Sushi at Home (with the kids)


One of our favorite ways of entertaining before having kids was to serve “make your own” sushi or temaki sushi (hand rolls). It’s simple to prepare and feels special to have fresh sushi presented beautifully at your own table. Our guests could fill the rolls with what they want and it’s much more affordable than dining out in NYC. I won’t take any credit for this idea as it was ushered into my life by my husband who grew up with this tradition at home. The shopping, the prep, assembly and presentation is all done by him. While I like to cook I keep this sacred as “his” thing. (I don’t mind being “served” a meal either!)

During an attempt to plan a birthday gathering for my mother-in-law we realized that most sushi establishments worth going to didn’t open until dinner, and the idea to entertain sushi at home resurfaced! Not to mention, two members of the party are under five years old, and trying to enjoy dining out with those two would be a delusion.

The fun part about do-it-yourself temaki sushi is that everyone gets to choose how they want their rolls. It’s exciting for the kids too as they get to try all kinds of different fish, flavors and even vegetables. My eldest who is four years old loved the octopus. What to serve is up to you but we have our staples which I share below.

The freshest fish that we could get here near Oakland is at Tokyo Fish Market, a solid little Japanese grocery store in Berkeley. This is where the fish and most ingredients were bought and then sliced at home.

**Overall there is some prep work in slicing the fish and vegetables. The sushi rice flavored with rice vinegar and sugar will likely need the most lead time. It’s worth trying as a simple and elegant way to celebrate a special day or just entertaining friends and family at home.

Here’s a great primer with more detail on hosting your own temaki sushi party.

And here’s what we served for the birthday party. Again you can customize with whatever it is you want to serve!

  • Tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Octopus
  • Yellowtail
  • Squid
  • Salmon Roe

Ingredients for temaki sushi assembly:

  • Nori
  • Sushi rice (flavored with rice vinegar and sugar)
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Cucumber
  • Shiso leaf
  • Tamagoyaki
  • Daikon Sprouts
  • Kimchi on the side (as seen in picture) – customize to your liking. It’s your party!