You don't have to be a sushi chef to throw an epic sushi party! Trust us, it's not that difficult, and there is no wrong way to do it. You'll get the hang of rolling the nori (seaweed wrappers) just after a couple of times, and you don't even need any fancy tools to do it (plastic wrap or foil work just fine).
You could even prepare the rice and fillings in bowls and have your guests do the rolling, but here we will show you how we make the rolls ahead for your guests. In addition, we're sharing some of our favorite side dish recipes to serve along side all of the tasty homemade rolls.
P.S. Don't forget the chopsticks!
Here's what you'll need:
Sushi Rice, Recipe below
Fillings, Recipes below
Easy Spicy Peanut Noodles (Recipe Here)
Coconut Lemongrass Quinoa Salad with Mango, Cashews, and Mint (Recipe Here)
Sea Salt Edamame
Step 1 - Prepare the rice
Makes 8-10 rolls
4 cups sushi or short grain rice
4 cups water
4 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
In a strainer, rinse the rice under cold water until water runs clear. Drain.
Place the rice and 4 cups of water into a large pan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, stir once, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Transfer rice to a large bowl and toss well with vinegar and salt. Allow to cool to room temp before using.
Step 2 - Prepare the fillings (4 of our favorites)
Dice 4 oz sashimi grade tuna into small 1/4 inch pieces. Mix with 1/2 tsp sesame oil,
3 tsp sriracha, 2 scallions, and black (and or white) sesame seeds.
In a small bowl mix 8 oz cooked crab meat with 3 Tbsp mayo or sriracha mayo,
a couple dashes of soy sauce, and scallions.
Cut 3 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon into 1/2 inch strips with
1 1/4 inch strip cream cheese, and 1 1/4 inch cucumber slice.
Peel one ripe (but firm) avocado, and slice into 1/4 in think slices.
Squeeze lime or lemon juice to prevent browning. Roll with sliced red bell pepper,
roasted portobello mushrooms, and roasted sweet potatoes.
Step 3 - Roll the sushi
The key is to roll the sushi tightly, so it doesn't fall apart, but you don't want to smash the rice, so you must be gentle at the same time. If you don't have a bamboo mat, use a piece of plastic wrap or foil.
Also, the rice will stick to your hands, so prepare a small bowl with equal parts water and rice vinegar to moisten your fingers while you work.
Begin by laying a sheet of nori, shiny side down on the mat (or plastic wrap/foil). Wet your fingers and spread 3/4 cup of rice evenly onto the nori sheet. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds.
Now turn the sheet over so the rice side is facing down. Alternatively, you can also keep it right side up and make rolls with the nori on the outside, like in the photo above.
Next, place a line of your filling of choice at the bottom end of the nori sheet. Grab the bottom edge of the bamboo mat (or plastic wrap/foil) while keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, roll into a tight cylinder. Continue to roll forward while keeping gentle pressure on the roll. Give the roll one final gentle squeeze.
Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll in half then each into 4 pieces. Clean the knife with a damp towel every few slices, as needed.
This salad is what quinoa dreams are made of. So many beautiful flavors, textures...and of course COLORS! It's the perfect accompaniment to a sushi party, weeknight dinner, or luncheon with the ladies.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups coconut milk
4-5 large mint leaves, torn
1/3 cup cashews, roughly chopped
1 ripe mango, pitted and sliced
1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
2 scallions, green and white parts chopped
Sesame seeds to garnish
For the dressing:
2 Tbsp lemongrass paste or minced lemongrass from stalk
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp honey
Kosher salt, to taste
Rinse the quinoa under cold water for about 30 seconds. In a medium pot, add rinsed quinoa, coconut milk, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile prepare the dressing. Remove the outer layer of lemongrass and trim off the tough ends. Crush the salt with the back of your knife to release flavor, then roughly chop it. Place lemongrass, lime, olive oil, ginger, garlic, and honey in a small blender and combine until smooth. Taste, and add another squeeze of lime, if needed. Season well with salt.
Once quinoa has slightly cooled, toss with mint and cashews. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with dressing. Top with mango, avocado, and scallions. Serve with additional mint sprigs and lime wedge, if desired.
Super simple brown rice noodles (we used pad Thai noodles, but you can use any type you'd like) tossed with a salty, sweet, and slightly spicy peanut sauce. So much flavor and so so delicious! These make for a perfect party side dish, but we love these noodles so much we often make whip them up for an easy weeknight dinner with chicken or sautéed vegetables.
8 oz brown rice noodles
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
For the sauce:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 - 2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 Tbsp water
In a large bowl whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, honey, ginger, lime juice, sriracha, and sesame oil. The mixture will be slightly clumpy at first. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Cook noodles according to package directions. Once noodles are al dente, remove and toss with sauce immediately. Top with chopped cilantro and peanuts. Serve immediately.
Is it weird that we both have serious beet cravings? Like, we need them in our diet almost as badly as we need chocolate. *Almost.* We can't be alone?
Thankfully this salad is easy to put together because it's on our crave list, and frankly we could eat it every week. Super fresh and incrediby simple ingredients come together to create a bold flavors. We hope you love it as much as we do!
3-4 medium beets
1 blood orange
1 ripe, but tender avocado
2 oz goat or feta (in the brine), crumbled
2 Tbsp toasted walnuts (candied walnuts are great too)
6-8 mint leaves, torn
kosher salt and pepper
olive oil to finish
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice, plus 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp dijon
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
For the salad:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and individually wrap in foil. Roast beets until tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile peel orange, discarding all white pith and skins. Slice orange segments and set aside. Peel and pit avocado. Slice in half lengthwise, and then slice against the width into about 10 slices. Set aside.
Once beets are cool enough to handle, peel skins off using a paper towel. Slice into ¼ inch slices.
Arrange beets on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over top and repeat with oranges and avocado. Top with feta or goat cheese, walnuts, and mint. Finish by spooning leftover dressing over all ingredients.
For the dressing:
Combine all ingredients into a glass jar and shake well until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Confession: this is a saucy pasta. We like our noodles with extra sauce and lots of flavor! Grab a crusty baguette to soak up all the goodness left in the bowl - no better way to indulge.
The sauce comes together so easily using jarred marinara, so it's perfect for a quick weeknight dinner - plus, it's super kid-friendly. Win-win!
1/2 lb short pasta (we used Campanelle)
3 Tbsp butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
24 oz jarred marinara
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 fresh basil leaves, torn
6oz burrata cheese
Kosher salt and pepper
Optional: bread for scraping up the extra sauce
Cook pasta according to package instructions and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.
Meanwhile melt butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the marinara sauce. Continue to cook for about 7-10 minutes. Once sauce is hot turn heat off and whisk in parmesan cheese. Stir in heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick add a couple spoonfuls of the reserved cooking liquid from pasta.
Stir in the pasta, serve in bowls and top with burrata cheese and torn basil. Season the burrata with additional salt and pepper.
Truffles fall into the category of things that are always better when homemade. Rich, creamy, indulgent - and so incredibly simple to make! Made from scratch truffles always trump any of the pre-packaged kind. And a bonus! These are made with coconut milk, so they are a little more feel-good friendly. Shhhh...no one would ever know the difference!
Makes 3 dozen
12 oz. dark chocolate (60% or higher)
1 can (5.4 oz.) coconut cream
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
For coating: dutch cocoa powder
Optional: maldon or flakey sea salt for finishing
Finely chop the chocolate and transfer to a medium bowl (the finer the chocolate is chopped the easier the process will be). In a separate bowl microwave the coconut cream and coconut oil until hot and melted. Alternatively, heat the coconut cream and oil in a small saucepan.
Pour the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt, and whisk together until smooth and shiny. The mixture will be slightly thick.
Transfer to a a shallow dish and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
Scoop and roll the truffles with gloved hands. Don't worry about rolling into a perfect shape, rustic is great for this type of truffle. Roll truffles into the cocoa powder, and lightly sprinkle with flakey salt to finish. These truffles keep best in the refrigerator. Remove 20 minutes before serving.
Don't be fooled by the list of ingredients here - this recipe is easy to put together, and packs so much Unami flavor! This is one of our favorite weeknight dinners, not only because it's so delicious, but it's one of those feel-good meals leaving you completely satisfied. Feel free to sub any of the vegetables, or add additional vegetables of your choice!
