What To Serve With Sushi: The Delectable Side Dish Ideas


Sushi is a delicious Japanese dish that can be enjoyed on its own, but did you know that pairing it with the right accompaniments can enhance its flavors and textures even more? In this guide, we will explore the perfect accompaniments to serve with sushi, elevating your dining experience to new heights. 

From classic choices like soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger to creative additions such as tempura, miso soup, and Japanese-style salads, we’ll delve into a world of flavors that harmonize beautifully with sushi’s elegance. Whether you’re a seasoned sushi connoisseur or a curious beginner, join us on this gastronomic journey as we uncover the secrets of what to serve with sushi.

Best Side Dishes To Pair With Sushi

1. Tempura

what to serve with sushi

Tempura (Source: Google)

A form of deep-fried battered snack called Tempura is created with pork, vegetables, or seafood like shrimp. Because they are battered, tempura is bright in color on their outer layer and crunchy but fluffy inside. 

The crispy, golden-brown tempura batter perfectly complements the delicate flavors of sushi, creating a harmonious balance of textures and tastes. Enjoy the tempura that has just come out of the frying along with your sushi dish for a unique contrast experience.

2. Gyozas

what to eat with sushi

Gyozas (Source: Google)

Gyozas offer a delightful balance of flavors, with the umami-rich meat filling complemented by the subtle sweetness of vegetables and the savory notes of soy sauce and ginger. When combined with sushi, they provide a delicious flavor combination that tantalizes the palate. 

Although the gyozas are often filled with mushrooms, you can also cook them with shrimp or pork. The savory filling gives the meal an added layer of richness and is often composed of ground pork, vegetables, and seasonings. 

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3. Edamame

Edamame (Source: Google)

Edamame, the young soybeans harvested before they fully mature, make a delightful and nutritious accompaniment to sushi. Edamame is green in color, a delectable and healthy meal. With a little salt, water, and pepper you can make it in a few minutes. 

These vibrant green pods add a burst of freshness and texture to the traditional Japanese delicacy. Served steamed and lightly salted, edamame provides a satisfying crunch with each bite, perfectly complementing the delicate flavors of sushi rolls. 

4. Miso Soup

Miso Soup (Source: Google)

Miso soup is a traditional Japanese meal that has a wealth of tastes and health benefits to offer. The umami-rich miso paste adds depth and complexity to the soup, while the tofu cubes and seaweed provide contrasting textures. 

Miso soup’s hearty, warming broth pairs beautifully with sushi’s flavors. The combination of miso soup and sushi creates a harmonious balance of flavors, making it a popular choice among sushi enthusiasts seeking a complete and satisfying meal.

5. Karaage (Japanese-style deep-fried dishes)

Karaage (Source: Google)

Karaage, a popular Japanese crispy, deep-fried dish, is an unexpected yet delightful accompaniment to sushi. The contrasting textures and flavors create a perfect fusion that appeals to the taste buds. 

The juicy Karaage pieces, which are marinated in a flavorful mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, offer a pleasing crunch that goes well with the delicate sushi rolls. 

6. Kani Salad

Kani Salad (Source: Google)

Kani salad is a popular and refreshing dish that features a medley of crisp vegetables, succulent imitation crab meat (made from pollock fish), and a tangy dressing that brings all the flavors together.

The salad’s zesty bite from the creamy dressing, which is often made of mayonnaise and rice vinegar, wonderfully balances the crab’s inherent sweetness. When paired with sushi, the Kani salad provides a satisfying balance of textures and tastes, making it a popular choice among sushi enthusiasts.

7. Gomaae (Spinach Sesame Salad)

Gomaae (Source: Google)

Gomaae, a traditional Japanese side dish, is often served alongside sushi to enhance the overall dining experience. This delectable dish features blanched vegetables, typically spinach or green beans, coated in a rich and savory sesame sauce. 

The nutty flavor of the sesame perfectly complements the delicate flavors of sushi, adding a delightful contrast to the meal. Whether enjoyed as a standalone appetizer or paired with sushi rolls, gomaae adds an extra layer of depth and enjoyment to any sushi feast.

8. Seaweed Salad

Seaweed Salad (Source: Google)

Seaweed salad is frequently served with sushi as a side dish since it adds both flavor and nutrition to the dish. This greenery salad is generally topped with a tangy vinaigrette to bring out its natural taste. 

The seaweed’s salty flavor and crisp structure make an interesting contrast to the soft sushi pieces. Whether enjoyed as a palate cleanser between bites or as a side dish, seaweed salad adds a burst of flavor and a touch of oceanic essence to any sushi dish.

9. Agedashi tofu

Agedashi Tofu (Source: Google)

Agedashi tofu served with sushi is a delightful fusion of traditional Japanese flavors. To make this dish, tofu cubes are lightly fried until they are crunchy on the exterior and soft on the inside. After being fried, the tofu is covered in Dashi Jiru, a sauce made of Dashi, soybean sauce, and a sweetened water substitute for sugar. 

When enjoyed alongside sushi, the crispy texture of theashi tofu provides a nice contrast to the smoothness of the sushi rolls or nigiri. The umami-rich soy-based dipping sauce adds depth and complexity to the meal.

10. Dango

Dango (Source: Google)

Dango, a Japanese favorite sweet, is consumed more frequently than anything else to balance off the harshness of green tea. Red bean, green tea and other subtly sweet fillings are typically included. 

Three Dangos of various colors are usually served each meal, all attached to a skewer. Whether enjoyed as a palate cleanser between sushi pieces or as a standalone treat, the combination of dango and sushi creates a harmonious blend of tastes and textures.

