Adorable Panda Sushi, oniguiri, food, how-to, vegan cooking, nori seaweed, sticky sushi rice,

1. Gather the ingredients

  • 2 cups of sushi rice
  • nori algae
  • pickled ginger
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Adorable Panda Sushi, oniguiri, food, how-to, vegan cooking, nori seaweed, sticky sushi rice,

2. Wash the rice

Wash the short grain rice several times in a bowl of cold water, or in a colander under the tap until the water becomes clear.

Adorable Panda Sushi, oniguiri, food, how-to, vegan cooking, nori seaweed, sticky sushi rice,

3. Boil the rice the Japanese way

Add 3 cups of water per 2 cups of rice into a saucepan, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Add the rice vinegar, sugar and salt, stir, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Once it has simmered, leave the rice to steam for a further 10-15 minutes for authentic Japanese stickiness. Make sure you keep the lid on at all times.

Adorable Panda Sushi, oniguiri, food, how-to, vegan cooking, nori seaweed, sticky sushi rice,

4. Cut out the nori

Cut the panda shapes in the nori seaweed paper while you wait for the rice to cool down. Make sure you do the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, feet and tail.

Adorable Panda Sushi, oniguiri, food, how-to, vegan cooking, nori seaweed, sticky sushi rice,

5. Decorate

Shape the rice into a ball like you do with onigiri and decorate with the tiny nori cutouts and ginger.

Adorable Panda Sushi, oniguiri, food, how-to, vegan cooking, nori seaweed, sticky sushi rice,

6. Make a red panda

Get creative with your panda shapes and setting, or give your little creatures a red panda friend by mixing the rice with a little ketchup.

Photos by Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitots