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what to serve with sushi rolls -- side dishes and dessert help

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A friend of mine is having a few people over tomorrow night (about 8 people) and she's serving temaki sushi (hand rolls) which we will each roll to our liking (she will prepare fish, veggies, etc as well as the rice for guests to make their rolls). She will have different types of sake to drink, as well as wine. I offered to bring side dishes and dessert -- any ideas?

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  1. seaweed salad?

    1. Wakame salad and miso soup are traditional. I like my miso soup made with shiro (white) miso, tofu, seaweed and scallions. You could also make sticky rice with adzuki beans. My husband really likes that one.

      Dessert? Uh, I dunno. I will have to think on that.

      1. Good side dishes are little salads, like:

        ohitashi (steamed, drained spinach with soy and furikake dressing). Can also use watercress.

        thin sliced cucumbers in rice wine vinegar, little salt, little sugar

        Sauteed mushrooms in miso-mirin dressing, with a little sesame oil

        Steamed green beans with miso dressing, with soy, sugar, sake, white sesame seeds.

        Shredded daikon and carrots, dressed in rice wine vinegar and grated ginger.

        For dessert, melon balls are good. Green tea icecream. Fruit sorbet. Plum wine.

        1. for sides I second the cukes marinated in rice wine vineg. and sugar- so simple and tasty. Let marinate for at least an hour. Also, Edamame. You can buy frozen packages of them and heat them in under 5 minutes in a microwave. Salt well.

          Dessert- coconut milk flan. It's not exactly japanese, but it's light and can (should) be made in advance. The recipe I used (which was very good) came from a SE asian cookbook. I think it was a Vietnamese
          dish. Unfortunately I lost the book so can't provide the recipe.

          1. edamame and miso soup

            1. I have a different approach. I don't consider maki rolls to be a main course.

              I would bring meat: roast pork, bbq pork and teriyaki chicken, and some sashimi.

              Remember 7 items in your maki rolls for good luck, and never an even number. Rice/nori doesn't count.

              But, if someone else is supplying the main course, as everyone else posted: miso soup and tsukemono.

              For desert, Manju.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Alan408

                You got me thinking maybe I should make some teriyaki chicken (well, tell my husband to make it, since it's one of his two specialties). You're right, something more substantial is in order! Thank you!

              2. Your local Japanese/Korean market will have pre-packaged pickles for one side dish plate. You can slice picked daikon, eggplant, and gobu root to make a good assortment. Edamame would make a second side dish, miso soup a third, and you could use melon or yokan as dessert.

                Or ditch the Asian theme for dessert and dip fruit into chocolate!

                1. Dessert - ginger ice cream.

                  I once did a dessert tray with an Asian theme. Little wontons made from phyllo, filled with frangipan and candied ginger. Sake-soaked plum upside down cakes. Green tea mousse cake. And so on. Fun. But unless you're up for a good bit of cooking, I would recommend ginger ice-cream. Ginger creme brulee would work, too, if you would rather make than purchase.

                  1. Does it have to be Japanese theme? Ice cream is always good desert after dinner. How about Green Tea ice cream?

                    Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, so how about dumplings for side dishes. Easy to share and easy to eat.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: anko

                      No, it doesn't all have to be Japanese, any tasty suggestions that go well with Japanese food are welcome (like PollyG's idea of chocolate dipped fruit -very nice idea!). Thanks SO MUCH for all the great ideas you've given me so far! My idea right now is to make a bunch of Japanese (or Japanese-inspired) little dishes (drawing from your suggestions), and then a not-necessarily-Japanese dessert, perhaps ginger or other ice-cream or the chocolate dipped fruit. More ideas for dessert welcome!!

                      1. re: AndieCat

                        Fruit sorbets would be nice if you have access to good ones. Mango sorbet, mmm. This is getting me all pysched for the sushi dinner my friends and I are going out to tonight!

                        1. re: GretchenS

                          If you have access to an Indian or Pakistani grocer, we've found the mango ice cream to be pretty amazing. Hagen Daz mango sorbet is also a stunner.

                    2. Thank you so much to everyone for so many great ideas! I'm making the salads you suggested right now, but first I wanted to thank you all!