Welcome back to Sakura Week at Thirsty for Tea! Sakura Flower Sushi are where food and art join together to make a light and tasty tea meal. These intricate rice-stuffed petals are made from a new ingredient to my kitchen–pink soy wrappers! Paper-thin and translucent, the sheets are great for making spring themed sushi delicacies, and are lighter in taste than regular nori. Of course, I’m partial to pink this week, but these Flower Sushi can easily be made in a rainbow of beautiful pastel shades. For vegetarians, you can even use a stalk of poached asparagus instead of the ham. The pieces were finished with a small ball of egg salad to resemble the eye of a sakura flower, then set atop some freshly cut hydrangea leaves for a pretty presentation. I enjoyed these for lunch today with a mix of matcha and genmaicha. The play on steamed versus toasted rice flavors was a simple but delicious way to enjoy this sunny April day. This post is sponsored by Yamamotoyama.
Sakura Flower Sushi
Makes 8 pieces.
1 cup prepared sushi rice
1 slice of ham, cut into 7″ x 1/2″ x 1/2″ lengthwise strips
1 pink soy wrapper sheet (I used Yamamotoyama’s Pink Soy Wrappers), cut into a 7″ x 5 1/4″ rectangle
bowl of cold water
1. Lay the soy wrapper on the sushi mat with the long side (7″) parallel to the lines on the sushi mat. With wet hands, distribute the rice evenly over the wrapper, leaving a 1″ unfilled border on the other long side.
2. Again with wet hands, press the rice down firmly so that it is just shy of a 1/2″ thickness. Place the ham strips/slices 1″ from the bottom edge of the rice, again parallel to the lines on the sushi mat.3. With both hands, bring the bottom edge of the sushi mat up and over the ham filling. Continue to tuck the rice over the filling until both long edges of the soy wrapper meet. Place pressure on the mat to create a teardrop like sushi shape (with one end round and one end to a tip).4. Cut off any excess soy wrapper from the “tippy” side of the sushi roll. With a wetted knife, cut the roll half crosswise, then each half into half again. You should now have 4 pieces. Cut each piece into two. Place the sushi “petals” in a circle with the tips facing each other to form a flower. Enjoy!