Sushi or kimbap?

Technically not sure whether this is sushi or kimbap! I usually make my kimbap with a beef filling but I have seen kimbap with crab stick as well.

Anyway, let’s say this is a fusion roll 😁 It has crab stick, cucumber, burdock and danmuji in it. 

I don’t often pack sushi/kimbap for lunch as it can be a bit time consuming to make but I recently changed job location and now can leave the house 30 minutes later. So more time for packing lunch (or another snooze in bed….) plus I was organised and had prepped all the ingredients the day before.

Packed it in my handy snack box with the usual garnished (ginger, wasabi and soy sauce) and some peach slices in the container.

Am busy this week making a “brain cake” for my book club, will try to post a photo of it once ready….. 


Sushi burger

sushi rice burger

This time a sushi burger!

After last week’s gigantic Hamburger cake I made this burger from sushi rice. A lot easier 🙂

I used some metal food rings and cling film and just added the rice and ingredients layer by layer. My favourite sushi fillings are salmon or crab, cucumber and avocado, and in this case I used smoked salmon. The cling film is very useful to avoid that the ingredients stick to the metal ring but more importantly to help press the ingredients down so that you get a nice and tidy layers in the “burger”.

The sushi burgers were served on some cucumber slices and added a simple decoration to make it look prettier. This could also work great as a starter, or you could wrap these in nori and turn them into Onigirazu for a (bento) lunch.

Temari sushi bento

temari sushi bento

Today I packed some temari sushi which is very easy to make. Basically they are little sushi rice balls with your favourite topping.

To create these, you first need to make some sushi rice. Cook short grain rice according to instructions on the pack and mix with sushi vinegar. If you want, you can use ready bought sushi vinegar/seasoning, but it is very simple to make yourself, for example Just One Cookbook has this step by step recipe.

For the toppings in my temari sushi, I used smoked salmon, cucumber, avocado and also made a thin omelet.  Any topping goes as long as it is sliced thinly and where needed cooked/blanched/prepped. Also, the temari sushi will look prettiest if you use contrasting colours (like salmon and cucumber) or bright coloured food so it stands out from the rice.

To form the temari sushi balls, you first place the topping of choice in the middle of a piece of clingfilm and then add about 1/4 -1/3 rice spoon  of cooked rice on top*. Now gather up the cling film around the rice, twist and shape the rice/topping into a ball. By twisting the cling film and tightening up the rice ball, you ensure that the topping “follows” the curve of the ball.

Keep the temari sushi wrapped until you have finished with all your ingredients. Remove the cling film and garnish with herbs, small food flowers or nori strips. These are great for serving as appetizers or on a buffet. Or in your bento 🙂


* Alternatively, if you want to make sure your Temari sushi are all even sized, you can pre-portion your rice balls either by weight, or by using an an onigiri mold. In either case keep the rice balls covered until you use them to avoid drying out.


Piggies on a picnic

pig onigiri bento

Felt like making some cute onigiri today and created this piggy family going on a picnic.

I made these onigiri piggies before (see my step by step tutorial); they are very easy to make although it helps if you have the pink sushi rice colouring (I buy mine from Japan, but you could use natural food colouring like beet).

The picnic the piggies took with them was: some salmon – hidden inside themselves :-), edamame and green beans, mini corn,  flowers made from carrot and omelet and some pickled radish in soy sauce (나래 오보채). Also for dessert a choco pie.

It is quite a lot of rice, so I packed it in one of my larger bento boxes.

To make a maki

maki roll

Making maki rolls are not my strong point, especially when in a hurry. I know “practise makes perfect”, but I am an impatient girl and I need my maki, now!

To avoid getting into a trantrum (never good when hungry), I bought myself this nifty plastic maki roll maker thingie. They come in slim and fat (I am sure they have more appropriate names, but can’t recall them – o yes, hosomaki and futomaki) and as I prefer futomaki, I got myself the fat one.


It’s very simple, prep your rice and fillings as usual. Instead of using a bamboo mat, you just rinse the plastic mould – which comes in two parts-  in water (this helps the rice from sticking to the mould).

In the bottom part, you first add a layer of rice and distribute this evenly. I found it helps to sort of follow the round shape and have a bit of a groove along the center to allow for the ingredients. Place the ingredients and top with a second layer of rice. Make sure you also add some rice on the sides before pressing with the top part of the mould. You should now have a tidy roll which you can flip over onto your nori sheet and roll.

The only reason why my futomaki doesn’t look perfectly round in the top photo is because I forgot to wipe the knife with a hot wet cloth between each cut, so it dragged a bit. The fillings this time are pretty simple, avocado, egg roll, crabstick and cucumber.

I bought mine at the Korean supermarket but you can buy (thin and fat ones) at the Japan Centre, see here.

Hosomaki – thin sushi roll bento

hosomakiRolling sushi is not my best culinary skill, especially in the morning, but I was so happy that I finally had a perfectly ripe avocado, that I couldn’t resist making some quick hosomaki for my bento today.

