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Flower Sushi Vegan Maki Rolls

Bringing some flower power to your table, these flower maki rolls are the cutest wow factor you can add to an envied lunch box, serve as a stunning appetizer, whip out for a surprise romantic dinner, or any occasion you feel like something cute and yummy!

Food is fuel but also so much more than that. It is a carrier of tradition and memories, a source of joy, an outlet for creativity... I've been really admiring the Japanese art of decorative maki rolls and these flower sushi are my first attempt! And let me tell you it was a 10 out of 10 joy-sparking experience, from making to eating.

It might seem a bit daunting and technical but trust me they are not nearly as difficult or "scary" as we build up in our minds! Here are a few important tips that will help you along the journey:

1. When spreading rice onto the nori sheet, wet your fingers, this simple trick can prevent the rice from sticking to your hands and let you smooth out an even, flat layer without fuss;

2. A decorative roll like this requires multiple pieces of nori sheets instead of just one, make sure you get the size of each piece right when cutting them, for example, the five petals and the center should be made with nori pieces of the exact same size for a neat final look, and the final piece of nori needs to be long enough to wrap all the elements together;

3. Utilize your bamboo mat, it might be a super simple tool but it's got mighty power, you can use it to roll up the fillings easier, make each element rounder, and secure the roll tighter;

4. Last but definitely not least, once you've made the roll, you're only halfway to success, because then there is the cutting of the roll into slices, which is equally as important! If the cutting step is messed up all your previous efforts could be for nothing. Pick a sharp knife, slightly wet the blade, and slide into the roll with an approximate 45 degree angel. Cut as much as you can and if you feel any resistance, like the knife is stuck in the rice, STOP, pull out the knife, clean all the sticky residue off the blade, then resume cutting, be patient here otherwise the different colors could end up smudging together.

Watch the video for a visual guide on how to roll and assemble these flower maki, and if you have any questions come find me on Instagram and Tiktok where I'm more active ^^


INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup cooked sushi rice

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 small cucumber

3 nori sheet


For the pink petals -

1/2 cup cooked sushi rice

1/4 cup grated beetroot

1 tablespoon rice vinegar


For the yellow center -

1/5 cup cooked sushi rice

1 tablespoon grated carrot

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Small pinch of turmeric


TO MAKE:

- Make the sushi rice, I used a rice cooker, you'll need in total 1 1/5 cup cooked sushi rice;

- Finely grate the beetroot and carrot, set them aside separately;

- Slice 5 pieces of thin cucumber strips, I like using the corners of each piece for a triangle look at the cross-section;

- Take one nori sheet, cut it in half length-wise, then cut each half into 3 equal pieces, you will have in total 6 equal pieces for the 5 petals and 1 pistil;

- In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the yellow center, spoon some onto one of the small nori pieces you just cut, should cover about 1/3 of the nori, you might have extra yellow rice mixture;

- Roll it up into a small roll, use a bamboo matt to roll it back and forth to make it rounder;

- The same process for the petals, mix together all the ingredients for the pink petals, divide the mixture into 5 equal portions, spoon each portion onto a piece of the small nori sheet;

- Roll up and adjust the shape with the bamboo matt;

- Once you have all 5 pink rolls and 1 yellow roll, hold the bamboo matt with one hand, create a round shape with your palm, and assemble the rolls and cucumber strips in the order you want them to appear;

- Cut another nori into halves length-wise, use one half to wrap up the flower you just assembled, roll it tighter with the bamboo matt;

- Mix the rest of the 1/2 cup rice with 1 tablespoon sushi vinegar, press it down onto the other half nori sheet into an even layer;

- You need to do a little eyeballing measurement here, I could see the length was not gonna be enough to wrap around the flower roll, so I used a piece of the third nori sheet to extend the length, using a few grains of rice as glue;

- Place the flower roll onto one end of the nori, roll it up tight, make sure the rice-covered part wrap around entirely and the two ends meet, and secure tighter with the bamboo matt;

- Cut the roll into equal slices of your preferred size, I cut mine into 6 pieces, make sure you read the cutting tip above before you cut it!

- Pick a sharp knife, wet the blad, slide into the roll, and if you start to feel any resistance, STOP, pull out the knife, clean away all the sticky residue, and resume cutting;

- Serve with wasabi and soy sauce, enjoy!


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