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December 07, 2015

DIY Japanese Food Gift Ideas

By Stuart Turner

The trend for giving homemade food gifts at Christmas time is growing. It's a budget friendly, but thoughtful way to show your nearest and dearest that you're thinking of them over Christmas. Homemade food gifts are also a great way to prepare for unexpected Christmas guests and gift-givers - if you're tired of being caught empty handed when your "barely-know-you" work colleague drops off a gift, this way you can have a stash of homemade loveliness in the car or in the fridge at home, which won't break the bank but will still look thoughtful.

Our homemade food gift ideas have a Japanese theme, of course! Many people love Japanese flavours, so you can't go too wrong. Just remember to store the gifts correctly to keep them fresh, and don't make them too early or you'll risk giving out something stale!

Sakura Macarons

Image via CollectorandCo on Tumblr

Macarons can be tricky to master, but once you've got the idea after a few test batches, you'll be making them like a well-oiled patisserie production line. The key things you'll need, to ensure a good batch of macarons and to make your life easier, is an electric whisk, a silicone baking sheet, a piping bag and a candy thermometer. 

Use a basic french macaron recipe, and be careful when heating your sugar. When it comes to the final stage when your meringue is mixed into your almond mixture, add a dash of sakura essence, and some pink food colouring.

For the ganache, make a white chocolate ganache but add plenty of rippling cherry jam. This will bring out the sakura flavour.

To make them really festive, paint the finished macarons with edible gold paint.

Ramen-in-a-Jar

Image via Purewow.com

Everyone loves Ramen, and it's such a warm and comforting dish when winter sets in! Grab a 500ml mason jar, and the idea is to stack the ingredients appealingly in distinct lines, to make a pretty feature.

You'll need to layer dried noodles, dried shiitake mushrooms (cut very fine and small), and a homemade powder stock. To make this, crumble a vegetable stock cube into a pestle and mortar, then mix in chilli powder (to your taste), and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Layer up the rest of the jar with your choice of dried chillies, beef jerky, dried veggies and more. If you're giving the gift within a few days, you can use fresher ingredients.

You can then buy mini soy sauce bottles (the ones shaped like fish are super cute.) and make a little pretty recipe card to tie on to the jar with a bow. 

And there you have the fanciest noodle pot available!

Matcha-White Hot Chocolate Gift

 

Image from BreakawayMatcha.com

 

Buy clear plastic piping bags or mason jars. If you are using a piping bag, place it over a glass like you would a bin bag in a bin, and this makes it much more easy to fill!

Now layer the bag or jar with 2 tsp of matcha, 2 cups of powdered milk (powdered coconut or almond milk are super delicious), 2-4 tsp of sugar and 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips. You can even fill the rest of the space with marshmallows or chocolate sprinkles.

Tie or seal the top, then wrap with a beautiful ribbon, and an instructions tag to mix the powders in with 1 cup of hot water.

Sake Cocktail Set

Image via ToriSpelling.com

 Buy small cardboard gift boxes, or make your own from recycled boxes covered in wrapping paper. Fill the boxes half way with shredded decorative tissue or any sort of hamper filler, then all you need to do is beautifully arrange the following: a small bottle of sake, a small bottle of cherry liqueur, sakura syrup, fresh cherries, edible glitter, and maybe even a tiny bottle of champagne.

If you're feeling extra exuberant, you can make your own jar of cocktail glass rim sugar. Just mix in 1 tsp of matcha powder to 2 tsp of sugar. 

Or let us do the hard work for you...

 Sushi Sushi has a wide range of Japanese food gift sets available, so just take a look!

 

 


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