Sushi at Home – Purple Sushi Rice

Even if the only sushi fillings you have in your fridge are cream cheese (home made Boursin) and smoked salmon, you can turn your boring old Philadelphia roll into a dramatic visual by colouring your sushi rice and then using it to make an inside out roll.

The ingredient responsible for that change … red cabbage. Grate a fist sized wedge finely on your microplane zester, drain off the liquid, add a bit of lemon juice to the liquid to make the colour ‘pop’ and stir it into your cooked sushi rice. Easy peasy. (NOTE: My method involved adding 2 tbsp of seasoned rice vinegar to a generous handful of finely shredded red cabbage, pureeing it and then straining the resulting liquid into a cup or two of hot, freshly cooked sushi rice.)

Inside out Purple Philadelphia Roll

Onigirazu (sushi rice sandwich) with cream cheese, smoked salmon and red cabbage. Sliced avocado may also be added.

Colouring the Sushi Rice

Making the Inside Out Roll

Making the Onigirazu


17 thoughts on “Sushi at Home – Purple Sushi Rice

    1. Thank you.

      I used the red cabbage for both … cause I still have 3/4 of a small red cabbage in my crisper drawer. Yes, you CAN use beet juice ie from pickled beets to flavour and colour the rice if you want to. 🙂

      1. I’m guessing because the brine is vinegary which works with sushi rice. You can probably use the baked or raw grated juices too. 🙂

      2. I don’t pickle anything in vinegar, so this rationale does not work for me. I pickle only in saline solution, naturally fermented. So I’ll try baked or raw grated, thank you.

      3. I haven’t tried it myself so I’m just going based on what I’ve read. I’m thinking of making some red cabbage soup today so I can use some of the red cabbage I have up. Or maybe make an okonomiyaki. Or I may shred, blanch and freeze the other half.

        Do you have any experience in preserving (red) cabbage that doesn’t involve pickling … either with saline or vinegar?

      4. I don’t have any experience preserving it because it gets used up faster than I can shred it – sorry! I used it in kimchi, and that usually takes 2 – 3 heads. 1/2 head goes into a salad with cashew, and the other half into a combined salad with white cabbage and water chestnuts. That’s it! I don’t even get to cook it in any way before it all goes.

      5. For taking the time to reply. For listening to my request at all. I’m sure you’re a busy lady but you’ve always responded when I’ve asked questions that might have seemed simple/obvious. Thank you.

        PS: Have you heard of/made bierocks/runza? 😉

      6. Ah, but you’ve always answered my questions as well, my friend, and I’ve always appreciated your help.
        Of course I’ve made bierocks – they are Russian, after all, and call pirogs (not to be confused with pierogi).
        They are supposed to be made with yeast dough, like this one, where I make the classic yeast dough and savory filling, but fashion it into a break-away pie:
        But to make it fast, I cheat:
        These look like real pirogs sold on the streets in Russia.

      7. Ah yes. I remember seeing both those posts. I’m trying an “Americanized” recipe posted on the Frugal Hausfrau’s blog and filling it with leftover shredded sauerbraten and red cabbage. Right now, Friday’s the planned cooking day. Wish me luck. 🙂

    1. LOL … thank you. I was home for 2 weeks for Xmas break and got bored. This is what I came up with since I had a small/med head of red cabbage in the veggie drawer that I didn’t know what to do with. 🙂

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