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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Fruit-shi" ie. Dessert Sushi

How remiss of me. It's been five months since I first teased you with my "fruit-shi" pictures.

Fruit-shi 1

The fruit "rainbow roll."

Fruit-shi 2

"Uni," "toro," and whatever else the apple and mango "fruit-shi" can pass for.

Fruit-shi 3

"California roll."

Fruit-shi 4

I admit, I didn't come up with the idea on my own. Last year when I made Mangoes with Sticky Rice - Vietnamese-Style, the combination of coconut sticky rice and mangoes, nudged a long-forgotten memory. When I lived in Chicago, I saw a local segment on Orange restaurant, which mentioned fruit sushi. The idea sounded intriguing, but I never got around to eating there. A quick Google turned up some pictures on Yelp. I have to honestly admit, my pictures look way, way more appetizing.

The key was to play up flavors that were already familiar to me. Instead of sushi rice, I used sticky rice cooked in coconut milk. Then I cut fruit to sort of resemble sushi pieces. For the "California roll," I used green fruit roll-ups for the seaweed, and filled it with avocado and apple pieces since the red peel simulated crab. Xoi (Vietnamese sticky rice) is sometimes eaten with crushed peanuts with a light sprinkling of salt, so I used that as the outer cover of the "California roll." Although, keeping with the traditional sesame seeds would work as well.The mango was also bright enough to look like sea urchin. The "rainbow roll" had alternating layers of avocado, mango, and watermelon.

"Fruit-shi" ie. Dessert Sushi

For the coconut sticky rice, you'll need:
1 cup glutinous rice (1 rice cup is equivalent to 3/4 measuring cup)
3 tblsp coconut powder or 1/2 13.5-oz can coconut milk
Optional: 1/2 cup coconut flakes

For the fruit sushi, you'll need:
Any fruit of your choosing, I suggest:
Mangoes because they complement coconut sticky rice
Watermelon because it resembles toro (Japanese tuna)
Avocado because it's already a component of regular sushi
I think strawberries, peaches, and cantaloupe would work too.

For the "California roll," you'll need:
Green fruit roll-ups
Sesame seeds or crushed peanuts or crushed walnuts
A pinch of salt

Wash sticky rice and drain liquid. You can make the coconut sticky rice in two ways. The simplest is to make 1 cup of sticky rice in the rice cooker, adding 3 tblsp of coconut powder. About halfway through the cooking, give it a quick stir to fully dissolve and mix the coconut powder. Or substitute half of the required amount of water with coconut milk. I usually do a 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup coconut milk ratio. (Remember to shake your can of coconut milk first before opening it.) If you'd like it extra coconutty, add 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Cook in rice cooker as normal.

Or if you don't have a rice cooker, you can cook on the stove at medium low heat. To measure, touch the tip of your index finger to the surface of the rice grains and fill enough water and coconut milk so that it reaches the first notch of your index finger. This should take about 15 minutes to cook.

While you're waiting for the rice to cook, peel and cut your fruit.

To make the "California roll," lay out the fruit roll-ups so they make a big sheet. Unless you're lucky enough to find a fruit roll-up that's already in one sheet.

Fruit-shi 5

Place the sticky rice on top and press to make a flat layer.

Fruit-shi 6

Flip since in California rolls, the rice side faces out.

Fruit-shi 7

Add avocado and apples, or whatever other fruit you wish.

Fruit-shi 8

Roll. Add a pinch of salt to about 1 tblsp of sesame seeds, or crushed nuts. Roll the "California roll" into the nut mixture. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Fruit-shi 9

Voila! A fruity vegetarian "California roll."

Fruit-shi 10

I cut the fruit irregularly so they'd look more like fish pieces. Make small rectangular balls with the coconut sticky rice and top with the fruit. The "uni" was made by rolling a fruit roll-up around a rice ball, topped with mangoes that had been cut with a checkerboard pattern. I think the watermelon from a distance really looks like tuna. And the apples were supposed to resemble Spanish mackerel.

Fruit-shi 11


Who made my recipe for fruit sushi?
Vicki of A Work in Progress said, "How cute! Mangoes, apples and watermelon cut up to look like fish, placed atop coconut rice balls. And the "California roll"? Adorable."

I'm submitting this to Dhanggit's Kitchen's Perfect Party Dishes event, celebrating her daughter's 1st birthday.

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday little Mayumi! Happy Birthday to you!

1 year ago today, semen tea, horoscope drinks, and ice snowflakes at 85 Degrees C Tea House - San Gabriel (Closed).


  1. This is so gorgeous!! Very ingenious idea!! love the idea of sticky rice with coconut!! this is really yummy! I cant wait to see how my guests will react on this one! Thanks for this delicious contribution to my little girl's party!

  2. ooo... so creative! Your post is making me so hungry!!

  3. oh my goodness! this is genius! i think i will try it out for my potential next tea party. thanks for the great idea!

    i actually went to a sushi place that did have the fruit-shi except they used the NORMAL sushi rice and so it tasted horrendous. i think i will like your way better.

  4. Very pretty, WC, and so full of bright vibrant color that's perfect for a summer party :-)

  5. This is such a cool idea! These are indeed perfect for an elegant dinner party and for a kid's party. Brilliant!

  6. they look very pretty but i can't imagine it tasting very good!

  7. gosh i saw strawberry sushi in brazil before and didn't get to try it.

    glad to find out that the rice is coconut sticky rice...i just cudn't imagine sushi rice (with sushi rice vinegar) and anything sweet except the beancurd skin...hehe

  8. Dhanggit,
    Thanks! I was thinking it'd be perfect for you since you met hubby in Japan? I hope I remembered that correctly! Happy Birthday to Mayumi. :)


    Noob Cook,

    Oh, I can't imagine eating fruit with sushi rice. Blech!

    It reminds me of the colors of your recent tea sandwiches. :)


    You're so mean. :( The fruit roll-ups were too sweet, but mangoes with sticky rice are always a good combo.

    Haha. Yeah, sushi rice with fruit doesn't sound appealing to me either. Oooh, that gives me an idea. You can use bean curd skin if there's no fruit roll-ups where you are.


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