Since Halloween is first approaching, I have decided to update my Temari Sushi Halloween style recipe to celebrate Halloween Japanese style. These mini sushi balls are just adorable and make a perfect finger-food idea for a Halloween party or any other event, even for your everyday lunch!
These little guys are no mess, super easy, and are mega cute! They’re so much easier to make than regular sushi and require a lot less skill and equipment! If you’ve ever made sushi at home yourself, you’ll know that there can be quite a mess afterwards with little bits of rice sticking everywhere… but not with these sushi balls! All you need to do is shape them in cling wrap, remove your perfectly shaped little balls, then throw the wrap away and enjoy your sushi!
In Australia the most common type of sushi you can buy is hand rolls, but in Japan you can find many other types. There are lots of different types of sushi, and for those who are interested I have explained these in detail in the Chopstick Chronicles’ Sushi Guide. These little sushi balls are a type of sushi called “Temari Sushi” (or “Temarizushi”) in Japan.
“Temari” is a type of decorative ball; the word “Temari” literally means hand ball in Japanese. This is where this type of sushi gets its name, because it’s a small “hand ball” of sushi. Since all you need to do is squish and form the rice into a ball, it’s a lot easier to make than regular hand rolls because you don’t need a sushi mat and you don’t need the skills to neatly roll the sushi together.
The rice and ingredients of these sushi balls are all put together in a piece of cling wrap, so you don’t need to get your hands dirty and there’s a lot less to wash up!
However, I should warn you, cutting up the little decorations (such as the nori sheets) might take a little bit of time if your hands are not as tiny and nimble as a Japanese sushi chef. Also, when you place your decorative and tasty toppings on the sushi balls, it may require a little bit of chopstick skill. Or you could use something like fish bone tweezers or forceps if you prefer.
Since these sushi balls are mini and bite-sized, they make great finger-food for your next party or event. Forget unhealthy, greasy mini-pies and sausage rolls and make these instead, for a healthier option that are much cuter and totally Instagram-worthy! Since Halloween’s coming up, these can easily be decorated with skulls, pumpkin faces, and other Halloween designs so they’re perfect to serve at a spooky Halloween themed party.
The smoked salmon makes a great “pumpkin”, and seaweed can be used to make black cats, bats, and scary faces! Use whatever vegetables, meat, or fish you think will look great and taste delicious, using them to decorate your sushi as spooky or cute as you like.
The decorating part is definitely the most fun! Once you’re done, serve it with soy sauce, mayo, and wasabi (making sure to save any spicy ones for the adults!) And don’t forget the Gari (Japanese pickled ginger), to wash out the taste of the fish so the flavours don’t collide in your mouth!
Here is how to make Halloween temari sushi mini movie for you.
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Halloween Temari Sushi recipe
- 2 cups Uncooked sushi rice
- 1 tsp Konbu dashi powder or 5cm Kelp piece
- 1/2 cup Rice vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 slice smoked salmon thinly sliced
- 1 egg fried flat
- 1/4 small cucmber thinly sliced
- 1 small radish thinly sliced
- 1 tsp fish roe for toppings
Cook the sushi rice as per your rice cooker instructions or in a pot. Before adding the water to cook the rice, mix in the dashi powder or about 5cm of kelp over the rice. *1
While the rice is cooking, in a small pot, heat the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt together to make the sushi vinegar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Prepare the Jack-O-Lantern face, by cutting up the nori sheets and using 6.5cm diameter cookie cutter, cut out 2 round nori sheets for cat face.
Crack the egg and fry it flat in a frying pan. When it is cooled down, cut out 2 rounds using the 6.5cm diameter cookie cutter.
Wash and thinly slice the radish and cucumber.
Once the rice is cooked, pour the sushi vinegar over it and mix to flavour the rice.
Once the rice has cooled down a little, place your favourite topping in the centre of a piece of cling wrap.
Place a scoop of rice on top of the topping by using a 1/3 cup then seal it together with the cling wrap and softly squish and shape it into a ball.
Continue to make sushi balls with various toppings.
Remove the cling wrap and place them on a serving plate.
Using a pair of chopstick or a tweezers, decorate the jack-o-lantern’s face, with pre-cut nori.
Pipe mayonnaise out to draw cat face. *2
Top with fish roe on radish and cucumber sushi balls.
Serve with soy sauce, mayo, and wasabi (optional).
*1 cooking rice time is not included in the overall cooking time for this recipe
*2 I bought and used a gadget called “decopen” from Daiso to pipe out mayonnaise for drawing the cat face.