Sushi is a delicate and classy meal to serve at your dinner parties, especially if you have adventurous friends. It can be difficult to plan how much sushi you need for parties because usually, people will have several different pieces from different sushi rolls. How much sushi should you prepare if you’re having a dinner party?
If you need to figure out how much sushi to prepare for a party, the rule of thumb to follow is to prepare one sushi roll per person. If sushi is not going to be the only dish at the party, consider only preparing half a sushi roll per person.
This article will answer how much sushi you should have ready for a dinner party of any size.
How Much Sushi To Have for a Party?
One sushi roll a person is a good rule of thumb to follow if you are planning a party at the last minute. However, you might want to consider what kind of party you’re hosting or attending, and what other kinds of food will be there, if any.
If You Have Other Food: One-Half Roll per Person
You may have loved sushi for a long time, but if you’re bringing it as a side dish to somebody else’s party, it’s best to be conservative. Many people consider sushi a very exotic dish, and you’d be surprised how many people won’t try it.
If you’re going to have sushi at a party that will have other food, bring only about one-half of a roll per person or one roll per two people. A party of 20 people will need only around ten sushi rolls. That will ensure each person can have 2-4 pieces if they want.
Sushi doesn’t stay fresh in the fridge for too long, so you don’t want to have too much leftover.
If You’re Having a Sushi-Themed Dinner Party: One Roll per Person
If you’re hosting a dinner party where sushi will be the main dish, one roll per person should work for you just fine. Some people love taking advantage of food at a dinner party, while others will pick at food without actually eating too much.
You probably know the people you’re inviting into your home really well, so you probably can guess how much each person is going to eat. If you know that three or four of the people attending don’t usually eat very much, you might only need one less sushi roll. If you have a couple of friends who are professional athletes with huge appetites, maybe add one extra sushi roll.
Each person should get 6-8 pieces of sushi, which will satisfy your average adult. There will almost always be some extra sushi for extra hungry people.
If Your Friends Are Foodies or Sushi Lovers: One Roll per Person Plus 2–3 Extra
If you are having dinner for people who you know love food, or people who just love sushi, you might want to estimate a little bit more than one roll per person. While you don’t want to have so many leftovers that you have to throw out sushi, you don’t want to run out of food while your guests are hungry!
If you know that your guests are sushi lovers, make an extra 2-3 rolls in addition to the one roll per person. Everyone can get their favorite sushi flavors and hopefully will try some new flavors they love.
Best Sushi Dishes for Party
Not sure what kind of sushi to serve at your party? There are several options that will please everybody.
Here are some simple sushi ideas for your party.
Makizushi or Handrolls
When most people think of sushi, they think of makizushi, commonly known as handrolls in the US. These are rolls of sushi rice wrapped with nori on the inside or outside and filled with raw or cooked fish and vegetables.
Handrolls look fancy, but you can make extremely professional-looking rolled sushi by yourself with the right tools. The traditional way to make sushi is with bamboo mats, but having some other tools as well can make hand-rolling sushi much easier.
If you want to make sushi the way people have been doing it for hundreds of years, the FUNGYAN Sushi Making Kit from Amazon.com comes with a plunging tool that can help you keep your sushi filling tight, as well as a bamboo mat to wrap the nori around your sushi.
Here are the simplest kinds of makizushi to make!
Even your guests who are suspicious of sushi will be familiar with the California roll. They aren’t strongly flavored unless they are dipped in sauce. If you have vegetarians attending, it’s easy to modify them by using imitation crab meat or removing it altogether.
Unless all of your dinner guests have nixed the California roll, plan on having at least two or three of these tasty sushi rolls.
Sushi rolls simply contain:
- Sushi rice
- Crab meat (or imitation crab meat; optional)
Avocado rolls are another good vegetarian-friendly option for sushi, especially if you know that there will be kids at your party. Avocado rolls are tasty and don’t have any strong sushi flavors. You can choose to add cucumber to your rolls for some extra flair and crunch.
However, if you have a group of adventurous sushi-eaters coming over, you might want to nix the relatively bland avocado roll.
Avocado rolls typically contain:
- Sushi rice
- Cucumber (optional)
Salmon and cream cheese are a classic combination and taste just as good on a bagel as they do in sushi! Philadelphia rolls are another crowd-pleaser, though not as universally popular as the California roll.
Philadelphia rolls contain:
- Sushi rice
- Smoked salmon
- Cream cheese
- Avocado (optional)
Tempura Shrimp Roll
Not everyone likes raw fish but will still want a heartier sushi roll than a California or Avocado roll. Tempura shrimp rolls are a tasty option with a delicious extra crunch.
This might seem like an intimidating sushi roll to cook yourself, but if you buy some frozen tempura shrimp, it’s surprisingly easy to make. Add some avocado and cucumber, and you’ll have a delicious tempura shrimp roll.
