Archive | November, 2011

Kazari Sushi

18 Nov

I was first introduced to kazari-sushi (かざりすし) at a birthday party last year and I have been wanting to learn how to make them ever since. Luckily, I just made a new friend who kindly showed me how! Here are our results:

Kazari-sushi /飾り寿司 translates to “sushi for decoration” so it is not considered the most tasty of sushi’s… but I thought they still tasted great! In the photo below, the rolls that look like flowers are the kazari-sushi. (The one on the bottom-middle is supposed to look like a rose but mine didn’t turn out perfectly).

Here’s the inside of a rose kazari-sushi:

Kazari-sushi is often used to add fun and an artistic surprise to children’s bento boxes (お弁当箱). Japanese mothers (perhaps fathers too) put a lot of time and LOVE into these bento lunches. It kind of makes me feel bad for feeding my kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day for lunch! You can check out some amazing kazari-sushi and kyara-ben’s/キャラ弁 (bento’s with characters) at these sites:

1) Tokyo Sushi Academy

2) A collection of kazari sushi at

3) here’s how a rose sushi is supposed to look, at

What do you think? Do you want to learn how to make these artistic sushi’s? Is it not worth the time for you? Would your kids love them? Are you a master of kyara-ben’s?

Lastly, a how-to video for Anpanman kazari sushi:

ぬ:ぬりえ (Coloring)

14 Nov

ぬりえ translates to “coloring pictures”, or coloring books/pages. As a young girl, I LOVED to color. I especially loved coloring books from Japan (the paper quality was higher so the color went on more smoothly). I always requested coloring books and colored pencils from Japan. Here are my favorite Japanese websites for finding printable coloring pages. They are awesome! (If you want more options, click on “Coloring Pages” under the “Categories” button to the right). Enjoy!

1) ぬりえやさん

2) ぬりえ大好き!

3) ぬりえランド

4) アオイロチョウジン

Harajuku Mini for Target

10 Nov

Are you excited? I am!! (see the collection HERE).

Please Show Hafu Film Your Support!

5 Nov

I’ve blogged about the Hafu (ハーフ)Film before, but it’s worth mentioning again! This is what the film is about, from their website:

As a mother raising two hafu (half-Japanese) children, I know I am very interested in the experiences of hafu people and what I can learn from their experiences. I don’t think it is unusual or difficult to be a hafu living in the United States (at least where I live)… we have so much diversity. And diversity is applauded around here. But for hafus living in Japan, I know it can be difficult at times to live in such a mono-ethnic country. I am so glad this film is coming out so that more people can be aware of the challenges that mixed race people can face… and to realize that 1 in 30 babies born in Japan are mixed race! I think that is so cool. I am looking forward to seeing how the increase in cultural diversity affects Japan as the years go by.

The film has entered the final phase of production and needs your support to finish! Hafu Film has launched a fundraising campaign on indiegogo to help with this. You can donate as little as $5 to the cause.  They are being super-generous and you can receive some cool rewards for making a contribution. For example:

For $10, you will get a shoutout on facebook and twitter AND a handwritten thank you note! I bet this would be of interest to those of you trying to grow the number of visitors to your blog!

For $25, you get a CD by a hafu artist, a booklet, postcard, and shoutout

For $50, you get a copy of the DVD

For $100, you’ll get your name put in the credits of the film! How cool is that?!?

And there’s more. CLICK HERE to see how you can help. Their goal is to raise $10,000.

Gogogo Hafu Film! from Hafu Film on Vimeo.

What has been your experience being a hafu where you live? Are you excited for this film to come out? Do you know someone who would be? Please help spread the word about this project. ありがとう!

Dorayaki/ どらやき

1 Nov

Dorayaki is an easy treat for kids (and adults!) that doesn’t take much time and can be frozen for later use. I adapted my recipe from the Shizuoka Gourmet blog. (I tried several other recipes and this seemed the most authentic to me).


Ingredients (6 servings):

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1.5 T honey

1 T vegetable oil

1 T mirin

1/3 t baking soda

1 cup flour

1/4 cup water

sweet anko paste


1. In the order listed, mix one ingredient at a time in a large bowl until everything is mixed together except for the sweet anko paste.

2. Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat. Wipe a very thin layer of oil on the pan with a paper towel.

3. Pour the batter onto the hot pan (about 1/4 cup at a time). Try to make each circle the same size.

4. (just like you’re making pancakes), flip over when the top begins to bubble. It should have a golden brown color when flipped.

5. Cook a few more minutes then transfer onto a plate.

6. When cooled slightly, spread a generous layer of anko between 2 pancakes.  If you’d like, wrap each individual dorayaki in saran wrap to help it hold its shape.

7. Eat right away or freeze (wrapped in saran wrap).


Other Dorayaki Notes:

I have heard that you can mix grated carrots into the batter to make dorayaki more healthy. Great idea!

To make it more unhealthy, you can also add whipped cream to the anko filling. YUMMERS!

My friend Nami just blogged about Dorayaki too! I haven’t tried her recipe yet but I am sure it is awesome, because everything I’ve made from her site has been delicious.

I can’t mention dorayaki without mentioning Doraemon. He is a famous cartoon character who LOVES to eat dorayaki! Click HERE to read my blog post about him!

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