This post was originally published as a guest post on Just Bento.
This is not what you might think it is. Yes, it looks like sushi - almost too similar. In fact, it's mochi! It's mochi with various fruit pieces posing as fish.
Mochi is surprisingly easy to make. And you can actually make this dessert with kids, it's so easy and fun. The nigiri are especially easy - just cut up various fruits into squares to put on top. For the rolls, I used soy wrappers (see tutorial here).
Basic Mochi Recipe
¾ cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous rice flour)
3.4 cup water
2-4 T sugar
Combine the mochiko flour, water, and sugar in a microwave safe container and stir until completely incorporated. I find that 2 T makes a pretty light mochi, which might be preferable if you plan on adding a sweet filling. If you plan on eating it plain, I would add more sugar.
Cover with plastic wrap tightly and microwave for 2-3 minutes. This depends on your microwave strength. Check after 2 minutes to see if it's done. The previously liquid mixture should be solid now. Typically the plastic wrap will expand while heating (creating a bubble on top of the container) and then it will shrink and become concave once you take it out (due to the rapid cooling air inside the container).
I like to use a glass Pyrex container with plastic wrap for microwaving because I know it will retain the moisture inside. I once tried making it with a plastic lid and I think too much moisture was released, resulting in a hard, rubbery mochi.
Part I: Nigiri
Once you have microwaved the mochi, scoop out a small lump with a spoon (see bottom left picture above) and dump it into a bowl of corn starch. Use your hands to lightly shape the piece of mochi so it looks like an oval, similar the rice shape of a nigiri sushi.
Cut pieces of fruit into rectangles about the size of the fish on top of the sushi. You can use any fruit you want. I used mango (for tamago/egg), strawberry (for maguro/tuna), and blackberries (for some sort of caviar I guess!). You could also use cantaloupe for salmon, honeydew for cucumber, and watermelon for tuna. Be creative!
Lay the fruit on top of the mochi, and you are done! If you want, you can lightly sprinkle some sugar on top, but this is totally optional.
For fun, you can make marzipan wasabi, like I did in this post.
Enjoy and serve!
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