Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Of mice and sushi

What's the right way to eat sushi? Why, on a cupcake of course!

When you think about it, it's funny how a lot of us want our food to look like food. Let me elaborate... A cake is an article of food. A cupcake falls into the category of dessert hence defined as food. And when I ask clients their preferred cake/cupcake topper, some times they tell me to make toppers to resemble their favourite food. There's the cupcake pops, the barbecue grill cake, and the sake cake. This week, there's sushi cupcakes. 

Don't get me wrong, I love making food out of food  :)  It's mind boggling when you think about it. Our species must be so in love with food that on top of eating the actual thing, we desire to consume our chow with more fodder replicating fodder. The 21st century takes "food looking like food" to a new level. I like it.

Salmon on rice wrapped with a band of seaweed

 Egg on rice

If I could, I would eat sushi every weekend. Have you ever met an overweight Japanese person? Neither have I, sumos excluded.

This sushi project was fun. The toppers are sculpted from fondant and modeled after sushi pieces with vibrant colours - salmon, tuna, salmon roe, egg, prawns, and a few makis with avocado pieces. I placed the pieces on beds of white fondant "rice" and wrapped some black fondant strips around it.

The three things I know about the land of the rising sun would be (1) Sushi; (2) the Sakura flower; and (3) Akira Kurosawa. I'm really glad that the project called for one of the things I knew, although limited. I was able to mold these morsels by picturing personal faves from the top of my head.

Prawns on rice

Amongst the sushi is a small grey mouse. Mr Mouse offers a small maki in his hands. Pretty pleased with the way the mouse turned out, with his pink nose, perky ears and polkadot bow tie. Made every effort NOT to make it look like a rat as I was going more for field mouse (the order specifically mentioned "cute" and rats are not cute *squirms*).

My dad once mentioned that the California Roll did not originate from Japan, that it was created to cater to the taste buds of non-Japanese. Out of curiosity, I Wiki-ed it up.

"In the 1960s, Los Angeles became the entry point for sushi chefs from Japan seeking to make their fortune in the United States. The Tokyo Kaikan restaurant then featured one of the first sushi bars in Los Angeles. Ichiro Mashita, a sushi chef at the Kaikan, began substituting avocado for tuna (toro) and after further experimentation, the California roll was born. (The date is often given as the early 1970s in other sources.) 

Mashita realized the oily texture of avocado was a perfect substitute for toro. Traditionally sushi rolls are wrapped with nori on the outside. But Mashita also eventually made the roll "inside-out", i.e. uramaki, because Americans did not like seeing and chewing the nori on the outside of the roll.

After becoming a favorite in southern California it eventually became popular all across the United States by the 1980s. The roll contributed to sushi's growing popularity in the United States by easing diners into more exotic sushi options."

Fusion, eh?

What did sushi A say to sushi B?


Carolyn Jung said...

These are so clever! I especially love the shrimp nigiri. The bands of color on it are so cool! It would be fun to have a sushi dinner party, then serve these for dessert without telling your guests ahead of time how the meal will end.

Vrouw said...

Sushi A to Sushi B: What's up, B? (Wasabi) Har Har. Credits to Amy Chia

Crepes of Wrath said...

How adorable! My husband's cousin would love it if I brought these over!


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