Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How to Make Sushi Cake for Hinamatsuri (Girl's Festival) - Video Recipe

Japanese Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri), or Girls' Day, is held on March 3rd.
On this day, we set up hina dolls (hina-ningyo) since they are believed to protect girls from bad luck.

This year (2015) was my daughter's 1st Hinamatsuri! The very first celebration is important, when family members hope for growth and happiness for baby girls. My daughter still can't eat anything but I hope she liked this Sushi cake :)

Hishi Mochi (diamond shaped rice cake) is usually presented with hina dolls. Hishi Mochi commonly consists of three layers: pink, white, and green, from top to bottom. It is said that pink represents peach flowers, white represents snow, and green represents grass. Those colors have a meaning to get the power of nature. Therefore, I used these three colors for my Sushi Cake :)

Sushi Cake for Hinamatsuri

Difficulty: Medium
Time: 20min
Number of servings: 4 people = 15cm (6inch) round cake pan

green/white/pink Sushi rice
Kinshi Tamago (shredded egg crepe)
smoked salmon
2 quail eggs
Nori seaweed sheet
Ikura (salmon roe)
Sakura Denbu (pink colored seasoned shredded codfish)

1. Wet the cake pan (or line with plastic wrap). Place the crab meat Sushi rice and press down flat with a rice paddle or a spoon. Then place the white Sushi rice and the Aonori Sushi rice one after another and flatten as well. Turn the cake pan upside down onto a plate to remove the rice.
2. Make a thin ribbon of cucumber for Odairisama (prince)'s Kimono and slice the leftover into thin rounds.
3. Cut out the egg crepe and make a scepter and a fan. Thinly slice the leftover.
4. Place the cucumber slices and shredded egg crepe on the Sushi cake. Wrap the quail eggs with a cucumber ribbon (prince) and smoked salmon (princess). Let them hold the scepter (prince) and the fan (princess). Cut out Nori sheet to make their faces. Attach their hairs with bento picks. Garnish with Ikura and Sakura Denbu to finish.

* お雛様 (ohinasama: princess) holds a fan called 扇子 (sensu) in both hands.
* お内裏様 (odairisama: prince) holds a flat wooden scepter called 笏 (shaku) symbolic of his rank in his right hand.


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Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Make Yakiniku Rice Burger - Video Recipe

Many people requested me to make a rice burger! Of course you can change the filling but I think Yakiniku is easy and goes great with rice ;) Enjoy!!!

Yakiniku Rice Burger

Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: 15min
Number of servings: 2

400g (14oz.) cooked rice
* 1 tsp. toasted white sesame seeds
* 2 tsp. corn or potato starch
sliced tomato
sesame oil

1. Mix A in the cooked rice, then knead with a rice paddle until it gets sticky. Divide it into 4 portions, wrap with plastic wrap and shape each into a flat round shape.
2. Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, then cook both sides of the rice burger buns until golden brown.
3. Layer the rice, lettuce, mayonnaise, Yakiniku, sliced tomato, and rice to serve. It is easy to eat if you wrap with parchment paper.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Make Vegetable Gyoza (Vegetarian Fried Dumplings) - Video Recipe

This video will show you how to make Vegetable Yaki Gyoza (fried dumplings)!

Very healthy idea, perfect for vegetarians and those who are on diet ;)

Vegetable Gyoza

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 20min
Number of servings: 24 pieces

200g (7oz.) cabbage
100g (3.5oz.) onion
80g (2.8oz.) carrot
1/2 long onion
1 tbsp. potato or corn starch
* 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
* 1 tbsp. sake
* 1/2 tbsp. oyster sauce (or vegetarian stir-fry sauce)
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 tbsp. grated ginger
* cracked black pepper
24 gyoza wrappers
1 tbsp. sesame oil

1. Wrap the cabbage with plastic wrap and microwave at 500W for 3 minutes until tender. Finely chop the cabbage then squeeze in paper towels to remove excess water.
2. Finely chop the onion, sprinkle with a bit of salt, then wash and drain well with paper towels. *in this way you can remove the bitter taste and bring up the sweetness of the onion.
3. Finely chop the carrot and the long onion.
4. Mix 1-3 in a bowl, then mix in starch to let it absorb the water.
5. Add A and mix well.
6. Place the gyoza wrapper in your palm and place a spoonful of filling in the center. Put water along the edge of the wrapper by fingers, fold into semi circle, gather the front side of the wrapper and seal.
7. Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, place gyoza, cook on high heat until the bottoms become brown.
8. Turn the heat down to medium, add 50ml water (or about 1/3 of their hight), cover and steam the gyoza on med-high heat until cooked. Uncover and cook on high heat until the water is gone and crisp.

This Gyoza is already seasoned but you can serve them with a mixture of vinegar, a little soy sauce, and a few drops of la-yu if you like.


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