Archive for September, 2011

02nd September
2011
written by scott

butterfly shrimp

Over a year ago I experimented with laser-cutting nori, the dried seaweed paper used commonly in making rolled sushi.  Because nori is flat, thin and dry, it cuts extremely well with a laser and I was able to get extraordinarily high-resolution cutouts.  Because I didn’t always have access to the laser, I wanted to find a way to keep producing cut nori at home – and I found one.  The QuicKutz Silhouette SD Digital Craft Cutting Tool ($199) is a computer-controlled craft cutter designed for cutting paper and light cardstock.  It works by moving the material backwards and forwards while moving a very sharp blade side to side (and up and down).  Although the nori was too brittle to handle intricate cutting on the Silhouette, I was still able to successfully cut a few dozen different patterns.  If you want to experiment with this technique at home, a craft cutter is the way to go.

The picture at the top is (what I’m calling) Butterfly Shrimp.  It’s wholly impractical, a little ridiculous, and really funny.  I’ve also created an edible butterfly using wasabi as the body, with two wings skewered in. 

The next images are of the most intricate pattern I attempted to laser-cut.  It’s an amalgamation of traditional Japanese stencil designs.  I think of this nori sheet as a kind of edible doily… a garnish that is ornate to the highest degree.  It casts cool shadows, too.

decorative nori standing up

The same sheet, folded on itself.  Wouldn’t that make beautiful sushi? (click for many more photos…)

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