Sunday, March 4, 2012

Guest Post: Chirashi Sushi Cake and Temari Sushi

I love guest posts because they allow me to share a wide variety of cuisines with you guys that I'm not personally knowledgeable about as well as to introduce a wonderful array bloggers to you. Japanese cuisine is high on my list of favorites for its fresh ingredients, pure flavors, the elegance of its presentation. I'm especially fond of it because P adores it. After spending a year in Hokkaido teaching English to Japanese students, he simply couldn't get enough of Japanese dishes ranging from ramen noodles (the real kind!) to curry to sushi. I've given the other dishes a stab but haven't yet found the courage to try homemade sushi.

Luckily I was able to enlist my sweet friend and Japanese food blogger, Nami of Just One Cookbook, to show us how it's done. If you ever seen her work, you already know that her posts are bound to tantalize your senses, from vibrant photos to carefully detailed instructions to help you replicate the mouth-watering results. She's truly outdone herself with this knockout
Chirashi Sushi Cake. I gasped when I first saw it and I bet you'll follow suit. Please read on for all the delectable details from Nami!

Quick & Easy Chirashi Sushi
Hello everyone! My name is Nami and I share quick and easy Japanese home cook meals at Just One Cookbook. I was really honored when Xiaolu invited me to guest post because I’ve been a big fan of her beautiful blog ever since I found it.

This past Saturday was a special day for young girls in Japan. Every March 3rd the Japanese celebrate The Doll Festival called Hinamatsuri. For the festival many families with daughters display colorful Hina Ningyo, a set of the traditional Emperor and Empress dolls dressed in kimono, and celebrate this day to pray for the girls’ growth and happiness. Chirashi Sushi is often cooked on this day as a part of feast.

Chirashi Sushi Cake for 6bittersweets
Chirashi Sushi literally means “scattered sushi” and is served in Japanese restaurants. Each region in Japan serves a slightly different version of Chirashi Sushi with different ingredients and toppings, with most having various types of sashimi over sushi rice in a bowl. Since it’s very easy to make, it’s also the most common sushi made at home. Today I used Chirashi Sushi Mix (see below), which contains precooked lotus root, carrot, dried gourd strip, bamboo shoot, and shiitake mushroom seasoned with sweet vinegar.

Chirashi Sushi Mix
I usually serve Chirashi Sushi in a bowl (see above), but this year I made it a little more special for my soon-to-be 4 year old daughter who loves anything pretty (who doesn’t?). I made a sushi cake out of Chirashi Sushi thanks to my Japanese mommy friend who gave me this idea, and with leftover ingredients I made Temari Sushi using thin egg crepes (see my other examples of Temari Sushi here).

Chirashi Sushi Cake for 6bittersweets III
I am not much of a baker but this sushi cake was very easy to make. My daughter and I had a wonderful time making it and it was delicious! Thank you Xiaolu for inviting me today. Now everyone, let’s get ready to cook!

Chirashi Sushi Cake and Temari Sushi [Printable Recipe]
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: Makes about 2 Chirashi Sushi Cakes and 2 Temari Sushi


21 oz. (600 g) cooked Japanese premium short grain rice (2 cups uncooked rice)
1 packet Chirashi Sushi Mix (I used “Sushi Taro brand”)
Sakura Denbu (pink colored seasoned shredded codfish)
Handful of thinly sliced cucumber, cut in half

For Thin Egg Crepe & Shredded Egg Crepe Garnish:
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. sake/water
1 tsp. corn starch (this will prevent from breaking easily)
1/4 tsp. salt

For Decoration:
10-12 pieces of salmon sashimi
12 boiled shrimp
1/3-1/2 cup ikura (salmon roe)
A couple of blanched snow pea, cut diagonally


To Make Chirashi Sushi:
When rice is cooked, take out some rice into a small bowl, and mix with Sakura Denbu to make pink colored rice.

Step 1
Place the rest of rice into a large bowl and add one packet of Chirashi Sushi Mix while the rice is still hot. Fold everything together with the rice using a rice paddle. Gently slice through the rice to separate the grains. Cover with moist towel so it will not dry out.

Step 2
To Make Thin Egg Crepe & Shredded Egg Crepe Garnish:

Step 3
In a bowl, beat the eggs with the whisk and add the rest of ingredients until well combined. Strain the egg mixture through a sieve at least one time to achieve a silky smooth texture.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. Prepare a moisten towel and place on countertop. Dip a small piece of paper towel in vegetable oil and apply a thin layer on the pan.

Before it gets too hot, pour a small amount of the egg mixture into the pan and quickly swirl it around by tilting the pan in all directions.

Step 4
Then turn off the heat and cover. Transfer the pan on top of the wet towel to stop browning the egg. Keep the lid on for 1-2 minutes or until the egg is solidified. The edges are drier so you can use a chopstick or spatula to lift the egg. Transfer the egg onto a plate and let it cool. Clean the pan and re-oil between batches. Repeat this process until all the egg mixture has been used.

Step 5
Save 1 egg crepe for Temari Sushi (to make 2 Temari Sushi). For shredded egg crepe garnish, fold the rest in half, and then roll a crepe into a tight roll from the bottom. With a sharp knife, cut into thin julienne strips. You can freeze them for up to 4 weeks.

Step 6
To Assemble Chirashi Sushi Cake & Temari Sushi:

Chirashi Sushi Cake for 6bittersweets II
For Chirashi Sushi Cake, prepare a container of your choice (round/square, small/big). First place shredded egg crepe garnish on the bottom. Make sure there is no space between. Then add ½ inch layer of pink rice, then finally put Chirashi Sushi on top. Between rice and container, place the sliced cucumber around the bowl so when you flip upside down it will nicely decorate the bottom trim. Flip on a plate and decorate as you wish. To make sashimi rose, you overlap half a piece of sashimi with the next one and roll them up.

Step 7
Temari Sushi for 6bittersweets
For Temari Sushi, cut the thin egg crepe into half and place it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Put about 1-2 Tbsp of Chirashi Sushi on top of the egg crepe and wrap it tightly. Keep it wrapped until you are ready to serve. When you are ready to serve, unwrap the Temari Sushi and place it on a plate. Garnish with snow pea, half of sliced shrimp, and ikura on top.

Step 8


  1. Thanks for the tip making those egg crepe garnish c: lovely yummy pictures as usual!


  2. amazing stuff! I am a big fan of Naomi's cooking :)

  3. Xiaolu, I'm so thrilled to be on your blog today and thank you so much for inviting me! I hope your readers will enjoy my post. :-)

  4. Nami this is all so wonderful. I teach tamari sushi in my classes but only using the rice. I love it with the egg crepe. Also for the Chirashi Sushi Cake I'm shocked that it all comes out so easily when turned upside down. I would have put plastic wrap down first that way when I turned it over I wouldn't have to worry that it wouldn't come out but obviously it's not needed.

    As always your dishes are so beautiful.

    I've never visited 6 Bittersweets before but I'll be sure to come back. Lovely post!

    1. Vicki, nope, I didn't use plastic wrap but it comes out nicely. You need to make sure to pack rice nicely so that they won't be loose. :-)

  5. Oh my gosh, so cute! Sushi is pretty much the one food I could eat ever day and be so happy. And to have it in cake form...I'd be even happier! :P

  6. This is so interesting. I always learn so much from Nami! I love how authentic her food is and I'm so glad she sent me here. This dish sounds like something I know I would love!

  7. Everything is so colorful! I love being introduced to new foods [:

  8. This is my first time visiting your blog and found it through Nami's "Just One Cookbook." You have a great choice of guest blogger and your site looks amazing. Thank you both for sharing this post.

  9. A lovely guest post and great creations! Both specialities look fabulous.



  10. Hello Xiao Lu ;) Thanks for inviting Nami to share with us this fantastic Chirashi sushi cake ;) YUM!

    It looks so pretty that I don't really want to eat it hehe ~

  11. this is gorgeous! i happen to have been looking for bento inspirations since im starting to make bentos for lunch again. and was actually craving for chirashi sushi...when i saw your guest post!! talking about coincidence. :D

  12. This is so pretty...Intricately prepared. Thanks for sharing!

  13. This is truly a work of art! Wonderful post, Nami. Also, hello from a new fan via Nami's site- Xiao. You have a lovely blog and I am looking forward to checking it out more and learning some photography hints from you.

  14. Just stunning Nami, as usual. And so pretty. Glad to discover this blog too

  15. Two great bloggers in one place! Love these--both dishes are stunning but more importantly, I would love try making these myself. :)

  16. Hi Xiaolu and Nami, I love both of your blogs. You are both so talented! What a great way to celebrate the festival with this cake. Looks amazing!

  17. Thanks, everyone! So glad you're enjoying Nami's amazing post as much as I did!

  18. So nice to find your beautiful blog via Nami's!!! Excellent guest post!

  19. Absolutely stunning! I'm a huge fan of Nami's blog and I'm so glad she has directed me to your blog as well. Thanks to both of you!

  20. Wow! The presentation of the sushi is beautiful!

  21. I love Nami and this is a great guest post! So glad to be introduced to your beautiful blog :-)


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu