Japanese Cucumber Leaf Decoration for Sushi

Ready to take your sushi presentation to the next level? This simple, yet eye-catching technique creates beautifully realistic cucumber leaves that will really add polish to your presentation. A wonderful compliment to our Flower Sushi Rolls!


prepaing-cucumber-for-carvingStep 1: Preparing the Cucumber

Prepare the cucumber by first cutting off one end, then slicing a section approximately 15 cm in length.

Next, you’ll need to cut a section along the length of the cucumber at the bottom. Ideally, the amount you remove should be approximately 1/3 of the total thickness of the cucumber. Then, turn the cucumber over so that the flat length is now at the bottom.

cutting-the-cucumber-leafStep 2: Slicing the Leaves

To create the first cucumber leaf, position your knife at a 35-40 degree angle on the cucumber skin, roughly 3 cm from the right end. Slice into the skin at this angle using a gentle back and forth motion. You don’t want to cut too deep, as you will need to repeat this initial cut on the opposite side to create a ‘v’ shape in the cucumber flesh.

Repeat the cut on the left hand side, roughly 5 mm from the first cut. Remember to angle your knife to the left to create the ‘v’ shape. Once you have made the cut, push the shape upwards a few millimeters using your finger.

Position your knife on the right hand side once again a couple of millimeters from the first cut. Using a gentle slicing motion, make a slightly longer cut than before, and repeat on the left hand side. Once you have created the second ‘v’, push this up a few millimeters.

slicing-the-leaves-out-of-cucumberRepeat this process a further 3-4 times to create the leaf. Remember, when making the second cut, the blade of the knife must always ‘join’ with the cut on the right hand side so that each slice of cucumber is loosened from the base. Keep pushing each section up a few millimeters to reveal the cucumber flesh beneath. You will begin to see the leaf take on its own form as you do so.

Once you have used approximately half the width of the cucumber, begin a new leaf on the opposite side, following the same method as before.

refining-the-design-japanese-food-garnishStep 3: Refining the Design

Finally, you will need to reduce the height of the cucumber by cutting away half of the base. Simply position your knife horizontally, and gently slice through the cucumber flesh in a straight line lengthways. If you want to enhance the appearance of the garnish, you can also cut away a small triangle between the leaves at the bottom, and the corners.

Serving suggestion:
Depending upon how much time you have, you can either use just one or two of these cucumber leaf designs propped up against sushi on a plate. Alternatively, why not go all out and create a border for the plate by positioning 7 or 8 side-by-side?


  • 1 cucumber



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