If you love the taste of sushi, and delight in the festive appearance of Christmas cake, you're in luck: Colorfully decorated sushi arrangements are now available that look just like the seasonal dessert.
Sushi can look like a beautifully decorated cake through the artful arrangement of colorful ingredients such as fish and vegetables. A major vinegar maker has posted holiday sushi recipes online, and some retailers have also offered Christmas cake-like sushi items.
Mizkan has a special site dedicated to sushi recipes suitable for Christmas (http://www.mizkan.co.jp/sushi-plus/cake-sushi2/). To make a dish named Cake Sushi, for example, start by preparing vinegared rice for sushi. While it is still warm, shape half of it into a round layer. (You can use a bowl or cake pan as a mould, lining it with plastic wrap so the rice does not stick.)
Mix canned tuna with mayonnaise and rub cucumber slices with salt. Spread the tuna and put the cucumber slices on the first layer of rice before covering it with the rest of the rice in a second round layer. Finally, decorate the surface of the rice with fried egg strips, salmon roe, slices of avocado and smoked salmon.
The Christmas cake-like sushi looks gorgeous thanks to its red and green toppings. The website introduces five more creative recipes for cake-like sushi, one of which takes the form of a portrait of Santa Claus with a beard made of shrimp.
"Through cake-like sushi dishes, we hope that many people can rediscover the charms of sushi with their families and friends," a Mizkan spokesperson said.
Tobu department store's Ikebukuro flagship outlet in Tokyo offered Christmas Cake Chirashi, a sushi dish adorned with toppings such as "strawberries" made of negitoro minced fatty tuna.
Major supermarket chain Aeon Co. has also accepted orders for a similar seasonal item, decorated with slices of raw fish that are rolled to look like flowers. The product was available at the chain's outlets in the Honshu and Shikoku regions.
Aeon will also put on shelves a set of vinegared rice and sushi ingredients on Wednesday and Thursday.
"We hope that customers will enjoy decorating [rice] with ingredients with their children," an Aeon spokesperson said.