Looking for an extravagant meal without knockout prices? Have a sushi party. I co-hosted one this weekend with a friend and together we spent $200 on miso soup, salad, sushi, sake, sashimi, beer, appetizers and dessert for 12 people.
We spent $120 on fish (and had a lot leftover), $30 on beer and sake, and $50 on vegetables, condiments, appetizers, and basics. A similar meal would have easily cost $50 a head at a restaurant, meaning as a group we saved $400. Of course, my friend and I shouldered almost all the costs, with guest contributing the sake, beer, and a few dishes (we factored those costs in above).
Here is what we made:
Traditional green salad with Japanese ginger dressing (increase to 3 T ginger; add a teaspoon of peanut butter if you use canola or vegetable oil instead of peanut oil)
Pan friend pork gyoza – one bag from Trader Joe’s was plenty because we had so many other dishes. Microwave them for 1:30 then lightly pan fry.
Edamame – a guest brought a huge bowl of tasty edamame sprinkled with chili powder.
Miso soup – we bought packets of dried mix and added water. It didn’t taste that good and because of the heat we are having in Los Angeles, the soup was not popular. If you want miso, get a recommendation or try making it from scratch.
Spicy tuna rolls – this recipe was quite tasty and simple! We used chili oil instead of chili powder. Spice to taste.
California rolls – there are many ways of making them. Here is one recipe to start.
Rainbow rolls – slices of avocado on top make it look pretty, but be careful not to squish them!
Vermont rolls – a crazy friend from out of town made up his own roll with was partially inside out and had crab, tuna and avocado! (pictured below, on the right side of the plate)
Unagi sushi – pan fry the eel, press it onto a finger of rice and secure with a strip of seaweed paper. Drizzle with plum sauce.
Tuna, bluefin, hamachi, and salmon sashimi – look for the freshest, sushi-grade fish at your local Japanese market, a high-end fish store, or Whole Foods. Slice thinly right before you serve it. The best salmon we ate had lots of thick, white lines of fat. Very tasty!
If you’ve never made sushi, it is easier than it looks. The only tool you really need is two bamboo sushi rollers. Here’s how to make a sushi roll:
1. Prepare sushi rice. It’s not just boiled Japanese rice.
2. Chop all roll ingredients, such as fish, avocado, cucumber, and lay out any extras like sesame seeds or spicy sauce.
3. Lay a sheet of seaweed paper onto your roller, shiny side down. Note the suggested cut marks for later.
4. Lightly press a THIN layer of rice on the bottom 2/3 of the sheet, making sure to spread the rice to the edges. Have a bowl of water handy to unstick the rice when you are done. Or, wear rubber gloves and rub a dollop of mayo onto your hands. Friction be gone!
5. Add toppings across the middle of the rice. Add more fish than you think you need.
6. Grab the edge of the paper closest to you and pull it across the toppings using the bamboo rollers. When the edges of the rice meet, give the rollers a light squeeze, then continue rolling until there is just an inch of the seaweed paper showing. Dab a finger into a bowl of water and moisten the edge of the paper. Roll the rest of the way, give your creation one more squeeze, then pull back the bamboo roller. Cut your roll into about 6 pieces and take a bite!