Panda Party With Frushi

My little (not-so-little) turned SIX last week…CrAzInEsS. Since she recently fell in love with Pandas, she requested a Panda Party. We totally ran with the theme and decided on making panda snow globes, playing pin the nose on the panda, and of course, serving Chinese-inspired snacks.

The star of the show, besides the amazing panda cake made by Aunt Kat, was the frushi, otherwise known as fruit sushi. My girls had a blast making it, and it turned out so good that we made it in my after school cooking class AND I made it for the February First Saturday Wellness Fair at Taspen’s Organics.

Frushi is a great healthy snack, easy and impressive party appetizer, or even a fun dessert. We used strawberries, kiwi, mango, but you could use whatever fruit you want to. We also rolled some of ours in shredded coconut, but you could also roll them in crushed nuts or seeds.

You can really play with the different shapes and sizes using traditional sushi as inspiration.


adapted from

· 1 cup uncooked sushi rice

· ¼ cup honey

· ¼ cup light coconut milk

· ¼ teaspoon salt

· 12 thin slices of kiwi

· 12 mango slices

· 6 strawberries, sliced



1. Rinse rice until the water runs clean. Let the rice soak in a bowl of clean water for 30 minutes. Bring 1 and ¼ cups water and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 15 minutes.

2. Place rice in a large bowl. Add honey, coconut milk, and salt, stirring gently until well combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.

3. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Divide rice mixture into 24 equal portions, shaping each into a ball (about 1 tablespoon of rice). Lightly press each rice ball into an oval between palms; place ovals on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top each rice oval with one kiwi slice, one mango slice or one strawberry slice. If the fruit doesn't readily stick to the rice you can brush the tops of the rice ovals with honey first.

4. Additionally, if you want to try a sushi roll, you can spread about a ¼ cup of rice on plastic wrap, pat it down with the back of a wooden spoon so that it is solid and mushed together (no thin spots or holes). Then put whatever fruit you want in the middle section. Using the plastic wrap, gently and slowly roll the rice into a sushi roll. Wrap the roll in the plastic wrap and place in refrigerator or freezer before slicing.

5. Another option: Line a baking pan with parchment paper, sprinkle with shredded coconut, and press the rice into the baking pan. Chill for an hour or more. Using a small circle cookie cutter or a glass, cut the rice into circles. Garnish with sliced fruit.

6. Always cover and chill frushi for at least one hour, up to 8 hours.