One of my favorite things to do is to get together and cook with friends. (If you haven’t already, check out my 5 reasons why getting together with friends over food is a great happiness-booster.)
I am absolutely thrilled to bring you the second installation of my Cooking with Friends series. In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to have your own epic home-made sushi night with friends!
Sushi is one of my favorite things to eat (and make!). Not only is it delicious, but the omega-3 fatty acids in raw fish are good for your heart and your circulation, and rice is an excellent source of protein. Be careful, though — if you eat too much sushi you can easily carb overload! Everything in moderation.
Making your own sushi can be a lot of work by yourself, but with a group of friends, it’s really easy to split up the responsibilities. Everyone can bring a different ingredient, from the rice to the fish to the veggies.
SUGGESTED INGREDIENTS FOR STARTERS
- Fresh, sushi grade fish (tuna & salmon are my favorite, but fake crab and shrimp are great too!)
- Sushi rice
- Nori sheets (dried seaweed)
- Scallions, Avocado, Cucumber, and any other random veggies you feel inclined to add into your sushi rolls
- Homemade Spicy Mayo (mayo + Sriracha)
- Soy Sauce
- Chef’s knife
- Sushi rolling mats
- Saran wrap
- Bowls for water
- Plates for your sushi rolls
- 4-6 friends
Buying the Fish
The most important thing to remember when buying your fish is that it needs to be SUSHI-GRADE. Take extra care in confirming that your fish is sushi-grade, or you’ll regret it! Most supermarkets won’t carry fish of this quality, so this is where it’s important to do your research and find a fish market that you can trust. For 6 people, I typically buy about 1/2 pound of tuna and a 1/2 pound of salmon. It’s great when they can remove the skin for you!
Gathering Your Tools
Before your sushi night, you’ll need to obtain some sushi rolling mats, nori sheets, and chopsticks. You can order these things online, or find them at an Asian food store.
Making Sushi Rice
Making sushi rice is pretty easy, but it does take a couple of extra steps and ingredients (sugar, salt, and rice vinegar) to get it right. Alton Brown breaks it down pretty well here. For 6 people, I’d recommend making a couple of batches of the rice.
Prepping the Veggies
The veggies need to be cut pretty small to fit into your roll. Make sure you slice your avocado thinly, chop your scallions nice and small, and cut your cucumber into tiny little strips.
Prepping the Sauces
The two standard sauces I’d recommend for your sushi night are soy sauce and homemade spicy mayo. To make your spicy mayo, just mix mayonnaise and Sriracha. Feel free to adjust the proportions to make sure it’s the right amount of spicy for your taste!
Prepping the Fish
Using a chef’s knife, the fish needs to be sliced into thin strips that are about 1 inch by 2.5 inches, and about a quarter of an inch thick. Try to cleanly slice against the grain of the fish and on a slight angle for the best texture. Check out this video for more details about the “right” way to slice your fish, but don’t stress. I’ve found that if your fish is of good quality, it’ll still taste pretty good no matter how you cut it. This is amateur sushi night, after all!
The Fun Part: Making Your Sushi Rolls!
- First, set out all of your ingredients (your rice, your fish, your veggies, your sauces) on the table. Be sure to also set out a couple of bowls filled with water to dip your fingers in periodically— this will prevent the rice from sticking to you!
- Before you start, completely encase your rolling mats with Saran Wrap. Then sprinkle them with water.
- Cut a sheet of nori in half, and place the shiny side down on your rolling mat.
- Spread rice on the rough side of the nori with your fingers. (This will create a sushi roll with rice on the outside.) Feel free to squish the rice together to make a flat, dense surface. Keep your fingers wet to prevent the rice from sticking to them.
- Flip your nori sheet over so that the rice is face-down.
- Place pieces of fish and vegetables along the long edge of your nori. Your ingredients should span the length of the sheet but only take up about 1 inch width-wise.
- To roll your sushi, roll the edge of your sushi rolling mat up, pushing your ingredients inside the beginning of your sushi roll. Continue to push your rolling mat forward to roll your entire sheet up into a tube shape. Feel free to press down slightly on the roll at the end to seal the rice on the edge.
- Unroll your roll mat to reveal your roll! Then, slice your roll into 6 pieces so you can share with all of your friends.
Usually, my friends and I start out by making one roll each, so we have 6 pieces of sushi for our first course. Then, we repeat the process to make our second course!
Enough babble — it’s time for the photos! (Spoiler alert: images of raw fish ahead. Just in case you’re a little squeamish about that.)
I hope you enjoy observing our epic sushi night. Let me know if you decide to try it yourself!