How to Make Kamaboko Pine Needle (Matsuba 松葉)

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  • Decorative Kamaboko Cutting - Matsuba 4

    Pine needle design (Matsuba 松葉) gives an attractive 3 dimensions to kamaboko, even though the design may not be as obvious.  It’s a great fish cake design for your appetizer platter which doesn’t require any knife cutting skill.

    Watch How to Make Kamaboko Pine Needle

    Two Japanese fish cakes (Kamaboko), seven beautiful designs! Make ordinary fish cake into decorative designs on this Oshogatu (Japanese New Year)!


    Step 1: Remove kamaboko from the wooden board.

    Decorative Kamaboko Cutting Prep 1

    Step 2: Slice off the uneven edge on both ends.

    Decorative Kamaboko Cutting Prep 2

    Step 3: Cut red-skin kamaboko into a 1/3-inch (8 mm) slice.

    Decorative Kamaboko Cutting Prep 3

    Step 4: Place kamaboko flat on the work surface. Make a 1-inch (2.5-cm) slit one third from the pink-skin top.  See Step 6 for reference.

    Decorative Kamaboko Cutting - Matsuba 1

    Step 5: Flip the fish cake and make a similar slit one third from the bottom edge.

    Decorative Kamaboko Cutting - Matsuba 2

    Step 6: Lift up both ends.

    Decorative Kamaboko Cutting - Matsuba 3

    Step 7: Lock the ends against each other. And now you have a Kamaboko Pine Needle that symbolizes longevity, wisdom and youth.

    Decorative Kamaboko Cutting - Matsuba 4

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    To learn about other beautiful designs of kamaboko (Japanese fish cake), click here.

    7 kinds of Decorative Kamaboko (Fish Cake) on a Japanese lacquer plate.

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