How do I Choose the Best Sushi Set?

Dan Cavallari

Sushi in its many forms has gained a reputation as one of the most visually appealing foods in addition to being healthy and delicious. In order to enhance the visual presentation of sushi, a consumer can purchase a sushi set, which includes a variety of plates, bowls, and other dishes. If you are gearing up to prepare sushi at home, consider the following suggestions when choosing your own sushi set.

Nigiri sushi assortment.
Nigiri sushi assortment.

First of all, decide how many people you will be serving with your sushi set. Your needs for a small family dinner will be very different from those for a large party or gathering, so be sure to choose a sushi set of an appropriate size. For the purposes of this article, we will assume the dinner size will accommodate about five people.

Two futomaki rolls.
Two futomaki rolls.

Most combinations of the sushi set include flat or near-flat dishes, most often square or rectangular. These square dishes can be used as individual plates for each person dining, or they can be used as a presentation dish for individual rolls of sushi. Your sushi set should include five plates for a gathering of five people. Along with the square plates, a sushi set may include a decorative bowl in which to place edamame. Use this bowl as a centerpiece of the meal so that each diner can share the edamame.

Hosomaki rolls underneath an uramaki roll.
Hosomaki rolls underneath an uramaki roll.

The sushi set should also include sauce bowls for soy sauce. These small rectangle dishes are slightly recessed to create a bowl in which each diner will pour their own serving of soy sauce for dipping. For a party of five, the sushi set should include five sauce bowls. Many sushi sets will also include reusable chop sticks made of plastic or ceramic, or others made of bamboo or other wood. Each diner should have their own set of chopsticks; it helps to have an extra pair around, too, in case a pair gets lost, damaged, or dirty.

Some sushi has crab in it.
Some sushi has crab in it.

Because most Japanese meals include the traditional Miso soup, a a sushi set may come with soup bowls that match the serving plates. They come with soup spoons as well, which have a unique shape very different from typical American spoons. If you will not be serving Miso soup, the soup bowls may also be used as rice bowls, or even edamame bowls. Another non-essential item that is nice to have included in your sushi set is a sake bottle and cups. Sake goes well with sushi, and these decorative bottles should match the pattern of the rest of the set's dishes.

Sushi sets often contain soup bowls for Miso soup.
Sushi sets often contain soup bowls for Miso soup.

If you intend to roll your own sushi, be sure your sushi set includes a bamboo sushi mat. The sushi mat is a series of thin bamboo slats tied tightly together to form a mat; it is used to roll the sushi rolls into the correct shape, making the job of shaping a tight roll much easier.

A sake bottle and cups are a nice addition to a sushi set.
A sake bottle and cups are a nice addition to a sushi set.
A bamboo sushi mat is crucial for those who intend to roll their own sushi.
A bamboo sushi mat is crucial for those who intend to roll their own sushi.

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