Thursday, November 17, 2011

Panda Sushi

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Hello there! ;)

Can you believe that it's almost christmas?

My uni exams stole a whole chunk of my November, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Christmas decorations everywhere when I came out of my studying shell and entered the real world! Christmas and New Year is by far my favourite time of the year- there is something indescribably joyful about hearing the sounds of Christmas carols and seeing beautiful Christmas trees and other decorations everywhere!

With so much Christmas spirit in the air, I can't quite get it off my mind and have been making plans for a Christmas themed cake....but it's probably a bit early for that!

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Meanwhile, I'm here tackling my list (of things to make) which you may remember me talking about. Since I realise that it is unrealistically long, I've brought it down to two main things 'skills' which I hope to master improve on before the end of the year:

1. Cake decorating- not with fondant and everything but just making them look nicer or more presentable.

2. Sushi making- which is of course, the subject of today's post.

I've been terrible at making sushi for as long as I can remember. Whilst I've had practice from helping my mother out since I was young, my rolls have always been much too loose, lop-sided and pretty much terrible no matter how much effort I put into making them. Even my friend's first attempt at sushi was better than mine!!



To be honest, I wasn't too fussed at my lack of sushi making ability until I discovered decorative sushi, where the pattern is found inside the sushi, when you cut it open. The idea itself was very intriguing, but I was even more amazed when i searched online to find beautiful designs, including my personal favourite, the apanman sushi. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a wonderful sushi book when I was in Hong Kong, which introduced me to more beautiful (and mostly simple) designs- and it was quite detailed and easy to follow!

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I started off making panda shapes, since it looked simple enough, with only two colours that I had to mix (black from sesame powder and brown from a homemade soy-based sauce). Making decorative sushi is a little different to making normal sushi, in that you sort of pile everything up into its shape before rolling together and the roll is much larger than normal. It's also important that the sushi is packed nice and tight, or else the picture will not show properly- which was difficult for me since my rolls have always been too loose.

The rolls are larger than normal sushi rolls, and my first ones accidentally turned out massive- so big that I needed an extra half a sheet of seaweed to cover the outside of the roll! My second ones were a lot better and manageable- even if the shape didn't turn out as defined as those in the book :)

To be honest, these were much nicer to look at than to eat- after all, it's just a roll of rice! I thought the sesame and rice combination was rather weird- both in taste and texture. It's less noticeable when you're not eating the sushi by itself (I ate it with my leftover tuna), so I guess I'll just have to think of more things to accompany the rolls! I'll definitely be making my way through this book in the next couple of weeks, and should hopefully see an improvement in my sushi making skills ;) Maybe I'll even get the photograph the making of the sushi rolls for you to see!

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So unfortunately, there's no recipes or instructions today, but I will leave any of you experienced sushi makers with a question:

How do you get a clean cut on your sushi rolls? I already used my sharpest knife (and I'm pretty sure it is very sharp) and wiped away all the sticky stuff on it before making another cut! I'm thinking it might have something to do with the fact that the rice is loose?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions :)

47 comments:

Ann@Anncoo Journal said...

Those panda sushi rolls look very cute. I've not tried to make them before. Thanks for the inspiration.
Besides using sharp knife to cut sushi, you also need moisten your knife with water mix with rice vinegar for a clean cut.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

crazily cute!

If I were to attempt this, it won't be recognizable as panda.

yummychunklet said...

Very cute and delicious!

OohLookBel said...

Your sushi efforts are adorable! I didn't realise you had to colour the rice, but it looks fantastic. Can't wait to see what you come up with in the future.

MissPiggy said...

Very very very cute - seems a shame to eat the panda though (aren't they protected - lol).

Nic@diningwithastud said...

You did such an awesome job! Well done :) shame about the flavour but hey, if it looks this cute, who the hell cares haha

Amy Chen said...

SO CUTE !

Mary said...

wow! when I first saw them I thought you individually made them!

I've tried making normal sushi before but even that failed because I couldn't get the rice to be moist. Lucky for me, sushi is so cheap in stores anyway so I may as well leave it to the experts.

lol and agreed about Christmas...so tempting to start buying presents and decorating in November. My favourite time of the year :)

Viv said...

too cute ;) and congrats on finishing uni for the year! must be a great feeling!

i had sushi today with tuna and avocado as well...but nothing looking as fancy as your panda ones hehe.

not sure how to get a clean cut...use serrated knife?!

iva | in my kitchen said...

oh my goodness! those panda sushi look amazingly cute. Yum! which reminds me, I havent had sushi in a while!

laurie said...

Those are so cute!

vianney said...

Oh these are adorable!! My girls would love them!! congrats on finishing classes!!

Cooking Gallery said...

I LOVE the panda sushi!!! And I have the sushi book too and I really admire Ken Kawasumi, his creations are just incredible! I've been telling myself to make one of those beautiful decorative sushi, but I've been too lazy so far. Thumbs up to you :D)!!

DV said...

Such cute panda sushi! :) Your creativity is superb!

JasmyneTea said...

Hope your exams went well! These are just too cute, and they'd probably really encourage me to eat more sushi because of the adorable shapes :)

Melanie @ Melanie Cooks said...

These panda sushi rolls are so cute! What a great presentation, and looks so yummy too!

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

Awww...so cute! But a shame if it's just for show and doesn't taste good, although it is an odd sensation thinking of black sesame with rice.

Shaheen said...

I love these and i know my family would too.

Lizzy said...

Oh, these are SO cute! What a great idea! Perfect way to introduce kids to sushi :)

Amelia's De-ssert said...

Oh my.... your panda sushi look so cute and the flower at the side very pretty too. 2 thumbs up for you. Have a nice day.

Reem | Simply Reem said...

CUTE!!!!!
Trust me these are the cutest sushi I have ever seen...
Perfect Perfect for my kids to get use to sushi...
For sure will try them.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow those are so pretty!

Rita said...

These are the cutest creations; you're good.
Rita

tigerfish said...

Nah, how can this be early for Christmas...:p

cute pandas ...when you make sushi like that, I will eat less cos they are just too adorable.

Tasteasyoucook said...

They look adorable and yummy.

munchinwithmunchkin.com said...

Super cute!

Charlene Moon said...

Very Kawaii!!!

I noticed we have the same plates - way to make my day! Its like you made these in my kitchen! ^.~ not creepy at all!

Keep up the good work and good luck with your list!

Charlene

Jules said...

What a cutie idea!

betty said...

these are soo cute!! i think the trick is to dip your knife in hot water?

Mochachocolata Rita said...

omg they are too cuteeeeeeeeeeeeee

Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

Oh my god these are SO cute!!!!!! You couldn't help but smile seeing these.

Swee San @ TheSweetSpot said...

ohmy that is SO CUTE!!!

Shen @ JustOneCookbook said...

The key to clean cut sushi roll is to cut fast with 1 stroke and make sure all the sticky stuff is wiped away. Rinse the knife under water and wipe dry if there are too much food stuck.

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

These are insanely cute! I want to make these so badly! Bookmarked this!

Jeannie said...

Too cute to eat! Amazing creation!

sugarpuffi said...

*squee* omg they are so cute!!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

so cute :-)

Zoe said...

These sushi are SO CUTE!

You must be happy that the exams are over! So nice that you can now sit back and enjoy your Christmas holidays!!!!

Hotly Spiced said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I had never thought to make shapes out of sushi other than the traditional. Totally beautiful are your pandas - too good to eat!

Joanne said...

I am the WORST sushi maker. Ever. Your pandas are so adorable. Makes me wish I had some sushi skillz.

Christine@Christine's Recipes said...

Wow, these panda sushi rolls are very cute. Haven't made any sushi for a long time. You make me feel like to make some .

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said...

Cutest sushi ever! I don't think I could pull out something as adorable and creative :)

Vivian - vxdollface said...

Wha very creative! Must've taken a while to make :O

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

So adorable, and the flower one is very pretty too!

Elizabeth said...

These are SO adorable!

Renee said...

Just had to chime in and say those are amazingly well done! Nice work!

Yelena Strokin said...

My daughter loves pandas and if I made this she would be really happy! Thank you for the recipe. Your picture look great.
:)

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