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Do you know what’s that most important thing all the guests look for in a party? – the food of course! Thus, I make sure my guests always feel elated when they set their eyes on the table and my go-to choice is sushi because everyone can participate in the fun and enjoy.
But, how long can sushi sit out at a party? If you are making sushi at home, the freshly made ones can sit outside for 2-3 hours without going bad. If you have ordered sushi from a restaurant or grocery store, try to find out when they were prepared and serve them first. At best, they may last for 1-2 hours if kept outside.
Thus, homemade sushi(see easy recipes) can last longer than the store or restaurant bought sushi. In any case, you must ensure that sushi is served first and quickly. If the guests have a genuine liking for sushi, the trays will be empty even before you start worrying about the raw fish going bad.
However, if the sushi contains vegetables, fruits or cooked meat as fillings instead of raw fish/ seafood, the freshness window can be extended a bit more. The sushi may sit outside for an extra one hour without refrigeration but after that, the texture of sushi rice and fillings can go downhill.
Limitations For Room Temperature
The above holds true only if sushi is kept at safe room temperature. If the food turns rancid slightly, there’s a small risk of bacterial infection and our body can still handle it. But, if the food is kept outside at 39 to 140 degrees temperature, the bacteria may multiply at a faster rate, causing the food to go bad quickly.
So, how long can sushi can sit out at a party also depends on the weather condition of the place where you live. In normal temperature, 2-3 hours may be good and if the climate is cold, sushi can last for a few more hours. However, if you live in a place that has a hot and humid climate, the food can go bad quickly unless you have the air conditioner on full blast.
If you maintain a room temperature of 20 degree Celsius with the air conditioner running, sushi can stay good for 4-8 hours. Sushi left outside beyond that period should be tossed away even if it does not smell foul. Some bacteria may not produce any smell so if sushi doesn’t emit a smell, it does not mean that it is not infected.
If you choose to keep sushi inside the refrigerator until the guests arrive, they may last for up to 24 hours. However, refrigerating may result in a loss of texture. Plus, if you are inviting close to 20-30 guests at the party, it’s practically impossible to refrigerate all sushi ingredients.
Preparing To Host A Sushi Party At Home
Hosting a party at home can be overwhelming because there are so many things that you’re your attention. You may be scared at the thought of things going wrong and messing up the party. But, let me tell you a secret. The guests will ignore everything else if the food is great!
Since I learned how to make sushi, my first choice of food has been different styles of this Japanese delicacy and they have always been a hit with my guests. The strongest point is that I can invite guests to try their hand at rolling sushi so it becomes a fun and entertaining experience for all. The joy of eating a sushi roll that is self-made is extraordinary, isn’t it?
However, before that, you will need to do some thinking and preparation to ensure that your party goes well. I usually prepare my sushi rice in advance and have all the fillings cut and sliced as needed, so that guests can just roll and savor the delicacies in minutes. I also have some sushi rolls pre-made and cut into slices for those who choose to not get their hands dirty.
Choosing The Sushi Type(s) To Serve At The Party
Sushi can be made in different styles and you can choose from them depending upon the ease of preparation and fillings available. Here are some of the best sushi types to be served at a party:
#1. Temaki Sushi
This style of sushi is not only served as a great option for adults party but the kids love making them too. It primarily comprises a cone-shaped Nori or seaweed that is wrapped around rice and fillings. There’s no need to cut a temaki sushi into pieces and it can be eaten whole.
I have created an article that explains the different fillings you can use in a temaki sushi and also contains step-by-step instructions on how to make temaki. The ease of preparation makes it a great choice for sushi parties. Guests can assemble the fillings over Nori, make a cone and enjoy!
Also known as thin sushi rolls, this style of sushi contains few and simple ingredients such as tuna, cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, asparagus, imitation crab, or avocado. One or maximum of two ingredients serves best to make thin and compact sushi rolls that anyone can make.
Make sure you have a few bamboo mats on the table so that your guests can take their turn to do the rolling with ease. You can also offer different filling options to your guests so that everyone can find something that they like.
#3. Nigiri Sushi
Well, let me warn you that this style of sushi is not for beginners or amateurs. I would recommend you to throw a nigiri sushi party only if the guests have good skills at making them. Nigirizushi comprises of a thin slice of raw fish over a bed of seasoned sushi rice.
You need to have good skills at cutting thin slices of fish and blending it with a ball of rice to create the perfect form. If you or your guests lack those skills, it’s better to avoid nigiri for the party.
#4.Uramaki or inside-out rolls
This is the westernized version of sushi rolls and has rice outside and Nori hidden inside. Different types of toppings may also be used to make the roll look more attractive. Toppings may range from thin strips of raw fish to slices of avocado and mango.
Some of the popular styles of inside-out rolls are California rolls that have imitation crab inside and toasted sesame seeds outside. You may also check my recipe for dragon roll, rainbow roll, and caterpillar roll to name a few.
The key is to be flexible with your choice for fillings while throwing a party. Fillings may range from raw/ cooked fish to vegetarian and gluten-free choices depending upon the preferences of your guests. If you are organizing a kids’ sushi party, consider using fillings like seasonal fruits, cheese, turkey slices, ham, an omelet.
Extras At The Party
When you are planning a sushi party, you need to take care of the extras that will enhance the taste and make food more enjoyable. Examples are soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free), spicy mayo, Ponzu sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.
Some fun snacks and desserts that complement a sushi meal are edamame, wasabi-flavored nuts, green tea ice cream, and matcha cookies. Beverages or drinks that go well with sushi are green tea, sake, beer, champagne, and rose wine.
Tools and Equipment Needed For The Party
Before your guests arrive, prepare the table to make sure there’s everything your guests may possibly need to get started. The list of essential tools and equipment include a set of sharp knives, 2-3 cutting boards 2-3 bamboo mats, chopsticks, and sushi dinnerware (traditional plates and sauce bowls).
Sushi tastes best when it is served in a traditional platter, so consider buying a few sushi sets to get compliments from your guests. You may also set up a few bowls of hand dipping solution made of vinegar and water to prevent the rice from sticking to the fingers.
Preparation Before The Party Begins
I would suggest that you cook sushi rice at least an hour before your guests arrive, let it cool and season it well with vinegar, sugar, and salt. If you are a beginner, read my article that contains step by step instructions on how to make sushi rice in a cooker or pot.
Pro tip: Avoid cooking rice too much in advance as this may make the sushi rice start losing its texture towards the end of the party. Cover the sushi rice with a damp towel to keep it fresh.
Preparing the fillings and toppings is a time-consuming process and you may better do it in advance to save time or you may involve some of your friends to help you with this tedious task. Store the slices of raw fish or meat in the refrigerator until all the guests arrive and the party begins.
How can I store leftover sushi from the party?
You can cover the leftover sushi in plastic wrap and them it inside airtight containers. Another method is to wrap sushi in a paper towel and keep them inside a vacuum sealed box. When stored inside the refrigerator, the leftovers can be eaten the next day or within 24 hours.
Is it safe to consume sushi containing cooked meat after 24 hours?
If there are leftovers from the party that contain cooked meat, they may be eaten even beyond 24 hours, provided that they are properly refrigerated. However, the sushi rice may harden and lose its flavor.