Couples’ Sushi Date Night
Looking for a fun group date night idea? How about a sushi dinner – potluck style? Instead of bringing already prepared sushi, your group can sit down and make sushi together. It’s entertainment and food preparation all in one! We’ve got the plan that will impress your guests and is guaranteed to make some unforgettable memories. If you’re not excited about the idea of raw fish, that’s just fine. There are plenty of ways to make sushi using cooked seafood, meats, vegetables, egg, and even fruit. We’ve got a recipe to please every palette!
Organizing Your Pot-luck Style Sushi Dinner Party
Ask your friends to bring the makings for a specific sushi dish. They may want to bring the makings for Nigiri sushi (mound of rice topped with fish or other), Sashimi (slices of sushi grade raw fish ala carte), Temaki (individually portioned “hand rolls”) or Norimaki (rolls with fish or other ingredients sliced up to share). They might choose to bring a Japanese-style side dish like Edamame (Japanese bean pods served steamed with salt), a green salad with ginger dressing, Wakame seaweed salad, or miso soup. Drinks like sake, Japanese plum wine, or green tea are other menu options.
Tips for the Host
- Tea pots and cups that look Japanese are easy to find, but solid colored, white or black ones will also serve very well. Sake is usually served warm or hot in a sake pitcher with matching little cups. Using them instead of the cups you normally use really adds to the sushi dinner experience.
- Serve sushi on sushi plates or use serving dishes that resemble the style (Square and rectangle plates with Japanese patterns or wording, solid prime colors, black or white). Use different sized plates and saucers, some for family style serving, others for personal use, and individual dipping saucers (small square or circular shallow bowls for wasabi (a Japanese horseradish) paste and soy sauce).
- It is perfectly acceptable to use your fingers while eating sushi, although many people prefer to use chop sticks, especially for sashimi. A hot wet towel for each person to clean their hands before and during dinner is customary, and is something you will find in sushi restaurants and at a Japanese dinner table.
- As the host, it is a good idea for you to provide the condiments like soy sauce (most people prefer low-sodium), wasabi paste and pickled ginger. The ginger is used to cleanse the palette between sushi bites to better taste the unique flavor of each piece.
- Traditionally, the Japanese sit on pillows on the floor around a low table for meals. A large coffee table would work perfectly. A black or rich colored table cloth is an easy way to create a dramatic table setting. Arrange candles, condiments and a basket for hot towels in the center of your table and set napkins in similar style and chopsticks (and forks) for each table setting. A fun addition to your table might be cards with sushi health facts, the history of sushi, or other interesting information. Have a few in a stack on the table or make card “tents” for each table setting.
- If you choose to go with the low table, you will need to supply pillows for each person to sit on. You can easily create matching pillows Japanese style cushions by wrapping pillows you already have with Japanese style fabric (or solid rich colored, black or white) and using fabric cord to tie the corner off.
- Another advantage to using the low table is that you can use your dining table for making the sushi. That way, everyone can sit around the table and create their masterpieces together.Even if some of your guests brought ready to eat/drink items for your potluck, everyone can join in the making of the sushi. Go ahead and insist that everyone thoroughly washes their hands, just so that no one forgets.
- If you want to really get into the Japanese theme, set the ambiance of your home accordingly. Décor may include Japanese patterned fabrics hung on the walls, used as a table runner, napkins or seating pillow covers. Hang Japanese style lanterns or find candle holders with Japanese writing for your table.
- For some after dinner fun, invite your guests to stay and watch a Japanese action flick!