Zucchini Boxes

I was in the mood for a challenge the other day. While these adorable things are show-stoppers, they are surprisingly simple to make. I saw a similar recipe in a vegan cookbook awhile back and was intrigued by how cute zucchini can look wrapped up like a little gift. That recipe was influenced by Italian cuisine but I gave my version an Asian persuasion. Mine are stuffed with sushi rice cooked in a fragrant vegetable broth and are topped with my Sweet Teriyaki Mayo, some hot sauce and edamame. They’re fun to put together and make quite an impression!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • zucchini (about one for every two boxes you plan to make)
  • 1 cup sushi rice, cooked in vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • Sweet Teriyaki Mayo
  • hot sauce (I used Siracha)
  • shelled edamame

While the rice is cooking, slice the zucchini into thin slices about 1.5 inches wide using a mandolin or vegetable slicer. Be sure to only use the external portion of the zucchini and not the seeded part. You’ll need 4 slices for each box.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water to the side. Cook the sliced zucchini in the boiling water for 30 seconds and then remove them and place them into the ice water. After a few seconds, remove them from the ice water, pat them dry and set aside.

The zucchini slices bathing in ice water

When the rice is cooked, mix it in a bowl with the rice vinegar, sugar and salt, being sure to coat the rice evenly. Then place two of the zucchini slices into a square mold (I didn’t have a square baking mold so I used a LEGO mini-cake silicon mold!) in one direction, slightly overlapping. Then place the other two slices the other direction, slightly overlapping. All four slices will have their edges hanging over the mold. Fill the square with the sushi rice, pressing down to pack it in tightly.

Filling the square LEGO mold with the zucchini layers and rice

Next, fold the edges of the zucchini over the rice, trimming the ends if necessary. Preheat your oven to 275, then line a baking sheet with parchment and turn the mold over onto the parchment and release the box from the mold.

Bake them for 10-12 minutes. When they’re finished, serve them warm with a drizzling of the Sweet Teriyaki Mayo, some hot sauce, and edamame.

Happy eating!