Sushi Condiments

1. Ponzu sauce

Ponzu sauce (Source: Google)

Ponzu sauce is a yummy and tangy sauce that goes great with sushi. It’s made by mixing soy sauce, citrus juice (like lemon or yuzu), and mirin. This sauce adds a fresh and zingy taste to your sushi. It helps to balance out the rich flavors of the raw fish and makes every bite even more delicious. It may be used as a dip for sushi rolls or to pour over sashimi.

2. Gari (Pickled Ginger)

Gari (Source: Google)

Gari, also known as pickled ginger, is a common accompaniment to sushi.To make it, thin slices of ginger are soaked in a sugar and vinegar blend. The result is a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that compliments the taste of sushi perfectly. Its natural characteristic aid in palate cleansing between various sushi varieties so you can fully enjoy the distinctive flavors of each piece.

3. Wasabi 

Wasabi (Source: Google)

Sushi is frequently accompanied by a spicy, mustard-like paste known as Wasabi. It is made from the wasabi plant’s root and has a powerful, spicy flavor. When eating sushi, you may either add wasabi on top of the sushi or add it to your soy sauce. Wasabi’s heat gives the sushi a flavor explosion. It may be rather spicy, keep in mind not to use it too much!

Beverage Pairings for Sushi

1. Green Tea

Sushi with Green Tea (Source: Google)

Green tea is a classic and traditional choice to accompany sushi. Between pieces, the mild flavor of the green tea helps to cleanse your palate, enabling you to fully enjoy every nuance of the sushi. The subtle bitterness of green tea also helps to balance the richness of certain types of sushi, such as fatty tuna or salmon.

2. Sake

Sushi with Sake (Source: Google)

Sake, a Japanese rice wine, is another popular choice when it comes to sushi pairings. Lighter and drier Sakes work well with lighter fish like whitefish or snapper, while richer and more aromatic Sakes complement stronger-flavored fish like mackerel or eel. Experimenting with different types of sake can be an enjoyable way to discover new flavor combinations.

3. Light Beer

Light Beer (Source: Google)

For those who enjoy beer, a light and crisp beer can be a great option to pair with sushi. Japanese lagers like Asahi or Sapporo are popular choices, as they have a clean and refreshing taste that complements the flavors of sushi. The carbonation in beer can help cleanse the palate and provide a pleasant contrast to the textures of the sushi.

4. Crisp White Wine

Crisp White Wine (Source: Google)

If you prefer wine over sake, a crisp and acidic white wine can be an excellent choice to accompany sushi. We suggest acidic wines with citrus aromas like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. These wines can give a refreshing backdrop to the richness of the seafood of sushi dishes. As they might overpower the light aromas of the sushi, stay away from tannic wines.


  • What non-alcoholic drinks pair well with sushi?

There are many options of non-alcoholic beverages that pair well with sushi dishes. The best choices include Sencha, green tea, orange juice, and pomegranate juice. 

  • What sauce do you eat sushi with?

Here is a brief of some typical sauces you could order to spice up your next meal:

  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a popular topping sauce for rolls because of its sweet-salty flavor, which is great for dipping sushi.  
  • Wasabi: Wasabi is added to give sushi a spicy flavor and has a mild spiciness similar to mustard.
  • Ponzu Sauce: This is a favorite condiment for giving sashimi a sour, tangy flavor. It is a sauce made with citrus and is occasionally added to soy sauce.
  • Eel Sauce: This is a viscous, sweet sauce that is poured over several kinds of nigiri and warmed before serving. 
  • Is sushi a starter or main course?

Usually, the primary entrée for a meal is sushi. As a result, some eateries will only provide a brief menu that includes sushi and sashimi. However, sashimi is sometimes served as an appetizer in restaurants.

  • Is sushi good for you?

Sushi is a dish made of rice, veggies, and fish that may be highly nutritious. According to research, eating sushi may improve thyroid and immunological function as well as gastrointestinal health.

  • How many pieces usually come with sushi?

The majority of sushi rolls have between 5 and 8 pieces. Traditionally, the number of pieces they include depends on how they’re made.

  • Is sushi a snack or food?

Sushi may be cooked with a wide range of ingredients, including vegetables to fish, and is suitable for both a snack and a hearty meal This indicates that whether you prefer eating meat or are vegetarians, there is something that will satisfy everyone.

  • How often should you eat sushi?

Dietitians claim that healthy persons may comfortably eat 10 – 15 pieces (or 2 to 3 sushi rolls) every week. For the elderly, pregnant women, and other people with weakened digestive systems, the figures may change.

  • Is sushi a healthy lunch option?

Sushi is a carbohydrate-rich lunch choice because it is made of rice, but that isn’t always a negative thing, especially if you are a physically active individual. Several sushi rolls served with seaweed salad or edamame are other good options if you want a lighter, lower-carb lunch.


In conclusion, your preference will determine what to serve with sushi, and trying various pairings will help you identify your favorite pairings. So, whether you opt for traditional pairings or explore new flavor profiles, adding great accompaniments will undoubtedly elevate your sushi experience.


About Haruto Suzuki

Haruto Suzuki is a senior food and drinks blogger at Question Japan. He has a background in F&B industry and also experience of running his own Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for over 10 years. Therefore, he has a great knowledge of Japanese cuisine. So if you want to discover Japan through its unique traditional cuisine, Haruto Suzuki’s blog will be a great source of information for you.


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