Mosaic Sushi Transforms Your Lunch Bento Into a Mini-Museum

Food & Drink - September 13th, 2016

How does one reinvent the wheel? How do you take a staple meal – like sushi – and renovate its simplicity, presenting it as if it were a new culinary discovery? Though a steep mountain to climb, followers of food trends on social media will have noticed a recent spike in artful takes on the traditional fish and rice dish.

This beautiful exploration of the iconic plate results in hundreds of combinations and designs, considering the array of fish, vegetables, and other ingredients often mixed in. They create such astonishing geometric and cathedral-stained-glass-patterns that it’s a wonder we didn’t think of it sooner.

There isn’t a clear leader in the trend that design site Spoon & Tamago recently reported on, but we’re betting a nimble-fingered stay-at-home-parent looking to doll up their kid’s school bento box may have been behind early designs. We have seen similar concepts with bento art throughout the past few years, incorporating cutesy faces into rice balls and cuts of veggies with egg bits. Since the rise of the mosaic bento from within home kitchens, however, culinary masters around the world have given it their best shot (though, no word yet whether Jiro down at his underground, Michelin-star restaurant, will include it in his menu).

Some great examples of the up-and-coming trend in sushi can be best seen on the Mosaic Sushi Instagram where masters and beginners alike play with food coloring, uber “kawaii” designs, minimal takes, and other unique shapes.

Although we have yet to see this trend pop up in Tokyo restaurants (or the Tokyo Food Show), we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we will see them start to line the shelves of local “conbini” shops before long. Knowing how popular it’s becoming, it’s likely to be right around the corner.

In the meantime, for those feeling rather crafty or keen to try their hand at making their own mosaic sushi block, we recommend checking out these links:

A simpler dish:

A more artistic approach:

If you’d like more hands-on guidance before mussing up your kitchen, sign up for classes! Tokyo Kitchen in Roppongi offers a wide variety of classes, in both Japanese and English, including one specialty course geared just towards mosaic-sushi-bento-appreciators. Sign up here:

Main Image: alyxadkins/Instagram