Shouju Sushi

Shouju sushi

On March 3 the annual Hinamatsuri festival is held in Japan. The word means dolls festival or daughters’ festival. On this day, dolls are presented and arranged on stages and all girls are wished a prosperous and long life. Traditionally sushi is eaten, and today I will make my own version, inspired by this festival

Sushi is a typical Japanese dish, that has become popular in the west not so long ago. There are endless variations, but the basically it is boiled white rice with rice vinegar,  and (raw) fish or seafood, and sometimes fried egg. Usually it is rolled up in a sheet of sea weed

My variation are colourful taste explosions, and a delight to see. Preparing and serving them requires some skill, so make sure that you take your time

Shouju sushiIngredients: (8 pieces for 2 persons)

Tip: I have used broken Thai Jasmine rice, but in principle you can use any rice you like. It isn’t necessary to buy the special sushi rice in the supermarket, as this one is much more expensive too! If you use any other kind of rice, at least make sure that it is broken rice, because it will stick better

Tip: Soak the dried shii take mushrooms for one night in a bowl of warm water, or cook them until soft (don’t use too much water, or they will lose their taste)

Shouju sushiGetting to work:

  1. First cook the rice according to general instruction. Let it cool down and then sprinkle some rice vinegar over it and mix
  2. Boil water and shortly boil the shrimp and shii take (2 minutes)
  3. Use your hands to roll a round ball of rice and squeeze gently. Make sure that they aren’t too large because you will want to eat them in one bite! make balls the size of a large marble
  4. Cut the cucumber in length, and then use a potato peeler to cut off some slices with a potato peeler. Arrange all the ingredients so that you can easily reach them
  5. First place some plastic foil on a cutting board. in the middle, place one shrimp, then a slice of meat, and on top of that a rice ball
  6. Carefully wrap it in the plastic foil and gently squeeze. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes
  7. Then carefully take off the plastic foil and place the sushi onto a dish. Garnish with a small shrimp, a chili pepper, sesame seeds or seaweed salad (see photo)
  8. SEE HERE for a photo of the step-by-step preparation
  9. Do the same with the cucumber, the smoked salmon, seaweed and the shii take
  10. Keep in mind that you are working upside down, so what you place on the plastic first will later be on top
  11. Puta little (really a little!) wasabi onto a saucer and add soy sauce, mix it. You will dip the sushi in this later


You eat this sushi with your hands, or with chopsticks if you can. Dip them in the sauce (the rice will suck up quite a lot of sauce quickly) and then put them into your mouth


TIP: If the wasabi sauce too sharp? Don’t worry, the sharp sensation won’t take long. In that case, then add more soy sauce

TIP for top chefs only: use an omelet instead of the meat/fish and wrap this around the rice balls. Make sure that the omelet is thin as a razor! You can also use strips of omelet as garnish. Also nori makes for a very beautiful and tasty garnish

TIP: sushi is usually eaten with miso soup (without noodles)

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