Narutomaki Cookies (Fish Cake Cookies)

No, no, no…these aren’t made with fish or taste like fish…so calm down! 🙂

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If you’ve ever gone out for an authentic bowl of ramen, you may have seen a little white and pink swirly “cake” in your bowl. This little fish cake, or Narutomaki, often mimics the texture and color of the meat of lobster, crab and other shellfish. They’re actually way more delicious than you may think (they’re not fishy at all) and add great flavor and color to your ramen.

The pink swirl in these “fish cakes” are meant to symbolize the Naruto whirlpools of the Naruto Strait near Japan…plus they’re just so darn cute!

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Often about the size of a quarter, these fish cakes are brought to life in a much bigger and sweeter way with these cute Narutomaki cookies. Made using my favorite sugar cookie dough and a sweet royal icing, these cookies are the perfect ending to any Asian or ramen-inspired meal! 😉

Narutomaki Cookies (Fish Cake Cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour

For Icing:

  • 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/8 cup milk
  • 3/8 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • Pink food coloring

Directions:

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium; add egg. Beat until combined. Beat in corn syrup, lemon zest and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour in two parts. Shape dough into two disks, wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. The dough might be crumbly, but use your hands to form it back together.

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Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out 1 disk of dough to ¼ in. thick. Using cutter (my scalloped cutter was about 2 in. wide), cut out shapes. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 10 – 12 minutes. Transfer to cooling grid; cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Using my 2 in. cutter, I got 21 cookies.

To make icing, combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup and flavoring of choice. I used almond, but you could also use vanilla. Mix on medium to start, then on high until combined. Add more confectioners’ sugar to make icing medium-stiff consistency.

Prepare a decorating bag with a round tip 2 or 3 and about ½ cup stiff consistency icing. Outline your cookies. Let dry, about 15-20 minutes (use a wet paper towel or napkin to cover the unused icing and keep it from drying out).

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Transfer any remaining icing back into the bowl.

Using milk (add 1 teaspoon at a time – a little goes a long way), thin the icing to thin/medium consistency.

These next few steps need to happen somewhat quickly, so read ahead before jumping in!

Prepare a decorating bag with a round tip 5 or 6 (or use a cut bag) and thinned icing. Fill in your cookies, using a toothpick to pop any bubbles and spread icing around cookie. Repeat covering remaining icing with wet paper towel to prevent drying. Transfer any remaining icing back into bowl.

Using pink icing color, tint the remaining icing light pink. Prepare a decorating bag with round tip 2 or 3 and pink icing. Pipe swirl in wet icing and let settle.

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Let cookies dry, at least 24 hours, before packaging.

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Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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