Girls' Night In: Sushi Night
Pass out the chopsticks and create some sushi magic right at home. Rolling your own sushi is much more fun than heading out to a noisy restaurant and you don't need a fancy sushi chef. Don't be intimated–everyone can do it. Just think of sushi as the origami of good food.
With just a few items, you can transform your kitchen counter into a fabulous sushi bar. Bamboo mats are essential for rolling sushi and can be found at international markets and some grocery stores. Buy some disposable chopsticks at the market or splurge on some sturdier sticks that the guests can take home. Set out some small bowls for soy sauce, and you're all set.
With the bar in the kitchen, sushi night becomes even livelier. Make a tray of Ginger Saketinis to start off the evening. As everyone gets in the groove of making sushi, blend up a batch of Minted Sake and Pineapple Coolers.
Choose a good quality sake at your local wine shop to serve alone. Sakes are served either hot or cold, so ask the clerk for information before you buy. For tonight, a cold sake would be the best choice.
Make a big batch of Sushi Rice so everyone is ready to roll when the party begins. Don't worry too much about skill, an imperfect roll will taste just as good as those that look professional. Clear off the kitchen counter and set up several bamboo mats for rolling. Have all the sushi ingredients prepped and ready before the girls arrive. Setting up rolling stations for each recipe will keep things organized. Steam some frozen edamame for a quick appetizer to eat while making the sushi. For a more substantial starter, try making dumplings or spring rolls for an authentic kick-off for the meal.
With some standard sushi accompaniments, the real fun can begin. Pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi powder is available at most grocery stores and is a must for good sushi. Simply add some water to wasabi powder to make the paste that restaurants serve. For more information about sushi, check out our Guide to Sustainable Sushi.
Ever wonder how to use chopsticks the proper way? Check out this handy how-to guide (complete with pictures). Print the image and share it with your friends, then quiz them on chopstick etiquette. Lesson One: Do not spear food with your chopsticks.
The Party Plan
One Week Before
- Make and freeze pork dumplings.
One Day Before
- Soak ginger in sake for saketinis.
- Blend mint, sake and sugar for pineapple coolers. Add juices and refrigerate.
- Freeze pineapple juice.
- Make ponzu sauce.
3–4 Hours Before
- Prep ingredients for all sushi rolls.
2 Hours Before
- Make sushi rice.
1 Hour Before
- Steam pork dumplings.
Before the Guests Arrive
- Shake and strain saketinis.
During the Party
- Blend pineapple coolers.
Rebecca Lang is a well-known cooking instructor, author, and food writer. She teaches Girls' Night In classes around the country and lives in Athens, Georgia.