The Ninja Baker's Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Roll...#SundaySupper Holiday Drinks & Appetizers

Wondering what a hashtag is doing in a title? On Sundays a group of stellar bakers, cooks and food bloggers hold a Twitter chat at 7p.m.ET with the Twitter handle #SundaySupper.  To honor those involved in the Connecticut school tragedy, we will observe silence today, 16 December 2012. However, the group has maintained the option to post our own recipes along with others who wish to do the same. To honor the life and blessings I have been granted, I am continuing with this post. More than ever I feel it is a time to focus on and celebrate the good friends, family and gifts in life.

“Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too.” In exchange for a hot meat tart and a drink of hot-spiced ale from the wassail bowl, orphans of mid-1800s England sang the “a-wassailing” carol, and prophesied good fortune for families.

The English Wassail Tradition
(Credits: from left to right, photo 1, photo 2)

Bartering finger foods and spirits for song have vanished. But, stamped in tradition is the custom of gathering loved ones during the holiday season. And the need for appetizer and drink recipes!  After The Ninja Baker's Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Rolls how-to,  you can still pick up a plethora of recipes for #SundaySupper Holiday Drinks & Appetizers from amazing bakers, cooks and food bloggers.

The Ninja Baker's Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Rolls


The Ninja Baker’s Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Rolls are my contribution to the #SundaySupper party. Many order a simple cucumber roll at Japanese restaurants. But for Christmas, why not add a bit of benishoga red pickled ginger? It brightens up the white rice and adds a bit of tang to the neutral Japanese cucumber. Ready to give it a try?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A bamboo or plastic mat covered with plastic wrap
  • OR a cutting board covered with saran wrap
  • A pot of white rice, cooked, preferably sticky white Japanese rice/short-grain rice.   

    Note: As a rule of thumb, for every two cups of uncooked rice, you'll need 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. (Feel free to adjust according to your family's particular tastes.) While the rice is cooking, heat the vinegar, sugar and salt on the stovetop or in the microwave until the sugar is dissolved. (About 30 seconds in the microwave.) 

    Once the rice is cooked, transfer the rice to a large bowl where you can spread out the rice. Pour the vinegar mixture over the hot rice. Stirring gently but thoroughly to ensure all grains are coated with the vinegar mixture. Very important: Bring the rice to room temperature before proceeding with the how-to.
  • Cucumbers, preferably the skinny Japanese ones, sliced vertically
  • Benishoga (red pickled ginger)
    OR roasted red peppers, drained, sliced into thin strips.
    ***Note: If at all possible, stick with rice vinegar and short-grain rice and avoid substitutions.

Benishoga & Japanese Cucumbers

  • Nori  (dried seaweed) and/or soy wrappers
  • Also, rice gets sticky so be ready to wipe your fingers clean with:
  • A small bowl of water & paper towels

Here's the how-to:

  • Cover the bamboo mat with plastic wrap.
  • Place a sheet of nori or soy wrapper on top.

Spread a thin blanket of white rice on the dried seaweed or soy wrapper.
(Work gently as the wrappers are prone to tearing.)

Place the cucumbers and benishoga onto the rice.

  • Taking one end of the mat gently roll into a log shape.

Some Japanese friends have advised it’s best to let the sushi roll rest for about 30 minutes before removing the mat. But I’ve had good results without the wait time, too.

Cucumber, pickled ginger and white rice rolled up in
dried nori seaweed (center) and soy wrappers.

  • With a sharp knife, cut your log into appetizer size pieces.
  • Serve with or without soy sauce.

The Ninja Baker’s Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Rolls

In addition to The Ninja Baker’s Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Rolls, undoubtedly you’ll want a variety of appetizers and drinks. So, check out the festive array of #SundaySupper appetizers and drinks from the following list of #SundaySupper group members. Your favorite find of the season may only be a click away.

Holiday Drinks:
Glühwein from Magnolia Days
Cookies-n-Cream Cocktails from The Urban Mrs
Cranberry Fizz from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Rosemary Orange Punsch from Galactopdx
Candy Cane Martini from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Raspberry Hot Chocolate from Momma’s Meals
Chocolate Peppermint Eggnog from The Daily Dish Recipes
Jamaican Sorrel from The Lovely Pantry
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Spoons from Chocolate Moosey
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate from Cravings of a Lunatic
Homemade Eggnog from Flour on my Face
Moroccan Mint Tea from MarocMama
Cherry Bomb from Noshing with the Nolands
Wassel from There And Back Again
Cranberry Sparkler Mocktail from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Pomegranate Cosmo from Supper For A Steal
Poinsettia Mimosas from Big Bear’s Wife
Egg Cream for Adults from Fast Food to Fresh Food
Mulled Wine: Spiked and Steamy from Daddy Knows Less
Hot Chocolate Party from Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
Poinsettia Cocktails from The Catholic Foodie
The Red Carpet Diva from Cooking Underwriter

Holiday Appetizers:
Cheese Ball Wreath from The Meltaways
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tarts from My Catholic Kitchen
Prosciutto Goat Cheese Rolls with Fig Preserves and Arugula from Shockingly Delicious
Muenster and Spinach Pinwheels from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Drunk Moose Meatballs from The Foodie Army Wife
Smoked Salmon Blinis with Cranberry-Spiced Feta from Chattering Kitchen
Sticky Wholegrain Mustard & Ginger Cocktail Sausages from girlichef
Potato Leek Soup from What Smells So Good
Firecracker Shrimp and Samosas from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
Cheesy Mushroom Pull Apart Bread from Small Wallet Big Appetite
5 Quick & Easy Appetizers for Your Holiday Party from Webicurean
Bacon Peanut Caramel Corn from Gotta Get Baked
Crostini topped with Voodoo Chicken Cream Dip from Country Girl in the Village
Mushroom Strudel from Vintage Kitchen
Roxanne’s Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Queso Dip from The ROXX Box
Herbed Holiday Party Mix from Curious Cuisiniere
Old fashioned Swedish Meatballs from I Run For Wine
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bites from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Saucy Asian Meatballs from Damn Delicious
Baked Philo Appetizers from My Cute Bride
Fried Green Beans with Wasabi Ranch from Juanita’s Cocina
Salsa Baked Cheese from Home Cooking Memories
Cookie Dough Dip from The Cookie-A-Day Challenge
Parmesan Onion Rounds from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Lip-smacking Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs from In The Kitchen with KP
Hot Spinach Parmesan Dip from Comfy Cuisine
Indian Spiced Tuna Balls from Soni’s Food
Onion marmalade with Bacon from Ruffles and Truffles
Roasted Cranberry Beet Borsch Shooters from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Sweet Potato Dip from Mama’s Blissful Bites
Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Rolls from The Ninja Baker
Baked Brie from Family Foodie
Baked Jalapeno-Ranch Popper Dip from The Weekend Gourmet

Wishing you a week where only Love and Joy come to you and yours.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker's recipes are also available at:

The Ninja Baker's Japanese Plum Sweet Memories and Recipes

Bob's Red Mill:
Almond Oatmeal Apple Cookies

Bob's Red Mill:
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Breakfast Cupcake


Wholesome Sweeteners:
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Cheesecake Minis with Espresso Cream

Wholesome Sweeteners:
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Champagne Glaze & Optional Lemon Peach Marmalade Filling


PLEASE NOTE: Due to a technical problem (which has now been resolved), you will only see the first set of comments below as a picture. Since it's a picture, you won't be able to click on the links associated with the comments.

However, starting with Laura 'Snow' Hunter's comment, the rest are live text with real links. I apologize for any inconvenience and thank everyone for their comments! 
       -The Ninja Baker.

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