Flower Sushi


Yuri and I met before our last Harvest Time in Harlem class to test the recipe we received from Slow Food In Schools #4 Suginami Tokyo. We figured we should give it a good test run and work out the perfect measurements and techniques before teaching the kids. I’ve made sushi before, but never sushi with a flower inside.

As a fun project, we organized for a recipe exchange with the kids at the Children’s Storefront and Suginami school in Tokyo. We made a top notch Macaroni and Cheese recipe and sent it along with holiday cards several months back. Our kids begged for sushi. In exchange we received this lovely recipe, accompanied by cards and beautiful illustrations.  We had so much fun-Carolina, the chef at the Children’s Storefront said the kids were talking about it for days.

The rice is colored with grated beets and the stigma is an avocado. You join 5 tubular shapes of red rice with avocado slices in the middle and then roll that inside of an outer layer of rice and seaweed. Try to keep the avocado in the middle so the petals truly surround it. The actual rolling can be a 2 person job to secure the flower. When you seal the sushi avoid wetting it too much to avoid sogginess.


Flower shaped sushi-roll (maki-zushi)

recipe courtesy of Slow Food in Schools #4 Suginami Tokyo 

Makes two rolls Serves 4 ~ 5 people


          2 cups of Japanese short grain rice (or sushi rice)

          5 Tablespoons of vinegar

          2 Tablespoons of maple syrup

          ¼ of medium size red beet

          4.5 sheets of nori

          1/8 of Avocado or cucumber cut lengthwise

          Gruyere cheese cut into sticks (optional)


Cook rice (according to package)

Combine vinegar + maple syrup in a measuring cup and set aside.

Finely chop or grate beets and set aside.

Combine half of the cooked rice with 4 Tablespoons of vinegar + maple syrup mixture.

Combine the rest of the rice with 3 Tablespoons of vinegar mixture with beets to make red colored rice.

Set aside 2 full sheets of nori.  Cut the remaining sheets of nori to 4 long/thin strips.  (The strips will be used for the flower portion of the sushi-roll.)  Repeat until you have 10 strips of nori.

 How to assemble the flower shaped sushi-roll:

Take one long/thin strip of nori and place the red colored rice on half of the nori surface.  Gently roll to make a rod.  Repeat process until you have 10 small rolls.

On the Full sheet of nori, spread half of the white rice and brush water to seal the edges.

Put 5 of the red rice rolls together and make a flower formation (place cheese, avocado or cucumber in the middle.) Place the flower formation on the bed white rice and roll carefully.

Ask an adult to cut the sushi roll into 6 ~ 8 pieces.