All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Nejiriume / plum-blossom cut carrots

For celebrations such as New Year’s, carrots often appear in the shape of a plum blossom. Plum blossoms symbolize early spring, and red blossoms in particular are prized for their celebratory color (red, often in combination with white, is for happy occasions). Some carrots have a reddish color, and those types are usually recommended. The orange of an average carrot still makes a pretty plum blossom. Carrots can be hand-cut or formed with a vegetable cutter.


Carrot cut into 1 cm thick rounds

1a. (If using a vegetable cutter)

Make sure carrot rounds are big enough to cut with a cutter.

Press the cutter with your palm into each carrot round, and cut into plum-blossom shape.

1b. (If cutting by hand)

First cut each carrot round into a pentagon shape.
If difficult to visualize how much of the round edge to remove to obtain a pentagon, first visualize a square, then take off 20% less of the round edge than you would remove to obtain the square.
Repeat removing the same length of round edge. 

This image shows how to cut each pentagon.
You cut the blue line, then remove the outer part along the orange line.

 Cut the center of each side of the pentagon (marked by blue line).
Remove outer part along the orange line.
Working on one side at a time, remove the edge of the pentagon (making the tip of a petal), and cut into the inside end of the center cut (blue line). 

Repeat with all sides.
Flip, and remove the remaining half to complete petal shapes.
Now you have a plum-blossom cut.


Nejiriume has curved surfaces for a three-dimensional effect. Working on one surface at a time, make angled cuts starting more deeply at the outside indentation (2-3 mm deep) to the center (0 mm deep).

Remove 1/2 to 2/3 of each petal surface. 

Repeat with the other surface (optional).

  • If adding the three-dimensional effect is too time-consuming, simply stop after Process 1. 
  • Plum-blossom cut carrots can also be thin, and this is a common choice for everyday bento lunch boxes for kids, for example. Cutting carrot into 1cm-thick rounds is to ensure enough volume for the three-dimensional effect.
  • If a vegetable cutter is used, pay attention to the diameter of carrots when shopping.
  • Nejiriume literally means twisted plum.

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