Candy Cane Sushi Christmas Bento

Upgrade your holiday menu plans with these Candy Cane Sushi Rolls – gorgeously festive uramaki rolls that are 100% vegan, and colored naturally with homemade dyes. Full video tutorial + plenty of tips will have you rolling out festive Christmas sushi in no time!

 

Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

Confession: I am a self-diagnosed candy cane addict. My symptoms include hoarding candy cane ice cream until my freezer contains more cartons than the store, inhaling peppermint-laced desserts at an unsafe velocity, and withdrawal symptoms come January, once the stores begin the candy cane extirpation process. My addiction is also to blame for these Candy Cane Sushi: brilliantly striped uramaki (inside-out) rolls that are filled with red and green veggies, fresh mint leaves, and enough holiday festiveness to put regular old candy canes to shame. Because who says that sushi can’t be incorporated into the traditional holiday fare?

Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

And good news: candy cane sushi is not as hard to make as it looks! What they do require is a little bit of extra time, and a lot of patience (which I found was made easier by listening/singing to Mariah Carey Christmas songs while I worked). But I mean, if you have the fortitude to decorate vast quantities of Christmas cookies, then rest assured you already have the patience required to pull off your very own candy cane sushi rolls. The end result, at any rate, will most definitely make your valiant efforts worth it; these sushi rolls are undeniably gorgeous, and will leave you brimming with pride as soon as you see the finished product.

To make the iconic candy cane stripes, I used beet powder to naturally dye the rice red, and spirulina powder to dye the rice a deep green. Spirulina is an algae powder, and I find the green variety provides the perfect evergreen color for when I want to dye my rice Christmas colors. However, feel free to use matcha powder (as I did to dye Dinosaur Pusheen) if you’re okay with a lighter shade of green, or spinach powder for a darker green. Alternatively, you could also skip the green rice altogether, and simply make a red and white striped candy cane sushi roll instead.  

Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

When it comes time to assemble the candy cane sushi, here are some of my best tips to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible:

  • Wrap your sushi mat fully in plastic wrap. Rather than placing a sheet of unsecured plastic wrap on top of the sushi mat, take the time to fold it over all four sides of the mat, so that it stays in place once you go to roll the rice up. You can even tape the plastic wrap in place if it’s being uncooperative! Give the mat a quick roll to expel excess air from the plastic wrap before you begin.
  • Make sure you are always working with wet hands. I always keep a bowl of water next to me when assembling my sushi, which I use to dip my fingers into in between each stripe of colored rice. Trust me, you do not want to try working with sushi rice when your hands are dry, and especially not when you’re trying to create a diagonal candy cane stripe pattern.
  • Larger stripes = less work. Thinner stripes = better end result. Making your candy cane rice stripes larger and fatter means you’ll have less stripes to shape, but the end result won’t be quite as spectacular than if you were to take the time to create a series of thin candy cane stripes. Decide in advance how much time and patience you’re willing to devote to your candy cane sushi creation. Ultimately, though, it’ll still look good no matter which size of stripes you end up making!

 

Watch how to make Candy Cane Sushi (45 sec):

While you can fill your candy cane sushi with any filling you’d like, I decided to keep my rolls 100% vegan by filling them with “Christmas colored” vegetables, which included strips of cucumber, tomato, green beans, and red and green bell peppers. For an extra touch of fun, and to make the candy cane sushi ever so slightly reminiscent of an actual candy cane, I decided to add some fresh mint leaves as well; mint pairs beautifully with the cucumber, tomato, and green beans, so be adventurous and give it a try for the full candy cane experience!

To really show off the beauty of the candy cane stripes, I packed the candy cane sushi rolls in my clear bento box, and presented most of them with their outsides facing up to ensure the stripes were the main focus. Accompanying the sushi were sides of a jeweled cauliflower salad (consisting of raw cauliflower bits, pomegranate arils, and torn fresh mint), and “Christmas” peppers, which are just diced green and red bell peppers sauteed in a little bit of sesame oil, sesame seeds, and, because I couldn’t help myself, topped with a few edible gold stars. My goal was to create an elegant vegan bento box that celebrated the beauty of Christmas colors.

Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

So why not enjoy the savory side of candy cane, by adding some candy cane sushi to your holiday menu plans? The eye-catching red and green stripes are a guaranteed wow factor, and, since they’re naturally colored and filled with plenty of fresh and festive veggies, these sushi rolls are a healthy Christmas snack that can be enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike. Perfect as a showstopping holiday party appetizer, or tucked away in a sophisticated Christmas themed bento, people won’t be able to get enough of these fun and colorful candy cane sushi rolls. Because, let’s be real: you can never have too much candy cane over the holidays. 😉

Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

 

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Candy Cane Sushi Rolls - These beautiful uramaki (inside-out) rolls are 100% vegan, and get their colorful stripes from all-natural homemade dyes. Step-by-step video tutorial + tips & tricks will have you rolling out these fun & colorful sushi rolls with ease! Perfect for Christmas bento boxes and holiday party appetizers. | loveatfirstbento.com

Candy Cane Sushi


  • Author: Shannon
  • Yield: 2 sushi rolls
  • Category: Sushi

Description

These gorgeous candy cane uramaki (inside-out) sushi rolls are 100% vegan, and given their colorful stripes with all-natural dyes. Filled with fresh veggies and mint, this is a festive sushi roll that’s guaranteed to leave people in absolute awe! {Vegan, Vegetarian}


Ingredients

Food Items:

