Making beautiful sushi

It was my first time to make sushi — properly.

Plum blossom sushi. The middle part is cheese!
Plum blossom sushi. The middle part is cheese!
Rose sushi -- with egg, colored rice and pickled ginger.
Rose sushi — with egg, colored rice and pickled ginger.

I made a (probably) bastardized version on my own time, but in early October, I got a chance to make beautifully decorative and delicious futomaki-zushi. Or, thick sushi rolls which are often sold at traditional festivals.

Through my program, the Chiba-WI ALT program, we have a partnership with a group of families in Chiba Prefecture. We get together with them a few times a year to share culture and language. We also do a fabulous Thanksgiving cooking event, too.

But this time, I got to learn how to make rose and plum blossom sushi. The women who taught us said their family has been making this sushi for about 100 years. They were very kind and gave us detailed instructions in both Japanese and English.

When I saw the sample of what we were to make ahead of time, I couldn’t believe I would be able to craft it. But, broken down into small steps, it wasn’t too bad!

Of course, it helped that our Japanese counterparts prepped everything.

It was simply a matter of putting it together with care and love. The end result was so beautiful I didn’t want to eat it — but who am I kidding — I did, and it was amazing, even if it didn’t include any fish !

The main ingredient was rice. And yes, the pink is colored rice. Other ingredients included cheese, egg, ginger, cooked greens (for the leaf parts) and of course, sea weed paper. Each sushi roll made about 10 pieces of sushi.

After we got to make our own sushi and ate lunch together, the talented women showed us how to make butterfly and bear sushi. The process was even more tedious than the other ones, but the finished product is impressive!

Making the sushi was a lively new experience that encapsulates what is special about living in a foreign country.

For more photos on the process of making this sushi, please go to and check out my photo article!

Futomakizushi is quite big!


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