Many Americans enjoy eating cuisine inspired by other cultures. You’ll likely find restaurants emulating foods from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and more in your city. If you’re looking for a fun culinary experience, plan for a sushi night this week. It’s a quick meal to prepare, and you can get your friends and family involved too! These five reasons show why a sushi night should be on deck, even on a busy weeknight.
One of sushi’s primary benefits is how healthy it is. In your daily diet, it’s wise to aim for a mix of protein, carbs and fats. Luckily, sushi can roll all of these nutrients into a tasty dish. Your typical sushi roll has carbs from the rice and protein and fat from the fish. The best fish to choose from are the ones that have omega-3 fatty acids. These proteins may include mackerel, salmon and bluefin tuna.
If you’re vegan, you can easily substitute the fish for avocado and tofu to supplement the fat and protein. The fatty acids are excellent for heart health and immune system regulation. Another health benefit of sushi is the vitamins. A typical sushi roll gives you vitamins E and C in addition to B12 and K.
2. Easy to Make
Imagine you come home from a long day, and all you want to do is sit down and have an easy meal. You’ve been up since early in the morning, and it feels like there’s not enough time to cook when you balance work, your kid’s schooling and their after-school activities. Then you have other household chores to focus on. Fortunately, sushi is one of those weeknight meals you can prep in a short amount of time.
The basis of sushi is pretty simple, lending to its popularity. You only need seaweed wraps, cooked rice, fish and your choice of toppings. Once you have your ingredients, roll them up and slice the sushi roll into individual pieces. The only cooking required is the rice and the fish. Though, you can get sashimi-grade fish and skip the cooking. Sushi prep is quick, which is excellent news if you work from home and want something fresh and delicious on your breaks.
3. Great for Dinner Parties
When you think of food and drink combinations, you likely imagine the classics. There’s wine and cheese, martinis with oysters and champagne and lobster. But what about sushi? There are numerous options for sushi and alcohol. You can stay simple with wine or take a glimpse into Japanese culture with sake. Some of the most popular pairings with sushi include:
- Sake: Sake has been renowned in Japanese culture for over a thousand years. Sake and sushi are rice-based, but you can buy various sake bottles with a lower rice content. For example, Junmai sake uses 60% or less of the rice kernel compared to 70%, as other brewers do.
- Prosecco: Wine lovers can rejoice with a bottle of Prosecco and a sushi roll. Prosecco has sweet and dry flavors with each sip, complementing the rich fish flavors. Sushi is a light dish, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by the bubbly nature of Prosecco. It’s excellent if you’re having a sushi tasting and want to cleanse your palate in between each piece.
- Light beer: Sushi and beer may seem like a strange combination, but there are solid combinations you can try. If you opt for beer, find a light beer because a dark one may overwhelm the sushi profile. One beer popular in Japan is Sapporo. This dry and light beer makes it an ideal pairing with any roll you eat.
Sushi gives you a glimpse into other cultures, with its roots going back to fourth-century Asia. Sushi came to Japan in the ninth century, and its popularity has risen since. You can make your sushi traditional in the Japanese way with simple ingredients, typically including rice, fish, seasonings and nori. However, your cupboard and refrigerator allow unlimited customization if you make sushi at home.
Americans have developed creative iterations of sushi rolls in the US, many of which take inspiration from regional delicacies. A prominent example is the California roll, consisting of avocado, crab and cucumber. Then there’s the Philly roll with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Chicken wing lovers can enjoy a roll with Buffalo sauce, cream cheese and celery. These options are terrific if you have picky eaters.
5. Kid-friendly Options
Sushi has become quite popular recently, but it might not be everybody’s favorite. If you want to introduce your kids to sushi, there are various kid-friendly options to make the transition easy. Your kids may be picky about flavors and textures, so try to incorporate flavors they’re already familiar with.
Your kid may like a California roll on the first try, but there are ways to switch up the idea of sushi. For example, you could use tortilla rolls instead of seaweed. Inside the roll, include meats like chicken, bacon or sausage to pair with the rice. Or you can go the dessert route and make it sweet. Use fruit like bananas and apples and pair them with peanut butter, honey and other things they like. The best sushi nights are the ones you can get everyone involved.
Planning a Fun Sushi Night
Sushi is relatively new to American culture, with its popularity rising in the mid-to-late 20th century. Nowadays, you can find sushi bars and numerous restaurants that serve this fun dish. Whether you order it or prepare it yourself, sushi provides a healthy and delicious dinner for you and your family.