Last weekend me and my girlfriend tried to make sushi ourselves for the first time. It was an amazing and fun experience. We had a lot of fun discovering the joy and pain of making our own sushi from the comfort of our own home. To top it all of we saved some money (by not going to a restaurant).
To be fair, the first reason to do this wasn’t a money-saving one. We did it to have something else for dinner and do something without going out.
Still, how much did we actually save compared to a restaurant visit -which we actually did a couple of weeks prior- in the city center?
Before getting into the details of our sushi making adventure, it’s interesting to see how much sushi costs in a decent restaurant. It’s definitely not the cheapest dining experience.
We went to a sushi restaurant a couple of weeks earlier so we have a very good idea of the cost for two. Two soups, a sushi promo and a couple of drinks cost us 52.40 EUR. We didn’t get any dessert but from what I remember this would have set us back about 8 EUR per dessert.
We didn’t set out to get the same experience or the same amount but I can already tell you we ended up with 50 sushi pieces, larger than the once we got at the restaurant, though of course not as special or extravagant, we were able to create some diversity.
What you need to make your sushi
To be able to make that deliscous sushi at home you first need to have the material to actually roll the sushi. There are a few options to go with if you search online.
The most extreme is making your own bamboo mat but good luck with that. More realistic is to, like we did, buy a bamboo mat. Bamboo isn’t needed though, there are now silicon mats, and to make it even easier, you can get freaking bazookas.
I’d just go for the tried and tested method with buying the bamboo mat. You can’t go wrong with that. It’ll only set you back 2 – 3 EUR.
Besides the mat there are a few other things you need. The basic sushi starter kit consists of:
- Sushi mat
- Sushi rice
- Soy sauce
- Sushi vinegar
Filling the roll
Adding it all up gives us a total of 46.67 EUR. This includes soup we didn’t make ourselves. We got some from the supermarket: 2.09 EUR for 500 mL. It further includes the dessert in the form of two Tayaki and of course the starter kit from Amazon.
This doesn’t look like a huge saving but important to note is that we had quite a bit of extra sushi left and were able to eat left-overs the next day. On top of that, you have the reusable stuff such as the mat, the chopsticks and leftover condements such as the wasabi and ginger.
Where to get it
With this shopping list in hand, we were ready to gather all the ingredients for a cosy night. But where to get the ingredients to make our own sushi? Easy, just go wherever they have a wider variaty of food and brands.
In Belgium we have a couple of grocery stories that specialize in bulk and have more of the staple Belgian foods and less of the more special stuff such as sushi rice.
Of course, we also have stores like Carrefour where you even have specialized corners for “world” food. Other even more specialized stores work as well of course, but it’s possible that it will cost more due to lower demand.
I ended up getting most of the needed ingredients from the Germany-based hard-discounter Lidl and the rest from the French multi-national chain Carrefour.
Roll the sushi!
Putting it all together
And that's a wrap
There you have it, anything you need to make your own sushi from the comfort of your home.
Adding it all together we did put in quite some working hours to make it, but that was the entire point, cooking together. As far as saving goes, the money we saved was more than the difference between ingredients. While we “only” saved 52.40 EUR – 46.67 EUR = 5.73 EUR at first glance, as we were able to get another meal out of it and got material to reuse the savings are more but those are harder to quantify. It won’t really do much for this month expenses though. you’ll get what I mean once I post the update 😉 .
I’d highly recommend you do it with your SO or even with friends. It can be a fun evening activity: everyone shares a list of the things they want and get what the majority likes. By sharing the costs you can get a lot of of sushi for very cheap; the tighter bonds you create are a beautiful bonus.