On March 3, celebrate Japan’s Doll’s Festival (Hina Matsuri) with the beautiful Chirashi Sushi Cake and Temari Sushi.
This past Saturday was a special day for young girls in Japan. Every March 3rd the Japanese celebrate the Doll Festival called Hinamatsuri.
For the festival, many families with daughters display colorful Hina Ningyo, a set of the traditional Emperor and Empress dolls dressed in kimono, and celebrate this day to pray for the girls’ growth and happiness.
I usually serve Chirashi Sushi in a bowl, but this year I made it a little more special for my soon-to-be 4-year-old daughter who loves anything pretty. I made a sushi cake out of Chirashi Sushi thanks to my Japanese mommy friend who gave me this idea.
With leftover ingredients, I made Temari Sushi using thin egg crepes (see my other examples of Temari Sushi here).
Chirashi Sushi Cake and Temari Sushi
- 4 servings cooked Japanese short-grain rice (2 rice-cooker-cups (180 ml x 2 = 360 ml) yields roughly 4 servings (3 ½ US cups); see how to cook short-grain rice with a rice cooker, a pot over the stove, an instant pot, or a donabe)
- 1 package chirashi sushi mix (I used “Sushi Taro brand”)
- sakura denbu (seasoned cod fish flakes)
- kinshi tamago ((shredded) thin egg crepe)
- 1 Persian/Japanese cucumbers (cut in half, thinly sliced)
For Sushi Cake Decoration
- 10-12 pieces sashimi-grade salmon
- 12 shrimp (boiled)
- ⅓-½ cup ikura (salmon roe)
- 2-3 snow peas (blanched, cut diagonally)
To Make Chirashi Sushi
- When rice is finished cooking, take out some rice into a small bowl, and mix with Sakura Denbu to make pink colored rice.
- Place the rest of rice into a large bowl and add one packet of Chirashi Sushi Mix while the rice is still hot. Fold everything together with the rice using a rice paddle. Gently slice through the rice to separate the grains. Cover with moist towel so it will not dry out.
- Make thin egg crepe. Save 1 egg crepe to make 2 Temari Sushi and cut the rest of egg crepes into thin julienne strips.
To Assemble Chirashi Sushi Cake
- Prepare a container of your choice (round/square, small/big). First place shredded egg crepe garnish on the bottom. Make sure there is no space between. Then add ½ inch (1.3 cm) layer of pink rice, then finally put Chirashi Sushi on top. Between rice and container, place the sliced cucumber around the bowl so when you flip it upside down it will nicely decorate the bottom trim.
- Flip on a plate and decorate as you wish. To make sashimi rose, you overlap half a piece of sashimi with the next one and roll them up.
Bonus: To Make Temari Sushi
- Cut the thin egg crepe into half and place it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Put about 1-2 Tbsp of Chirashi Sushi on top of the egg crepe and wrap it tightly. Keep it wrapped until you are ready to serve.
- When you are ready to serve, unwrap the Temari Sushi and place it on a plate. Garnish with snow pea, half of sliced shrimp, and ikura on top.
- Rice gets hard when refrigerated; therefore, it's best to cover with plastic and a thick kitchen towel to store in the refrigerator. For sushi cake (without sashimi-grade fish), you can store it at a cool place for a few hours without refrigeration.