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
8 baby bell peppers
6 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
2 Tbsp white miso
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece ginger, freshly grated (about 1 Tbsp)
1-2 red fresno chilies or jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, crushed and diced small
1 14oz canned coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
½ cup fresh cilantro
2 scallions, white and green chopped
7-9 Thai basil leaves, roughly torn
1 lime, sliced for serving
4oz brown rice noodles
Optional: Sesame Seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Make the marinade by whisking together the sesame oil, miso and garlic. Spoon the marinade onto the veggies on a baking tray, then use your hands to coat everything. Bake for 15 minutes, and remove peppers and mushrooms, return tray and cook sweet potatoes until golden and tender.
In a large pot with olive oil add the garlic, ginger, fresno pepper, and lemongrass and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the, coconut milk, chicken stock, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Bring the mix to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer 10-15 minutes minutes for flavors to infuse. Stir in the cilantro and scallions.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain.
Divide the noodles between bowls and top with roasted veggies and coconut milk. Top with basil, additional cilantro, and lime wedge.
Um, hello baked chicken wings! The key to getting your chicken wings nice and crisp when baked is to cook them on a rack on top of your baking sheet. If you don't have a rack you can place them directly onto the baking sheet, but add a little oil to your wings to prevent sticking.
The sauce comes together in a pinch. If you're like us and enjoy a little spice, add the chili paste. You can find it in your local grocery store in the Asian foods aisle. If you don't like spice - no worries, just leave it out! Either way, you're going to love these flavorful wings!
For a complete video of how we made and photographed these click here.
3 dozen chicken wings
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (plus more if using pre-grated)
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
6 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup cubed pineapple
Optional: 1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek chili sauce
1 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp flour
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, white, black, or both
3 scallions, white and green parts chopped
Handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl toss the chicken wings with salt and pepper, then place on a rack set on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dark and crunchy, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the wings are baking prepare the sauce. In a medium sauce pan add garlic, ginger, honey, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and chili sauce if using. Bring to a boil and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Stir in pineapple and reduce heat to medium.
In a small bowl create a slurry with the flour and water (this will help prevent the flour from creating lumps when added to the sauce). Whisk in the flour slurry and continue to cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
When the wings are done remove from oven and toss with sauce, sesame seeds, and scallions. Serve on a platter and sprinkle fresh cilantro.
Hands down the best chicken finger recipe we've ever had! Our kids ask for these on a regular basis, and love the honey mustard just as much. The addition of sesame seeds and hint of five spice powder add an extra layer of flavor that really take these to the next level. Add the blue cheese and sriracha, and you'll never need another chicken finger recipe again.
Vegetable oil, or a neutral oil for frying
5 thin organic chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
fresh cracked pepper
4 oz crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sriracha, or more if desired
Cut the chicken breasts in long equal strips and set aside. Whisk the eggs together in a shallow bowl, and place flour in another bowl. Lastly, measure the panko breadcrumbs into a separate bowl or pie plate and season with both sesame seeds, salt and pepper, Chinese five spice, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Dip the chicken strips into the flour, brushing off any excess, then into the egg, then into the panko mixture. Press down firmly on both sides making sure the chicken is coated well.
Fry in the hot oil for about 7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Serve with Honey Mustard and crumbled blue cheese.
For the Honey Mustard:
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt as desired. Store in air tight container for up to 1 week.
Crostinis are the perfect party food - easy to make, loved by all, and delicious every time! The key to these elegant crostini is to use fresh, great quality ingredients, and plenty of olive oil!
Makes 2 dozen
1 French baguette, sliced in 24 slices
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
16 oz burrata cheese
2 ripe pears, sliced thin
6 oz speck (or prosciutto)
12 large basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 cup balsamic reduction
kosher salt and fresh pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place baguette slices in a single layer on baking tray and brush both sides with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil. Bake until baguette is crisp and toasted, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through baking. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile rinse and pat dry pears. Remove seeds and cut them into thin slices. Carefully slice 1-inch strip of speck and wrap around pear slice. Repeat with remaining slices, and set aside.
Allow toasted baguette to cool. Arrange on a serving platter and assemble the crostini. Pull apart the burrata and place on each baguette. Sprinkle with salt (Maldon or flakey salt is great here too, if you have it). Top with pear and speck, and a generous amount of fresh basil. Drizzle with balsamic reduction just before serving.