Japanese food such as sushi, sashimi, yakitori, tempura etc are the 'hip' meals now adays.. It has lots of varieties, and fun to make. Practical and easy to pack for lunch or outing or even party. I know that sometimes it's not easy to put it together into the right shape and taste, but don't worry.. you can get some help to create your personilize dishes.
Well.. these are some recipes that I've been trying for my family meals and specially for my daughter's lunch pack and also for bbq gathering.
So, I hope it's worth trying it and starting to love this easy, healthy and fun meals.......

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Makes 6 tofu bags
a shrine dedicated to agriculture and the fox is regarded as the envoy of the god. People used to offer abura-age (fried bean curd) to the fox; hence this special name. This sushi makes an ideal picnic lunch and children's snack.

½ quantity vinegared japanese rice
3 fresh Japanese fried bean curd (abura-age)
200 ml chicken stock
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin or sweet sherry
2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
2 dried shiitake (mushrooms)
5 cm carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sake (optional)

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

1. Make the vinegared sushi (sumeshi).
2. Put the fried bean curd (abura-age) on a cutting board and roll each one with a rolling pin. This separates the thin layers inside the bean curd, making a bag. Put the bean curd in a mixing bowl, pour over boiling water, then drain – this will reduce the oilness.
3. Cut each piece in half and carefully open each piece from the cut side (if not opened already), to make a bag.
4. Put the chicken stock or water in a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and bring to the boil. Add the bean curd bags, cook 3 minutes on moderate heat, then add 1 tablespoon mirin and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes until all the liquid disappears. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.
5. Meanwhile, soak the dried shiitake in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquid. 6. Cut off the stems and finely chop the caps. Pour 50 ml of the soaking liquid into a saucepan, add the remaining sugar, mirin, soy sauce and sake and bring to the boil. Add the carrot and shiitake and simmer for 3-4 minutes until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let cool.
7. While the rice is still warm, fold in the cooked carrot and shiitake. Dip your hands in the hand vinegar and divide the rice mixture into 6 balls. Squeeze out excess juice from the bean curds bags and open with your fingers. Stuff a ball of rice into each bag and fold in the edge (optional). You may cut some bags in half and stuff rice in the corner to make a three-cornered ‘Napoleon’s hat’shape.
8. Arrange the bags on a serving plate and serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce

Makes 18-20 pieces

Just like cookies, these children’s sushi are made in pretty colors and shapes. Specially shaped moulds are sold in Japanese stores, but if you don’t have access to such exciting shops, use decorative cookie cutters and other mould shapes.

½ quantity vinegared rice

Cherry blossom sushi:
100 g cod or haddock fillet, skinned
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper
Red vegetable food coloring (if you don’t want to use food coloring, use grilled fresh salmon, flaked, instead of the white fish and coloring)

Spring green sushi:
100 g shelled green peas
2 teaspoons sugar

Golden star sushi:
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar

Star, daisy and diamond or heart shaped sushi moulds, or cookie cutters

1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi).
2. Put the fish in a saucepan, add just enough boiling water to cover and simmer until well cooked. Drain, then carefully remove all the small bones. Pat dry with kitchen paper and put into the dry saucepan. Using a fork, crush into fine flakes. Add the sugar and a pinch of salt, then cook over a low heat, continuously stirring with a fork, for about 2 minutes, or until the fish is very dry and flaky. If using food coloring, dilute 1 drop with 1 tablespoon water, then stir quickly through the fish to spread the color evenly. Remove from the heat and let cool. (alternatively, use fresh salmon cooked to flakes in the same way or crush canned cooked red salmon into flakes.)
3. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the peas and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Crush with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor to form a smooth green paste. 4. Stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt.
5. Lightly oil a small saucepan and heat over a moderate heat. Put the eggs, milk and sugar in a bowl, mix, then pour into the pan. Quickly stir with a fork to make soft scrambled eggs. Remove from the heat and let cool.
6. Divide the vinegared rice into three. To make the cherry blossom sushi, put 1 tablespoon of the pink fish flakes in the bottom of a small heart-shaped mould and press about 1 tablespoon of the rice on top. Turn out onto a plate, fish side up. Repeat until all the pink flakes and a third of the rice are used. Using a second mould, repeat using the green pea paste and another third of the rice. Using a third mould, repeat using the scrambled eggs with the remaining third of the rice. If using grilled fresh salmon, use a fourth mould.
7. Arrange cherry blossom, flower, star and spring green sushi on a large serving plate.


