Sushi, the symbol of the ingenious culinary skills of the Japanese people which has garnered fans from all over the world, can be enjoyed for the outstanding balance of taste and flavor, texture, and presentation.

However, of all the different types of sushi, sushi rolls, or “Maki” in Japanese, have gained a name for themselves due to their unique blends of ingredients as well as a special kind of rice seasoned with vinegar and nori (seaweed). These types of rolls come in various styles and fillings, which endow them with a distinctive type of taste.

So if you’re planning on holding a Japanese-themed dinner event, let’s explore the different types of sushi rolls you can treat your guests to and how you can set up this event to be memorable.

The different types of sushi rolls

Let’s dive into the fascinating—and tasty—types of sushi rolls:

1. Hosomaki

Hosomaki (thin rolls) is a minimalist sushi roll that’s made of only one filling together with sushi rice and nori (seaweed). The fillings usually include tuna (maguro), cucumber (kappa), and pickled radish (takuan). Hosomaki can be considered a perfect beginner sushi if a cleaner and purer flavor is what you’re looking for.

2. Futomaki

Futomaki, which means “thick roll”, is a bigger version of the traditional maki roll where you can put in more fillings. These are multicolored and tasty rolls that can be stuffed with a fresh mix of vegetables, boiled eggs, and also seafood. Futomaki is a sushi roll for festivities, it’s usually served during special events such as holidays or festivals in Japan.

3. Uramaki

Uramaki, literally meaning “inside-out roll”, is a Westernized sushi roll in which the rice is placed on the outside and the nori is located inside. Normally, this kind of roll has different kinds of fillings; for instance, fish, avocado, and cucumber. It could also be topped with sesame seeds or fish roe. The California roll, with crab meat, avocado, and cucumber, is a classic example of uramaki and a worldwide favorite.

4. Temaki

Temaki, also known as “hand roll”, is a cone-shaped sushi roll that’s made by wrapping nori around sushi rice and fillings in a cone. A casual and hands-on experience for sushi lovers, where the fillings include raw fish but also plenty of vegetables and pickled plum. Temaki doesn’t last very long; if you don’t eat it quickly after making it, the nori might lose its crispiness.

5. Specialty Rolls

As the name implies, these are sushi rolls that are made from unique ingredients, depending on the location and the chef’s signature ingredients. Examples may include the Dragon Roll, Rainbow Roll, and Spider Roll, each of which has a unique flavor.

Popular accompaniments for sushi

1. Soy Sauce

Used as a dipping sauce with sushi, soy sauce is a popular accompaniment. But make sure not to use too much soy sauce on your sushi rolls as it can overpower the flavor of the rolls.

2. Wasabi

Wasabi provides sushi with an extra spicy and zippy taste. This tantalizing accompaniment can be infused into the soy sauce or placed directly on the sushi rolls in a small amount or more, depending on your preference.

3. Pickled Ginger (Gari)

Often served as a palate cleanser between different kinds of sushi, pickled ginger can provide a sweet and spicy contrast.

How to plan a blockbuster Japanese-themed dinner event

Now that you know your sushi rolls, let’s take a look at how you can plan a memorable Japanese-themed event.

1. Pick the right restaurant

First and foremost, you need to find a restaurant that offers a great sushi bar menu—what’s a Japanese-themed dinner event without sushi rolls? Also, you should check with the restaurant to find out if they offer banquet halls, preferably ones that are large enough to accommodate a big group of people.

2. Decide the dress code and send out invitations

  • Invitations: Create invitations decorated with Japanese symbols to convey tradition; decorations for your invitations can include images of cherry blossoms, koi fish, or Kanzashi (Japanese hairpins)
  • Dress code: Ask your guests to wear Japanese-styled clothing such as kimonos, yukatas, or even modern Japanese street fashion. Make sure to let them know about the dress code at least two weeks in advance so that they have enough time to get their wardrobe ready

3. Decorate the venue

Use decorations like Japanese paper lanterns, bamboo, and folding screens to create a Japanese-themed venue. Also, by using tatami mats and low tables together with softer cushions (zabuton), you can create an authentic Japanese-style seating arrangement. You can also have ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) as a substitute for table centerpieces.

4. Co-ordinate entertainment and activities

  • Live performances: Plan a live traditional Japanese musical concert or a Kendo or Aikido demonstration
  • Workshops: Provide short workshops on origami folding or calligraphy or demonstrate how the tea ceremony is done and let your guests take part in it
  • Karaoke: Set up a karaoke station with a selection of Japanese pop songs to act as an icebreaker for your guests

5. Prepare favors and gifts

Give your guests a Japanese-themed gift to take home with them, like a custom chopstick set, a small bottle of sake, or a Japanese fan, so that they can leave the evening with fond memories.

6. Consider the cultural aspects

Make sure to be accurate with your representation of Japanese culture. Avoid any kind of appropriation and focus on genuine representation and appreciation.

Experience the different types of sushi rolls

Sushi rolls don’t just form a dish—they represent a culinary experience. If you want to give your guests an authentic Japanese experience, get in touch with a reliable catering company in your area and explore the sushi catering options they have available today!