I heart Clare Crespo. I first saw her crocheted sushi and desserts in Bust magazine, then found her web site Yummy Fun with crazy and inventive recipes. She has two books The Secret Life of Food and Hey There, Cupcake!, both filled with exquisitely clever food ideas. She created a few things for Hostess, and it seems her Twinkie Sushi catches the fancy of most everybody.
I was invited to a sushi making party and I figured what better time to try the twinkie sushi. She has a sushi cupcake recipe in her book The Secret Life of Food that incorporates a Swedish fish atop a mound of rice, which I think is just so darn funny. You can see a picture of this half way down this Gothamist interview. (The recipe for these are also in the Feb/March 2005 Bust magazine.) But, I knew I wouldn’t have time to make little fake rice rectangles, so I used half of a Hostess powdered donette instead. I sliced just a little bit off of the top of the donut as well, it allows the fish to stay in place more easily.
Things I learned along the way. I read in someone elses experience that if you make the treats ahead of time and leave them at room temperature, the fruit roll ups can melt and become gooey. I made a few for a test run and left them in the fridge overnight, and while the fruit roll up didn’t actually melt it become more sticky and not as fun to eat. So, make these the day of and store them in the fridge. Shavings of dried mango or papaya can serve as slices of pickled ginger.
I could only find green fruit roll ups with punch out faces in them, it still worked ok. But, here is a recipe for apricot fruit leather, I’m sure adding a little food coloring would make a nice murky green. The fruit roll ups stick nicely to themselves, and stretch if they don’t quite reach all the way around a twinkie slice.
How do they taste? Not the greatest really, you’ll want to pick the components apart. But look how darn cute they are!
I found myself wondering what results you could get from dipping fruit in chocolate and slicing it — bananas, kiwi, strawberries. They all seem like they could make an interesting fruit sushi dessert.
There is a bunch of great faux sushi stuff I came across in my searches:
- Pictures of candy sushi on Flickr rolled and the swedish fish variation.
- Nicole makes the sushi cupcakes, and talks about some alternatives for dipping sauces — chocolate and green marshmallow, promising.
- Recipe for crispy candy sushi snacks involving wrapping rice krispie treats around candy, very cute.
- Recipe from USA Rice for sweet coconut candy sushi, also uses candied ginger. Includes variation using chocolate and strawberries.
- Another rice krispie treat candy sushi recipe.
- Making candy sushi at Casa Walsh, they used that fruit by the foot stuff to wrap.
- Boing Boing did a whole thing on the twinkie sushi and it came around to this savory twinkie recipe involving goat cheese and polenta (no actual twinkies are involved.
- Version of the candy sushi using m&ms and coconut.
- Sushi cupcakes using gummy sharks and the clever use of jelly bellys as roe.
- The simplicity of this Hostess sushi project is lovely, presented in Engrish. The zingers and snowballs as nigri are clever.
- Ljc made dessert sushi for her post-wedding party, so pretty. She mentioned using Swiss cake rolls as well, and it looks like coconut rolled zingers?
- Edith Meyer sent me a link to this entirely different take on dessert sushi, Very Special Sushi using soy wrappers and sweet rice wrapped around fruit fillings, everything edible down to the chopsticks. Beautiful.
- Weird Sushi has a clever use of candy to mimic roe. Note the sliced gummy worms, whipped cream (?) wasabi and mango ginger slices. You can click the pictures to get more and more closer looks.
- The chocolate sushi at Koo-Ki Sushi is amazingly detailed right down to the condiments.
- Some incredible examples of candy sushi in these photos at Flickr, by ozdema2.
- Non-pareilles as roe in this very detailed candy sushi.
- Some amazing ice cream sushi treats from the Haagen-Dazs Premier Lounge in Tokyo.
- Acres of awesome candy sushi over at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.