Hosomaki are thin sushi rolls, with only 1 ingredient. I made avocado and crabstick hosomaki, with some wasabi added for the crabstick ones – hence the greenish rice. I didn’t have much time left over to pack my bento, so just added some cherry tomatoes, little soy sauce bottles and a small container with gari (pickled ginger).

This bento box comes with it’s own chopsticks and chopstick rest, cleverly hidden under it’s top lid.

And maybe I am being very silly….but I wish they were able to produce square – and always perfectly ripe -avocado’s! Can you imagine how much easier it would be to cut  for your sushi filling… 🙂


Inside out…


Fancied some sushi today and as I had more time, I attempted to make inside out roll…and failed 😦

Everything went fine up to the process of rolling it…I was really struggling to make sure I didn’t catch roll the plastic foil (needed to make an inside out maki roll) with it, but failed to ensure the maki was rolled up tightly enough. You can see that the ingredients are way too loose and risk falling out….

Oh well, it will still taste very nice 😛

The sushi is made with danmuji, crabstick, omelet and crabsticks. Pus sesame seeds for the inside out roll

Maki sushi on bamboo tray


I always admire the Japanese way of presenting food. It looks so very elegant and is often served on beautiful tableware.

The other day I passed a Japanese Teashop in Museum Street, London. Unfortunately I can’t recall the name (will have to go back) but when walking by I was attracted by the most beautiful Japanese teacups displayed in the window, so I popped inside to have a closer look.

The shop turned out to, apart from serving tea and lovely looking cakes, sell a wide assortment of tea varieties and tableware to serve tea. There was too much to choose from, lots of tiny, very fragile but oh so beautiful tea cups, pretty teapots and small dishes. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted some egg shell blue bowls, or the ones which had flowers (hand)painted on them, or the one with the ingrained pattern…choices choices…

In the end, I only bought this pretty bamboo tray. It feels very nice and smooth, and it’s a good size to serve some maki sushi as in above photo.

I think it would be also the ideal size for a cup of tea and some chocolate for on my bedside table 😛


Quick sushi roll

Quick sushi.jpgMade a quick sushi roll this morning. Have to admit, it’s definitely not one of my tidiest attempts, but it was made just after 6 this morning! I did actually consider making a lazy/deconstructed sushi bowl, ie all the ingredients but without rolling up, think I will do that next time when I have the bright idea to have sushi for lunch!

This sushi is filled with crab stick, cucumber and tamago, and some extra cucumber and tamago on the side.

Am still struggling to get back into a work rhythm and into the process of packing (and posting about) my lunches. But I did some work on a new page with tips & tricking on packing lunches, so I do hope to post that later this or next week 🙂


Kazari Maki Sushi Flower Bento, the Art of Sushi Roll

Flower Marki Kazari sushiFirst again, welcome to new readers! Thanks for finding my blog and I hope you will enjoy reading about my lunches. To “celebrate”, I made some Sushi flowers 🙂

I have been a long admirer of bloggers like Little Miss Bento (who is an official Kazarimaki sushi instructor) and Bento Days who have been making amazing Kazarimaki sushi for their bento (see examples here and here).

Kazarimaki is the Art of Sushi Rolls and I made my first attempt today! I decided on making a flower roll, and found this blog post which has a good tutorial, but made a few small changes. For the center of the flower, I used some cooked carrot, and I omitted all the green additions and the little fish eggs.

See below how I created this Kazari Maki Sushi Flower Bento:

  • First I cooked some rice and mixed it with sushi vinegar. I made the pink rice by adding some food colouring to the sushi vinegar.
  • Then I shaped 6 small pink sushi rolls.
  • I should have divided the mixture up first in equal portions, I had to sort of judge the quantity a bit to make sure they were all even.
  • When rolling the small pink rolls, I used a larger nori sheet, but cut off the bit that was superfluous, it’s easier to roll this way than using a short sheet….
  • After the 6 petals were ready, I put the cut off nori strips on a sushi mat (but in the other direction).
  • Whilst holding the sushi mat with one hand in a rounded shape, I carefully added the pink petal rolls, and added the cooked carrot stick in the middle.
  • I then “bound” it together using the nori strips to form a “sushi flower”
  • Finally I spread the white rice on a new, large nori sheet, placing the “sushi flower” on it, and rolling it up carefully (no photo’s of this process…I needed both my hands)
  • The end result was a BIG FAT sushi roll.
  • Finally: cutting the roll!!! (scary…)

  • Result! Definitely a flower 🙂   (sorry for the un-sharp photo)

Cutting the flower.jpg


The Kazari Maki Sushi Flower was packed into a Bento with veggies on the side, a piece of salmon and some nori omelet pieces. I also added gari, wasabi and soysauce.

Flower Marki Kazari sushi

I loved making this Kazari Maki Sushi, but there are a few things that I can improve next time 🙂

  • The whole roll isn’t tight enough, I think that the pink petal rolls are okayish, but it should have been bound together a bit tighter.
  • Also, when rolling the big roll, unfortunately, the rice is not completely evenly around the flower, and again, this could be a bit tighter.
  • Lastly, it’s a BIG FAT roll! But I guess that’s unavoidable with this kind of design.