Makes 1 block (16 pieces)

Oshi-zushi (pressed sushi) like this, or Bo-zushi (log sushi) will keep for up to 36 hours – as a result, they are the best-selling items at all Japanese airports. Travellers buy them for Japanese friends living abroad as a reminder of the true taste of Japan. They are easy to make and can be made the day before.

½ quantity vinegared rice (sumeshi)

Hand vinegar:
2 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
125 water

150 g smoked rainbow trout or smoked salmon, thickly sliced
2 slices lemon, cut into 16 fan-shaped pieces

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

A wooden mould or rectangular plastic container, 18x12x5cm

1. Make the
vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Lay the smoked trout or salmon slices evenly in the bottom of a wet wooden mould. Alternatively, use a rectangular container lined with a piece of clingfilm large enough for the edges to hang out of the container.
3. Wet your hands in the hand vinegar, transfer the vinegared rice into the mould and press it firmly and evenly into the mould. Put the wet wooden lid on top. If using a plastic container, fold in the clingfilm to cover the rice and top with a piece cardboard just big enough to cover the rice, and put a weigh on top. Leave in a cool place (but never refrigerate) for 2-3 hours or overnight.
4. When ready to serve, remove from the container and unwrap any clingfilm. Take a very sharp knife and wipe it with a vinegar-soaked cloth or piece of kitchen paper. Cut the block of sushi into 4 lengthways, then in 4 crossways, making 16 pieces.
5. Arrange on a large serving plate. Put a fan-shaped piece of lemon on top. Serve with pickled ginger and a little Japanese soy sauce.


Makes 10-12 pieces

Hand moulding of rice is rather a messy job and it’s also difficult to make identical shapes and sizes. I have come up with a simple solution, using an egg cup as a mould. These sushi are very easy to make, pretty to serve and delicious to eat.

½ quantity vinegared rice
5-6 smoked salmon slices, about 125g , halved to make 10-12 pieces
Lemon or lime wedges, to serve

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
250 ml water

A small egg cup

1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Line an egg cup with clingfilm so it hands over the edge of the cup. Line the whole cup with a piece of smoke salmon, filling any gaps with small pieces of salmon. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegared rice in the cup and salmon from the rim. Lift up the clingfilm and turn out the moulded sushi, upside down, onto a plate. Repeat to make 10 pieces.
3. Arrange on a serving platter, add lemon or lime wedges and serve.

Make soft scrambled eggs, using 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt. Let cool. Lay a piece of clingfilm in the egg cup. Put 1 teaspoon of the scrambled eggs on the bottom. Gently press to make a firm base – the egg should come about half way up the side of the cup. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegared rice on top of the egg and again gently press down with your thumbs. Do not over-fill. Using the clingfilm, turn out the moulded sushi, upside down, onto a plate. Repeat this process for the remainder of the egg and rice. Serve with a tiny bit of red caviar on top.


Makes 12

This battleship-shaped version of nigiri-zushi has a ribbon of nori seaweed wrapped vertically around the rice, with added toppings such as ikura (salmon caviar) and sea urchin. This recipe includes western variation using crabmeat.

½ quantity vinegard rice
1 ½ sheets nori seaweed

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons vinegar
250 ml water

8-12 tablespoons crabmeat (use white and brown crabmeat from your fishmonger)
About 1 teaspoon sake
2 teaspoons wasabi paste or powder
4-6 tablespoons salmon caviar (ikura) or red lumpfish caviar
12 pickled caperberries or capers

To serve:
Pickled ginger
Japanese soy sauce

1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Put the crabmeat in a small plate and sprinkle with a little sake. If using wasabi powder, mix 1-2 teaspoons powder in an egg cup with 1-2 teaspoons water to make a clay-like consistency. Turn it upside-down and set aside to prevent it drying.
3. Cut the whole sheet of nori crossways into 8 ribbons, 18x2.5cm, and the ½ sheet into 4, making 12 ribbons in total.
4. Dip your hands in the vinegar mixture, then take about 1-2 tablespoons rice in one hand and squeeze it into a rectangular mound about 5x2x3cm high. Wrap a nori ribbon around it, overlapping about 2cm at the end. Glue it together with a grain of vinegard rice. Put 2 teaspoons caviar and a few pickled caperberries or capers on top. Repeat to make 3 more rolls with caviar, 4 with crabmeat topped with a little salmon caviar and 4 with crabmeat, with a tiny dot of wasabi on top.
5. Arrange on a platter, and serve with the pickled ginger and a small dish of soy sauce as party food. If making individual servings, serve the soy sauce in small, separate dishes.