Friday 17 September 2010

DIY sushi buffet for a mid winter family feast

I love sushi.

Tangy rice encasing delicious nuggets of fresh sashimi wrapped in ozone-y seaweed.  Just smear on some nose-clearingly hot wasabi and dip in soy sauce and you have a healthy, delicious, portable bite-sized meal.

However, if you've ever attempted to make sushi at home you will know that making sushi is not as easy as it looks.  

All that rolling and tucking while trying to keep it all even and pretty looking.   My sushi rolls inevitably look like deformed cigars and that sticky rice just sticks to everything.

Struggle no more my sushi challenged friends, I have discovered a way to wow your guests with sushi but not have to roll a single roll yourself...a DIY sushi buffet!

Why go through the anguish and frustration of making sushi when you can get your guests to make it themselves?

I actually can't take any credit for this brilliant idea.  This is the brain child of my mother in law to be or my MIL2B as wedding forumites helpfully abbreviate it to.  MIL2B teaches Japanese and C's whole family lived in japan for a while so we are lucky to get to eat tasty Japanese meals on a regular basis.

The sushi feast is a family fav, you get to muck in, smear your rice on the square of nori and pile up the fillings of your choice.  Kinda like mini sushi tacos.

This particular feast was in celebration of C's number two bro's 30th.  The table was laden with a selection of raw veges to accompany the sashimi, cold and hot smoked salmon for those not so keen on raw fish and beautiful deep maroon tuna sashimi.  The the usual condiments made an appearance: soy and wasabi, as did the less usual but seriously addictive Japanese mayo.

We also had inarizushi which are deep fried tofu skins that have been cooked in a sweet soy sauce and then stuffed with sushi rice.  Look like brown paper bags but believe me they are divine.  

The birthday boy was stoked, the littlest tot not so happy (poor wee thing was sick) but 3 year old F got right into sushi making.  A wee foodie in the making I reckon!

I love family get-togethers.  There's nothing like sharing food with your loved ones, passing the wasabi down the table, cracking jokes at who's pizing the most on the smoked salmon and debating matters of national importance with volume increase inversely proportional to the amount sparkling wine consumed. 

For dessert we had rhubarb cupcakes with brown sugar mascarpone frosting and ooey gooey plum flourless chocolate cake.

Can't think of a better way to spend a chilly winter's day than warmed by the company of family.

Tui in a Kowhai tree
A DIY Sushi Buffet

This is not so much a recipe, more like a shopping list for having a sushi party at your place.

You'll need:

Nori - dried sheets of seaweed cut into squares

Short grained rice, cooked
Sushi rice vinegar (which you can buy or you can make using rice vinegar, sugar and salt)
Black and white sesame seeds, MIL2B stirs these through the sushi rice. Makes it look all pretty and gives it great texture.

Soy sauce, wasabi and Japanese mayo for dipping/squirting onto your sushi

Sashimi - raw fish, cut into squares about 3 cm by 3cm and 1 cm thick.  You could use salmon or tuna or snapper works well too.  Just make sure it's super fresh.

Smoked fish (salmon or other smoked fish, hot or cold smoked) for those not into raw fish

Smoked chicken or ham for those not into fish at all.

Raw vegetables e.g. cucumber, capsicum, carrots cut into batons

Japanese pickles to serve as appetisers
Japanese pickled ginger

Good friends & family :)

1) Lay it all on a table and let the good times roll.

Now you didn't really think you'd get away without me getting in one corny sushi joke right???
This goes out to all my fellow Shortland Street Suits....

Did you hear about the sushi bar that caters just for lawyers?

It's called Sosumi.

So bad it's good.


  1. This looks like an amazing party! Its beautiful and fun!

  2. Another great way to do sushi is: Frushi! You use sweetened stick rice, and slice fruit very thin. Decorate however you like, and top with a mango sauce. Yum :) Love the blog!


  3. thats such a neat idea, the last time we made sushi at home we did the trumpet shape which was easy, along these lines I guess, I LOVE SUSHI !!!! I missed it so much when I was pregnant it was my first meal after having both my boys :)

  4. Kita: Thanks Kita, it was a totally chilled out and super fun party. Even the wee ones got right into the sushi. So cute!

    Emily: I've always wanted to try fruit-sushi! Was thinking of using like sticky and cooking it in coconut milk and topping with fruit....I think a new recipe is brewing! Thanks for the idea and for stopping by!

    Paula: That is one thing I am sooooo not looking forward about being preggo - no sushi! no gooey cheese! no cold meats :( Don't know how you do it!

  5. This is genius!! I'm so going to plan a sushi buffet for my next dinner party!

  6. Donna: Thanks Donna! I can't really take any credit for it though since it's all D's idea. It's a great party idea huh - who wouldn't like getting to make their own personalised sushi!? :)



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