Sushi has captured the hearts and taste buds of foodies worldwide, thanks to its delightful combination of flavors and textures. To truly take your sushi experience to new heights, consider pairing it with mouthwatering side dishes that enhance its taste. This blog post will introduce you to a variety of scrumptious side dishes that complement sushi, whether you prefer traditional accompaniments or unique culinary explorations. Get ready to create a memorable sushi dinner that will impress your guests and satisfy your appetite.
10 Delicious and Easy Side Dishes to Serve with Sushi for Dinner
1. Delectable Soba Noodle Salad
Elevate your sushi dining experience with a scrumptious and refreshing soba noodle salad, an ideal accompaniment. This cold, easy-to-make salad bursts with flavor. Soba noodles, crafted from buckwheat flour, boast a nutty, earthy taste that complements sushi beautifully.
To create this salad, follow the package instructions for cooking the noodles, then rinse with cold water to halt cooking. Combine noodles with a dressing of rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey, and toss in cucumber slices, shredded carrots, and chopped scallions for added texture and freshness. For an extra protein boost, include sliced chicken or shrimp.
The resulting salad is light and revitalizing, perfect for hot summer days or as a sushi side dish. It’s a fantastic way to diversify your sushi meal and can be prepared ahead of time, making it ideal for meal prepping or entertaining guests.
2. Nutritious Seaweed Salad
A long-standing favorite in Japan, seaweed salad has gained popularity as a delicious and nutritious sushi side dish. Comprising various seaweed types marinated in a dressing of sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sometimes sugar or mirin for sweetness, the resulting dish is savory with a hint of sweetness and a satisfying crunch.
Seaweed is a powerhouse of nutrients, including iodine, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium. It also aids digestion, reduces inflammation and supports healthy skin.
The versatile salad can be customized with sesame seeds, grated ginger, or shredded carrots for extra flavor and texture. Paired with sushi, seaweed salad offers a refreshing contrast, acting as a palate cleanser to fully savor each sushi bite.
3. Wholesome Edamame
This classic Japanese appetizer has gained worldwide popularity due to its delicious taste and numerous health benefits. Boiled in salted water and served with a sprinkle of coarse salt, these vibrant green soybean pods are a quick and easy sushi side dish.
Edamame is packed with protein and fiber, boasting 17 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per cup. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, iron, and magnesium. The salty soybeans and the crunchy pods make for a delectable combination.
Enhance your edamame with additional flavors or spices, such as chili flakes or lime juice, or serve with a sesame or soy sauce dip.
4. Refreshing Cucumber Salad
Experience a side dish so revitalizing it almost eclipses the main meal. Cucumber salad is the ultimate sushi side dish, providing a cool and crunchy balance to the fish’s savory flavors.
Slice cucumbers thinly and whisk together rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers, toss to coat, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours, to melt the flavors.
This easy-to-make salad is low in calories and rich in nutrients like hydration, fiber, and vitamins C and K. The rice vinegar in the marinade imparts a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with sushi.
Enhance the salad with sliced onions, radishes, sesame seeds, or chopped cilantro for added flavor and texture.
5. Comforting Miso Soup
For a warm, comforting sushi side dish, miso soup is the answer. This traditional Japanese soup features miso paste, dashi stock, and assorted vegetables, resulting in a flavorful, nourishing broth perfect for sushi dipping.
To prepare miso soup, make dashi stock by simmering dried bonito flakes and kelp in water or using instant dashi powder. Add sliced mushrooms, tofu, and chopped scallions to the stock and let it simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Next, gently mix in the miso paste, which provides the soup with its distinctive, savory flavor. Miso paste, made from fermented soybeans, imparts a rich umami taste to the soup. Be careful not to boil the miso, as doing so can diminish its flavor and nutritional benefits.
Feel free to customize the soup with other ingredients that suit your tastes. Additions like wakame seaweed, sweet potato, or even shrimp can contribute unique and delicious flavors to the dish. Miso soup, with its warming and comforting properties, makes for an ideal side dish to accompany any sushi dinner.
6. Crispy Tempura Vegetables
The artful simplicity of tempura vegetables showcases a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Fresh vegetables, including sweet potatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, and broccoli, are dipped into a light batter made from flour, ice-cold water, and occasionally egg yolk. The batter’s lightness ensures a crispy exterior and a tender interior, creating a delightful balance.
Vegetables are carefully coated in batter and then gently deep-fried in oil until they reach a golden brown hue. This cooking technique guarantees perfectly cooked vegetables, resulting in a light, airy dish brimming with umami flavor.
