One of my favorite things is to introduce my kids to new things. Whether foods or experiences, it is so fun to see the reactions on their little faces. I get everything from turned up noses to huge excited grins. Recently in the grocery store, my kids noticed some interesting noodles in the Asian isle. We talked a little about what they were and they were very intrigued. I told them about sushi and they wanted to try. I decided to take them to an Asian market to really give them a feel for the Asian culture.
The market had everything from dried sardines to hand painted porcelain dishes. Their favorite part was the candies. They were shocked to find out they were Asian. My favorite part was kitchenware. I stumbled across some interesting tools while looking for a bamboo mat. We gathered up all the ingredients for our “tushi” as my son calls it. I should probably correct him, but it’s kinda hilarious every time he says it.
The produce I picked up at a regular grocery store but everything else I was able to find at the Asian market. I even noticed they had Sushi Vinegar. To make sushi rice you mix a little rice vinegar with sugar and salt and toss it over the rice. I suggest looking up a You-Tube video on how to make sushi rice and how to roll sushi. It’s incredibly simple, just a technique that is fun to watch. Have your kids watch with you, it will get them excited to make their own! And best part, get the kids to clean up. I tell them only kids are allowed to use this dish towel.. it has magic cleaning powers. They go crazy over it.
For my sushi, I kept it simple with familiar ingredients that they already know. This made it less scary for them to try out. The seaweed was a new flavor and eating rice roll up with veggies was also new. Instead of raw fish we stuck with tuna. I mixed a can of tuna with a little mayo, just like I would for a tuna sandwich. I used that as a filling along with some creamy avocado, and crunchy carrots and cucumber. You really don’t need much either to make a few rolls. Have your kids help in the building and rolling. One thing that is fun about sushi is making it just how you want! They can choose the filling combinations and help roll their own. They loved it! Then dip it in a little soy sauce for some salty goodness and eat up!
Here is the basic recipe to get you started on the art of sushi making!
Sushi Rolls (Makes 3-4 rolls)
Prepare Sushi Rice (See recipe below). While rice is cooling, prepare ingredients for your sushi rolls. Wash and peel your carrot. For the carrot it is best to Julienne the carrot in to small strips. If you don’t have a tool to do this, carefully cut into small strips. Cut cucumber into long small strips, removing the seeds.
Lay half a piece of nori rough side up on the bamboo mat. Cover with a thin layer of sushi rice, being careful to leave a strip at the top with out rice. This strip will seal the roll. Add a few fillings in a thin line to the bottom portion of the rice layer (opposite of the strip of exposed seaweed).
Once you have your fillings carefully roll the nori seaweed, using the bamboo to lift and roll. This can be a little tricky. Start from the bottom, where the fillings are and roll up. You can use your fingertips to hold the fillings in place. Use the bamboo mat to continue to push the roll over until you reach the other edge of the nori seaweed. With the roll still inside the bamboo mat, gentle press in a circular shape to seal the roll. Remove the bamboo mat and cut into bite sized pieces.
1 C Calrose rice (short grain, sticky or Asian rice)
1 T Rice Vinegar
1 T Sugar
½ T Salt
Cook rice according to package directions. When done, transfer rice to wood or plastic bowl. Mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a separate bowl. Sprinkle over rice and gentle stir/fluff rice with a wooden spoon until cooled. Cover rice with a moist towel as it continues to cool and you prepare your sushi fillings. Once rice is room temperature, you can make your sushi. Rice can be made a head of time and kept at room temperature until ready to use.
1. Cover bamboo mat and cover in plastic wrap. This makes for easier cleaning.
2. Wet your hands with water before touching the rice. The rice is sticky and will stick to your hands! It’s also helpful to wet your knife before cutting into the completed sushi roll.
3. Whatever you choose to use as a filling, keep it thin.
4. Too many or too thick of fillings will make it difficult to seal. If you want to add more than 1-2 fillings, use a whole sheet of seaweed. Half sheet rolls are bite size and more kid friendly.