friends! The resulting sushi rolls might not be as good looking as the one you can find in a restaurant or store, but the process is definitely fun and entertaining. 

It Is an Excellent Way to Entertain Your Guests

Making sushi can bring people together, get you to learn something new, and keep everybody entertained. If you want to spice up a standard night in with your family or friends, making sushi can be an excellent idea. 

Indeed, it can take off the pressure you might feel of having to prepare sushi for several guests and can help you cut on cooking time – and, of course, enhance the fun!

Make Sure It Is Safe

When making sushi, considering the health and safety implications of this choice is essential. If you have decided to follow the original recipe for nigiri, maki, or other sushi types, you must find sushi-grade fish

Fish at a fishmonger might be unsafe if not properly processed. So, you will need to ask a local store or supermarket that follows the steps to ensure that no dangerous parasites are affecting the fish’s quality.

Alternatively, you might decide to stick to vegetarian or chicken rolls, which are often thoroughly cooked and, therefore, safe to eat.

The Equipment You Have Matters

Buying sushi equipment can be pricey, especially if you don’t have any tools at home. Aside from the specific ingredients for this task, you will need a sushi mat and chopsticks. However, little bowls and side dishes for sale, soy sauce, ginger, and edamame might be necessary. A whole kit for six people can cost you around $30, depending on quality. 

If you don’t have any equipment, the cost of making sushi at home can drastically increase. In this case, you should consider buying it from the supermarket instead (if your primary aim is to save money).

The More Sushi You Make, the Less It Will Cost

If you are planning a party for several guests or family members, investing in the material and ingredients needed for this project won’t set you back much. Especially if you have opted to stick to meat, vegetables, and cooked fish rolls, the more you will make, the less they will cost you. 

Oppositely, if you are preparing sushi just for your office lunch, its cost might not make an effort worth it. Indeed, ideally, you should enjoy sushi straight after preparing it – storing it in the fridge for several days is not recommendable. So, you will need to prepare it each day before heading to work – which is not always viable.

Variety Comes at a Price

If you are only sticking to California Rolls or Salmon and Avocado Rolls, you can control what you are spending on the whole dinner more precisely than if you are preparing a range of sushi types.

Indeed, in that case, you would need several ingredients that often come in larger packages, meaning that the chance of wasting some of it is greater. At the same time, your shopping list will be much longer and detailed.

When Is Home-Made Sushi Cheaper Than Store-Bought Sushi?

Considering everything seen above, making sushi at home can be cheaper than opting for store-bought platters. But, this is only true if:

  • you have the equipment needed
  • if you are cooking for several guests
  • If you decide to stick to a limited range of sushi types

Is It Hard to Make Sushi at Home?

Making sushi at home is not as hard as one might think. Especially if you stick to traditional California Rolls and other simpler makizushi sushi (sushi rolls) – attempting to prepare nigiri or sashimi might require you a little more practice. 

Here is the information you will need to prepare traditional sushi rolls.

What You’ll Need

Ingredients for Makizushi 

Follow the easy steps to make sushi at home in the video below:

Conclusion

Eating sushi in a restaurant can be expensive, with prices varying from $30 to $60 per person for a medium-quality restaurant. For high-end venues, this cost can be much higher. But, there is another option if you wish to eat it at home. 

If you are looking at serving sushi and you are undecided between store-bought platters and home-made rolls, go for the second one! The cost is slightly lower than store-bought sushi, but this is not the only advantage of this choice! Indeed, you can keep your guests and family entertained and have fun together, creating the rolls.

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.

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