Learn just how easy it is to transform regular sushi into adorable Hello Kitty sushi! Plus, learn how to make pretty pink sushi using a homemade natural dye, then made extra special with a ribbon of edible gingham-patterned paper. [Vegetarian]
- ~1 cup cooked sushi rice (here’s how to prepare sushi rice)
- 2 – 3 sheets nori seaweed
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon beet powder
- 1 slice white cheese (such as provolone, swiss, or white Kraft Singles)
- 1 slice orange cheese (such as cheddar or orange Kraft Singles)
- 1 sheet edible pink gingham paper
- Red food marker
- Edible flowers (optional)
- Your choice of sushi fillings (I used tamagoyaki + bell peppers lightly sauteed in sesame oil)
Make the Decorations:
- Using the Hello Kitty nori punch, punch out the full design from a sheet of nori seaweed, reserving the eyes and whiskers (you can discard the nose). Repeat until you have a total of 6 eyes and 18 whiskers – enough to make 3 Hello Kitty faces.
- Using the small oval cutter located on the Hello Kitty food cutter set, cut out 3 ovals from the orange cheese – these will become Hello Kitty’s nose.
- Using the small bow food cutter, cut out 3 bows from the white cheese. Color them red using the edible red food marker, and allow to dry. These will become Hello Kitty’s hair bow.
- Take the edible pink gingham paper and cut it into 3 rectangular strips. Each strip should measure approximately 2 cm high and 15 cm long, although keep in mind the measurements will ultimately depend on the size of your sushi rolls. You can always make the strips shorter if needed, so make them a little longer than you think you’ll need. Next, use the decorative paper edge scissors to cut out a wavy pattern along the top edge of each rectangular strip.
Prepare the Rice:
- Divide your prepared sushi rice into two equal portions.
- Pink Rice: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of warm water with beet powder and mix until dissolved. Add your homemade dye to one of the rice portions and mix until evenly colored. Feel free to add more beet powder until desired pink color is achieved.
- Fully wrap your bamboo sushi mat in plastic wrap, then lay it flat so that the slats are horizontal. Take a fresh sheet of nori and carefully rip or cut it in half crosswise. Place one half sheet of nori (shiny side facing DOWN) on top of the sushi mat, and reserve the other nori half for later.
- Add some white rice on top of the nori. Wet your hands with water and gently spread the rice until it evenly covers the entire sheet of nori, adding more as needed to fill in any gaps.
- 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.
- Place your fillings near the bottom-middle end of the nori, making sure to keep them tight together and horizontally aligned.
- 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. TIP: Adding a little bit of water along the vacant edge of nori at the end of your roll will help things stick together better.
- With a sharp, wet knife, cut your sushi roll into 4 pieces. Re-wet the knife in between each cut by wiping it clean on a damp towel. Select the 3 best looking sushi rolls and set aside. The fourth is an extra – consider it a chef’s treat! Or you can make it into a 4th Hello Kitty sushi roll.
- Repeat steps 1 – 6 with the pink rice and the remaining half sheet of nori. You should end up with 4 pretty pink sushi rolls (3 for the bento, 1 for you!).
Hello Kitty Sushi:
- Using tweezers, apply the Hello Kitty nori facial features (eyes + whiskers) to the front of a white sushi roll. Next, place the orange cheese nose in between the two eyes. Finally, place the colored cheese bow near the top right edge of the sushi roll. TIP: Use a bit of honey or mayo to help the cheese pieces stick on better. Repeat this step on the remaining 2 white sushi rolls, until you have 3 Hello Kitty sushi rolls.
Pink Gingham Sushi:
- Take one of the rectangular edible paper strips and carefully wrap it around the middle of a pink sushi roll. You may need to adjust the length of the edible paper, so have a pair of scissors handy.
- Optional: Take one of the edible flowers and carefully insert it into the middle of the edible paper strip. I did this by using a small piece of uncooked spaghetti – just push it into the back of the flower, and you’ll have an edible pushpin!
- Repeat step 1 (and 2, if doing) on the remaining 2 pink sushi rolls.