Making Animal Shaped Sushi

Category Edible Crafts
Rice based sushi is not only tasty, but it lends itself to fun artsy projects. Here seasoned balls of rice are made into pet shapes and fried tofu shells are used as their beds. These are fun to make and then enjoyable to eat!
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Sushi scenery is very popular in Japan. Here, I've turned sushi into cats and dogs, laying around in their pet beds. This type of sushi is called Inarizushi, which are seasoned balls of rice stuffed into fried tofu skins. These skins are available at many stores and online. I've added a link below. My mum used to make beautiful sushi scenery for my school lunch boxes. This is a fun and easy-to-make edible craft that's great for all ages.

Total Time: 1 hour

Link: Fried Tofu Pouches

Supplies:

  • 3 cups sushi rice
  • 4 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • fried tofu skin pouches (seasoned)
  • 1 stick string cheese
  • Nori seaweed sheets
  • straw
  • knife
  • mini scissors

Steps:

  1. Cook the rice in water according to directions, minus 4 tablespoons of water. You want it a bit dry as you will add vinegar later. I use a rice cooker for best results. Mix together the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Drizzle over cooked rice while stirring.
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  3. Take the tofu pouches out of the package. They are readily shaped as pockets with an opening. Fold the lip inwards to make little beds for the animals to lay in.
  4. When the seasoned rice has cooled down enough to touch with bare hands, wet your hands and roll rice into balls. Use cupped hands to press the rice so it's packed tight.
  5. To make the cat body, make an elongated rice ball almost as big as the tofu pocket bed. Place inside.
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  7. To make the cat head, roll a small ball of rice and place it next to the body, resting on the side of the tofu bed. The stickiness of the rice acts as the glue.
  8. To make the paws and ears, slice the string cheese into little discs. Now use your straw to cut out little round paws. Use your knife to cut little triangle ears.
  9. Lay the 4 paws on the body rice ball sections. Wedge the ears into the rice ball heads.
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  11. Use your little scissors to cut out small details for your animals.
  12. Little circles, triangles, and lines will do. You can add a tiny dab of water on the rice to stick these pieces on.
  13. Repeat the rice ball steps to make the dogs. You can use the seaweed to add a wagging tail and spots.
  14. Plate the finished sushi. You can add pickled ginger and cucumbers as decorative (and edible) garnish.
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