Make two or three of these rolls because they’ll go fast!
Tempura shrimp rolls contain:
- Sushi rice
- Tempura shrimp (can be made fresh or cooked from frozen)
- Cucumber (optional)
Rainbow rolls are essentially California rolls with a colorful striped topping of fruit and fish. These rolls are sure to impress your guests and offer a unique flavor combination in every bite.
There are many variations of rainbow rolls, so if you would like to try a filling like salmon or tuna instead of crab, go for it!
To make a simple rainbow roll, make sure it contains:
- Sushi rice
- Filling—typically crab, avocado, and cucumber.
- Toppings, cut into thin strips—can include salmon, tuna, avocado, or even mango.
For a kind of sushi that is even easier to make yourself, nigiri is a great option. This is just a small oblong mound of rice, about half the size of your palm, with a topping draped over it. Nigiri shouldn’t be confused with onigiri, a triangle of rice that can be stuffed with filling and wrapped in nori.
To make nigiri, simply prepare sushi rice, shape it in the palm of your hand, and place a topping on it. Since nigiri is such a simple recipe, you can prepare it with virtually any kind of topping you want, from avocado to shrimp to fish roe. Decide what your favorite flavors are and go from there.
Here are some ideas for delicious nigiri toppings:
- Fish roe
To make sure that your topping sticks to the rice, a dab of wasabi between them will hold it in place and add just a little bit of flavor. Make sure to use a very small amount, so you don’t overwhelm anyone with spice!
Toppings can also be bound to the rice with a thin strip of nori. For a fancy table spread, mix it up by using nori on some and wasabi on others.
If you want to make sure your nigiri is bursting with flavor, wipe a light layer of soy sauce on top. This isn’t common in traditional sushi making, but it will ensure your food is delicious.
Ask Your Guests
The best way to know what to serve is to ask! Before hosting your party, poll your guests and ask what their favorite sushi dishes are. If you’re having your party catered, you will know exactly what to make sure you order and what to avoid ordering. If you’re a home cook, you may not be able to recreate all your guests’ favorite dishes, but you will have a better sense of what kinds of sushi they like.
This especially applies to foodies. Ask what their comfort level is regarding new kinds of sushi, and go from there!
Other Things You Need To Account for if Serving Sushi at Party
If you’re planning to serve a fair amount of sushi at your party, there are some other things you should consider before your guests begin to arrive. Sushi can be temperamental and can be unfamiliar to some people.
Cooking vs. Catering
Decide whether you’ll be cooking and preparing all your sushi or if you’d rather have your party catered.
Some people may think that cooking sushi requires a seasoned chef with lots of experience, but sushi is fairly easy to make yourself. There are no complicated techniques involved other than rolling it into the correct shape, and much of the filling is raw. If you have a sushi rolling kit and make a few practice sushi rolls, even the most inexperienced home chef can host their sushi dinner party.
If not, there is no shame in ordering sushi from a restaurant. There is a limit to the kinds of sushi dishes that you can make yourself, and professional chefs will usually make consistently tight sushi rolls.
The obvious drawback to ordering your sushi catered is the cost, which can be expensive even for catering. Cooking and catering a sushi party both have drawbacks, so ultimately, it’s up to you how you want to feed your guests.
Usually, some other side dishes are served with sushi, so make sure you have at least a few other things your guests can snack on.
- Edamame is delicious and has a delicate enough flavor that even young kids will eat it. You can buy these steamed soybeans at the supermarket and reheat them in the microwave. It’s served with soy sauce or spices on top.
- Pickled ginger is another traditional Japanese side dish. You can either pickle your ginger, which will take several days, or buy pre-prepared pickled ginger in a jar.
- Wasabi should be present if you’re serving sushi to your guests. This small, powerful paste tastes a lot like horseradish. Not everyone likes wasabi, so make sure not to push it on anyone who doesn’t like spice.
Storage Before the Party
If you leave sushi in the fridge overnight, the rice tends to break apart and become brittle, making it difficult for people to eat. Sushi should be prepared soon before people will eat it, so if you’re cooking yourself, consider making all your sushi the same day as your party. If you’re ordering your food, have it delivered just before people are going to eat.
If you can’t avoid making the sushi a day in advance, take it out five minutes before serving and let it sit at room temperature. Be careful not to leave it out unrefrigerated for too long, or else you may have a house that smells like raw fish.
If you’re having a dinner party where sushi is the star of the show, you’ll want to have one roll of sushi per guest. But that’s just a good rule of thumb to follow. If you know there will be other food, plan for just half a sushi roll per person; if you are having a professional basketball team over, plan for much more.
Sushi is a great dish for a dinner party, and if done right, it’s certain to impress your friends.