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Goin’ Japanesque!

Temari Sushi: Sushi Made for Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto

You likely can tell when you see the many historical buildings and cultural crafts from here but Kyoto is a special place in Japan. For example, when you’re talking about confectionary (kashi/gashi) of Kyoto, it is called Kyo-gashi. Similarly, there are many other things specific to kyoto, which are called with the prefix “Kyo-” to indicate their origin. Of course, there is a type of sushi of Kyoto, which is called Kyo-sushi. Kyo-sushi often refers to mackerel and boxed sushi. There’s also something called ‘temari sushi’ within the category of Kyo-sushi. Today, we’ll be discussing this very cute sushi. Photo

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What is Temari Sushi?



Temari sushi is bite-sized sushi. Sushi itself was originally made to be bite-sized but temari sushi is even smaller and rounder.


History of Temari Sushi


Kyo-sushi–including temari sushi–has always been on the smaller side compared to regular sushi. This was so that the geiko and maiko wouldn’t mar their elegant make-up for their lipstick would smudge if they couldn’t eat it in one bite. And high-class maiko couldn’t open their mouths wide.


Toppings for Temari Sushi



Raw fish isn’t the only thing used for temari sushi. Sometimes pickled foods (‘tsukemono’) are used. Well… actually, anything can be used for temari sushi.


How to Make Temari Sushi


They’re very easy to make. Just wrap them in plastic wrap and they’ll turn out round. They can be made by anyone as you would make an onigiri (rice balls); you don’t have to be a pro.


Where You’ll Often See Temari Sushi

Temari sushi is perfect at parties and events because they look stylish and it’s easy to eat. They can be eaten by young kids too, so they’re often at flower viewing (ohanami) and Doll’s Festivals (hina matsuri) too.

And it’ll be like a fancy Japanese ryotei restaurant if you make individual servings per person.


You’ll transform your event to a fancy party by placing portions for each person on a large platter.


You can also arrange them like skewered dumplings (‘mitarashi dango’)! They’re perfect because they’re small and round. Temari sushi is a fun way to enjoy sushi cooking. Have fun as a family with making temari sushi!


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