Sushi dishes are dishes which have been designed specifically for serving sushi, a Japanese specialty which is popular around the world. These dishes are usually used in establishments where sushi is served so that the sushi can be presented in the traditional style, and some people use them at home for sushi service and dinner parties. There are several sources for sushi dishes, including stores which specialize in Asian housewares and restaurant suppliers.
Several features make sushi dishes unique from other dishes. Classically, sushi dishes are flat, so that the sushi can rest evenly on the dish, and many are square and rectangular in shape to facilitate the aesthetic presentation of square rolls of sushi. The sides of the dish may gently curve up, or the dish may be totally flat, and the dish can have feet or lie flush with the table. Sushi dishes typically include sushi plates, used for serving the sushi, along with condiment dishes for shoyu, pickled vegetables, wasabi, and other things commonly served with sushi. They may be sold together with these accessories in a sushi set.
There are also some traditional constraints on the design of sushi dishes. Japanese culture places a very high value on aesthetics and cultural traditions, and sushi is no exception to this rule. Sushi dishes generally coordinate with the season they are served in, and they are also designed to complement the sushi which is served on them. Different choices in glaze color, finish, and patterns may be subtle, but important in traditional presentation; fall dishes, for example, would not be used to serve sushi in spring.
Porcelain, stoneware, and other clays are a common choice for sushi dishes, whether they are made in a traditionalist style or by a modern designer who prefers dishes with a more contemporary look. It is also possible to find wooden dishes which may be lacquered, painted, or otherwise decorated, along with plastic dishes. Plastic dishes are sometimes used in restaurant environments to reduce breakage.
It is certainly possible to use ordinary dishes for serving sushi, especially if they are of a plain design which will allow the natural aesthetics of the sushi to be clearly seen. Sushi dishes can also be used for serving other foods, especially Asian-inspired cuisine. For cooks who prefer more playful dishware, novelty sushi dishes with colorful patterns and themes are available, along with coordinating condiment bowls and chopsticks.