“The Year of the Dragon” Japanese Dinner Party

“The Year of the Dragon” Japanese Dinner Party

Are you looking for ideas for dinner tonight or on a special night like New Year’s?  This can totally work for any day of the year!

My New Year’s Eve tradition for the last few years has been to have a get together at my house that includes good food, good drink, and games – with an emphasis on the latter two.  As we tossed around dinner ideas for the special night, we opted for a “themed night” for two reasons:  One of my best friends Rachel gave me some beautiful sushi dishes I wanted to use & everyone on my guest list has been trying to eat more healthily.

Remember that this site doesn’t contain unachievable ideas, super expensive solutions, etc.  I’m particularly proud of this one, because I’ll be honest – I have been nervous about trying homemade sushi. It seemed so complicated & I put it off.  The key to making sushi a positive experience was keeping it simple.  We kept it simple, and the night was ultra fabulous!


  1.  A couple of tasty no-fail Japanese Sushi Recipes – Remember, we’ve never done this – nothing too crazy!)
  2. ASimple Miso Soup Recipe (Rule: Few ingredients needed!)
  3. A Simple Recipe that includes Soba Noodles (These are eaten on New Year’s Eve in Japan.)
  4. Japanese Drinks/Recipes: Punch, Teas, Beers, Wines
  5. Snack food: Sweets, Wasabi flavored party mix, Horseradish Cheese & Bacon Dip, etc.
  6. Coffee T able, cushions, dishes, Japanese themed table decorations

Jajān! (Japanese for “Ta-dah!”) You have a basic plan!

Miso Soup












 Things we learned:

~The trip to the international grocery store will take longer if this is your first time to visit.

~Split up the grocery list if you’re able!  It cuts down on cost & time!

~Look for the “Japanese” Section FIRST.

~The wasabi was in the Japanese Section – in a tube. It will be STRONG.

~Buy your Japanese-Style rice already cooked.  (It will just need a little heating.)

~Dried Seaweed (Wakame) for Miso Soup looks like long, dried  black corn husks in a plastic packaging.

~Seaweed for Sushi (Nori) is flat in square sheets.

~Using Dashi is like bouillon cubes to make a broth.  Dashi is a fish-based broth.  Just add hot water.

~Plum wine is a lot like Port wine, but it might be a tad bit sweeter.

~Be careful with raw fish if you have pets.  If you drop it, pick it up and wipe off the spot.

Japanese Table Setting

Japanese New Year Table Setting


Spicy Tuna Rolls and Smoked Salmon Hand Rolls


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