Are you considering opening your very own sushi restaurant? Owning and operating a restaurant of any kind is a big responsibility, one that requires knowledge of the specific supplies you will need. When you narrow down your restaurant to something like a sushi restaurant, you are also narrowing down the restaurant supplies you need. Knowing what supplies you need to run a successful sushi restaurant and why you need them can go a long way toward providing you with the strong start you want and need.
Storage and Display
The most basic and necessary equipment of any sushi restaurant is a sushi case. A sushi case puts your sushi rolls front and center for customers to see so they can decide if your sushi is something they want. The windowed cases often come equipped with bright lighting to enhance the customer's view of your sushi. If lighting it is not provided with the case, you will need to purchase and install your own lighting.
Additionally, you will need to provide the case with refrigeration. It is dangerous to eat sushi or sashimi if it sits out for four hours at room temperature. Therefore, you want to ensure that your sushi receives the proper refrigeration. When properly refrigerated, sushi and sashimi last approximately 24 hours after preparation. Therefore, you will quickly notice that your refrigerated storage and display cases are perhaps your most important pieces of restaurant equipment.
Sashimi requires very little preparation, as it is just a piece of raw fish, typically served with soy sauce. Sushi, on the other hand, is a ball or roll of cold, cooked rice with added vinegar flavoring combined with either one or a combination of the following:
- Raw fish
Despite the raw elements found in the dish, it does require a level of preparation. In other words, you will need to make sure you have preparation materials on hand to successfully run your sushi restaurant. Preparation supplies and equipment include:
- Thermal Rice Warmer – Used to keep rice warm after it is cooked
- Rice Cooker – A convenient way to prepare large vats of rice for sushi
- Sashimi Knives – Sharp knives used to chop, dice and slice (sharp enough to cut paper thin slices of yellowtail, tuna, or salmon)
- Fish-Bone Tweezers – Removes small bones from fish during the filleting process
- Fish-Scale Remover – Removes scales from fish such as Tai Snapper
- Sharpening Stone – Keeps your knives sharp for easy chopping, dicing, and slicing
- Wasabi Grater – Grates fresh wasabi commonly served with sushi and sashimi
- Rice Mixer – A wooden bowl used to spread out the rice for optimal cooling and seasoning
- Rice Paddle – A wooden or plastic paddle use to handle the rice in the mixer
- Bamboo Mat – Quintessential piece of equipment used to roll the sushi
- Sushi Mold – Typically a wooden mold used to create shapes and sizes for sushi
You must make sure you have all of the essential preparation materials on hand to set up and serve delicious sushi. Foodies who consider themselves experts on sushi will often tell you that rice is what makes or breaks the dish. Sushi is approximately 70% rice and roughly 30% fish. If your rice is not cooked properly or lacks flavoring, then your sushi will be of poor quality.
Anyone who is not familiar with sushi believes the colder the bite, the better when in truth, that is not true at all. Your rice cooker allows you to prepare your rice, but your rice warmer will quickly prove a valuable piece of equipment. When you serve sushi, the rice should be at body temperature. Although 90 degrees is a quality temperature, 95 degrees is ideal. Once cooked, however, the rice begins to cool quickly, so a rice warmer can become your best friend.
Opening a sushi restaurant will require careful attention to detail on your part. You need to make sure you have the right licensing, training, and equipment on hand. Thankfully, the restaurant supplies and equipment mentioned above can give you a good headstart. Contact a restaurant equipment supplier to find out what other supplies and equipment you might need to run a successful sushi restaurant.