Tempura vegetables are not only scrumptious but also provide several health benefits. As a rich source of vitamins and minerals, they contribute to overall health and well-being. Using minimal oil makes this dish a healthier alternative to traditional fried foods.
Whether served as an appetizer alongside sushi or as a side dish, tempura vegetables add textural variety and a satisfying crunch to any meal.
7. Succulent Grilled Shrimp or Salmon
These seafood delights enhance any sushi meal with their delectable flavors and textures.
Grilled shrimp or salmon offer seafood enthusiasts a delicious way to diversify their sushi dining experience. The tender and succulent meat is protein-rich, providing a satisfying and nutritious side dish.
These seafood options can be prepared in various ways to accommodate individual tastes and preferences. Grilled shrimp or salmon can be seasoned with a range of herbs and spices, creating a flavor profile that appeals to your palate.
Soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings can be combined to create an irresistible flavor that will excite your taste buds. The gentle sweetness of soy sauce, the subtle spiciness of ginger, and the aromatic pungency of garlic meld together to form a delightful seasoning.
In addition to their captivating flavors, grilled shrimp and salmon provide numerous health benefits. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they promote heart health, brain function, and overall well-being. This low-calorie, high-protein seafood options are excellent for maintaining a healthy diet.
8. Colorful Fruit Salad
A light and refreshing fruit salad is a wonderful side dish choice. An artful array of your favorite fruits, combined to create a colorful and nutritious culinary masterpiece, offers a variety of flavors and textures to enjoy.
A fruit salad can be tailored to individual tastes and dietary preferences. Add nuts, seeds, or honey for a delightful crunch and a touch of sweetness, or opt for low-sugar fruits or a squeeze of lemon juice to balance sweetness and add a refreshing twist.
Fruit salads not only taste divine but also provide numerous health benefits. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they boost the immune system, promote healthy digestion, and reduce chronic disease risk. Low in calories and high in fiber, they are excellent for weight management and overall health.
It is an ideal way to complete a sushi meal or provide a lighter, healthier dining option.
9. Chilled Green Tea Ice Cream
This delightful dessert offers a perfect finale to a sushi meal, balancing sweetness and bitterness to enchant your taste buds and refresh your palate.
Green tea ice cream is a creative dessert that highlights the unique flavors of green tea. The ice cream’s sweetness balances the tea’s subtle bitterness, resulting in a delightful and refreshing taste.
To create this enticing dessert, high-quality green tea leaves are steeped in hot water to produce a rich, flavorful tea. The tea is then mixed with cream, sugar, and other ingredients to form a smooth, creamy ice cream base. The mixture is churned to achieve a velvety, luscious texture.
Green tea ice cream complements sushi by cleansing the palate between bites, providing a refreshing, cooling effect. This dessert also offers health benefits: green tea is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that promote good health and prevent chronic diseases. It also serves as a natural energy booster and can help improve mental clarity and focus.
10. Tangy Pickled Vegetables
Enhance your sushi meal with the tangy and crunchy flavors of pickled vegetables. This traditional and beloved side dish provides a zesty contrast to the rich flavors of sushi, adding a lively twist to your dining experience.
Pickled vegetables artfully combine fresh produce with vinegar, resulting in a delightful medley of sweet, sour, and savory flavors. Iconic options like pickled ginger, refreshing cucumber, and zesty daikon radish are carefully prepared and seasoned to create a tangy, crunchy accompaniment to sushi.
The pickling process involves soaking vegetables in vinegar, salt, and sugar, preserving them while infusing them with a distinctive flavor. The outcome is a crunchy, tangy side dish that offers a refreshing counterpoint to the rich and savory flavors of sushi.
Not only are pickled vegetables delicious, but they also provide numerous health benefits. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they help boost your immune system and promote healthy digestion. Low in calories and high in fiber, they are an excellent choice for weight management and overall health.
Pickled vegetables add versatility and excitement to your sushi experience, allowing you to try different options and experiment with various flavors and combinations to find your ideal match. You can also use pickled vegetables as a condiment for other dishes, such as sandwiches or salads, to introduce a zesty twist to your meals.
These side dishes offer a wide range of flavors and textures, making them perfect accompaniments to sushi. From the cool, crunchy cucumber salad to the comforting warmth of miso soup, each dish brings something unique to your sushi dinner. Experiment with different ingredients and preparation methods to create a sushi experience that’s uniquely your own. With these delicious side dishes, you’ll elevate your sushi game and create a dining experience that will leave your taste buds wanting more.