A sushi party is one of the best ways to hold a dinner party. For any Japanese and/or sushi connoisseurs reading this, I am using the term ‘sushi’ quite broadly. In this context, it’s anything served with sushi rice. At a sushi party, your guests do half the preparation, adding to the occasion.
All you have to cook is the sushi rice, which does need to be done several hours in advance, – the rice has to cook, and then cool to room temperature. I allow 4 cups of Japanese rice for 6 people. The traditional way is to wash and polish the rice many times to remove the ‘loose’ starch and let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes before cooking so your cooked rice is fluffy, but not sticky. I tend to just wash it a couple of times, and straight into the rice cooker. I don’t eat enough sushi to be an expert, but good sushi rice should have a firm texture but you can still pull away the individual grains and is sticky, but never gluggy.
Once the rice is cooked, I leave it to steam for 30 minutes, and then using a rice paddle, transfer to a large bowl. Wet the rice paddle with some sushi vinegar, and mix 100mL of sushi vinegar to the rice by moving the rice around the bowl gently.
When your guests arrive, it’s time to put everyone to work by cutting the selection of vegetables (3 avocados and 1 cucumber), slicing the fish (500g salmon and 200g tuna) and cooking the omelette (4 eggs). You can add any ingredients you like, capsicums are great, grilled chicken and other seafood works well.
Nominate someone to make the inarizushi. Inari are seasoned, fried tofu pouches, which I fill with sushi rice mixed with some toasted sesame seeds.
I cut the nori sheets in half for people to make either temaki (cone) sushi or half-sized maki (rolled) sushi. Place condiments of pickled ginger (gari), wasabi and soy sauce within easy reach.
The inexplicable thing with a sushi party is that you will eat more than you expect. Those spoonfuls of rice add up once you get drawn into making the sushi cones or rolls.