  • ~1.5 cups cooked sushi rice (with sushi vinegar added)
  • 1 sheet nori seaweed, cut in half crosswise
  • 1/4 teaspoon beet powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder (can substitute with matcha powder or spinach powder)
  • Your choice of fillings (I recommend cucumber, tomato, green beans, and fresh mint)

Recommended Tools:

  • Bamboo sushi rolling mat
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions

Dying the Rice:

  1. Divide warm, cooked sushi rice into 3 equal portions, roughly 1/2 cup each. Set one portion aside (this will be for the white candy cane stripes).
  2. Green Rice: In a small bowl, combine 1 – 2 tablespoons of warm water with spirulina powder and mix until dissolved. Add your homemade dye to one portion of rice and mix until evenly colored. Feel free to add more spirulina until desired green color is achieved.
  3. Red Rice: In a small bowl, combine 1 – 2 tablespoons of warm water with beet powder and mix until dissolved. Add your homemade dye to one portion of rice and mix until evenly colored. Feel free to add more beet powder until desired red color is achieved.

Assembling Sushi:

  1. Fully wrap your bamboo sushi mat in plastic wrap, then lay it flat so that the slats are horizontal. Place half a sheet of nori (shiny side facing DOWN) on top of the sushi mat.
  2. With clean, wet hands, begin to create a diagonal stripe pattern across the nori with the red, green, and white rice – you can follow the pattern provided in the image below, with stripes alternating between green-white-red-white. Simply use your hands to spread the rice into diagonal stripes, adding stripes until the entire sheet of nori is covered and you’re left with a candy cane pattern. Do your best to keep the stripes roughly the same size.
  3. With wet hands, carefully pick up the nori and flip it over so that the rice side is facing down. Aim to place the nori near the bottom edge of the bamboo mat.
  4. Place your fillings near the bottom-middle end of the nori, making sure to keep them tight together and horizontally aligned.
  5. Grab the part of the sushi mat that’s closest to you and begin to roll your sushi away from you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers. Aim to cover your fillings with the first roll, then continue rolling until there’s no nori left, using the bamboo mat to tighten and shape the roll along the way. Adding a little bit of water along the vacant edge of nori at the end of your roll will help things stick together better.
  6. With a sharp, wet knife, cut your sushi roll in half. Re-wet the knife by wiping it clean on a damp towel, then cut each half roll into 3 – 4 sushi rolls. Be sure to wet your knife again in between each cut.
© Love At First Bento. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use any image without my prior permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your own site, you are required to (1) link back to this post and (2) rewrite any instructions in your own words.

 

Tools used to make this bento:

Comments (14)

  • Such festive sushi!! Totally perfect for Christmas! Totally love this idea and how you shaped the rolls into a candy cane too 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Kelly, so glad you like these festive little sushi rolls! <3

      Reply
  • oooh love that you used beet and spirulina powder to color these! i’ve only seen spirulina used for smoothies, so it’s cool to see it used elsewhere.

    Reply
    • Thanks Heather! Love using all natural ingredients as my food dyes whenever possible. 🙂

      Reply
  • Hands down you just won the CUTEST HOLIDAY DINNER EVER! I’ve made sushi a hand full of times and it turned out great, except, I’m not very good at rolling. My rolls looked really wonky. I think I would have a hilarious “nailed it” version of the Candy Cane Sushi Bento on my hands if I attempted this recipe. But seriously though, amazing job. Your recipe turned out so freaking adorable!

    Reply
    • Oh wow, thank you SO much for the lovely comment Christina – made me so happy! 😀 😀 If it makes you feel any better, rolling up the sushi is the hardest part for me too. It gets a bit easier the more used you are to working with rice though, I find (working with it as in shaping it into onigiri and cute shapes, haha, which I’m always doing 😆 ). Thanks again for stopping by, so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply
  • Oh my goodness this is GENIUS! So, so cute and so festive and gorgeous. Ahhh. Merry merry Christmas Shannon!

    Reply
    • Oh wow, thank you so much for the kind words Cynthia, that means a lot! <3 So good to hear from you 😀 Merry Christmas to you and your family as well, I hope it's filled with lots of yummy food (and cookies, lol)!

      Reply
  • Your mind is brilliant. 🙂 These are sooooo cute! I would have been so intimidated to make this until I watched your video! 😀 and I love that you use natural ingredients for the colourings! I definitely need to try this out – although my sushi rolling needs a bit of practicing hahaha 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the sweet comment Joyce – always love hearing from you! 😀 <3 It makes me so happy to know that you found the video useful! And I hear you on the sushi rolling, as that's also the hardest part for me to get right. Just takes lots of practice! But hey, at least you have a tasty sushi bowl on your hands if the roll doesn't work out, right? 😉

      Reply
  • Hi Shannon, I love this bento! I would never have thought to use spirulina as a green dye. Such a good idea. Nice tip about using wet hands to shape the rice. The first time I tried to make kimbap (with dry hands) I ended up picking sticky rice out of my hair for a week! Merry Christmas Shannon. I hope you have a lovely time with your friends and family.

    Reply
    • Hey Hyeon, thanks for stopping by! I totally hear you about the sticky rice situation – I still always manage to get rice all over me, somehow 😆 A very Merry Christmas to you and your family as well! 🙂

      Reply
  • This is just SO festive and sweet!! I love it! I love all of your creations – new follower here! I’ll be back!

    Reply
    • Aww thank you so much, that makes me so happy to hear!! 😀 😀

      Reply

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