I know the thought of making sushi is daunting to many and you may ask “why make it when you can buy it?”. As always, the answer for me is purity. If you make it at home you know how fresh it is and what it contains. It is really not much more complex than making a sandwich once you know how. Lots of the components can be made over a matter of days, if you wish. Sushi does not have to mean raw ingredients. I never use sashimi although my fishmonger stocks it.
I used to buy avocado rolls for my son to chomp on while we did our shopping but after I had a nasty bout of sushi induced food poisoning I am now very cautious.
Here are some great benefits of feeding sushi to your little people:
Nori (the dried seaweed sheet) is rich in iodine, iron, protein and vitamin A. It is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and riboflavin (B2). It is a true 'super food'.
Fillings can be whatever you like and are as nutritious as you make them. Toddlers may prefer softer fillings like:
- canned salmon or tuna mixed with a little cream cheese (add spanish onion for the parents!)
- avocado with a dash of lemon juice
- cooked sweet potato wedge (either roasted the night before or steamed in the microwave)
- mashed egg with mayo
We love sushi and all things Japanese, so these sushi rolls are often in our cooler bag when we head out of the house. Let me know if you try them.
Here’s how you do it...
1 cup medium grain rice (washed in a colander until the water runs clear)
1 ½ cups tap water
1 pkt nori sheets
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
(the last two ingredients can be substituted with “sushi seasoning” which you will find in a glass bottle in the supermarket – I like making it from scratch as it’s easy)
Fillings of your choice
|some of the things you'll need|
Combine rice and water and cook using whatever method you’re comfortable – in the microwave, on the stove or in your rice cooker – it doesn’t matter. I cook it in the microwave on 80% for 8 minutes with a lid ajar.
To prepare sushi seasoning, add vinegar and sugar to saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly. This can be done ahead of time and kept in the fridge for weeks.
Trasfer rice to a shallow glass dish (I use a large pyrex baking dish) and spread out to start cooling. Splash over sushi seasoning, either homemade or from a bottle. How much you use depends on your personal taste but for this amount of rice I would use around 40ml or a couple of decent splashes.
Fan the rice to cool it quickly. This is important. It’s stops the rice cooking and becoming gluggy and give it a lovely sheen. Allow it to cool for 10-15 mins. Yes, you can stop fanning it after a few minutes!
Get a bowl of water close by as you’ll be constantly wetting your hands to handle the rice.
Place a nori sheet, rough side up, on a bamboo mat.
With wet hands smooth two good handfuls of rice onto the nori leaving an inch at the top free.
|thin layer of rice leaving the top edge free|
Add your filling and roll by taking the edge closest to you and forcing it around with your mat. Before you roll it up wet the free edge with your dampened finger. Continue rolling and use the mat to roll it on your board to make a nice round shape. Wrap in cling film and add to fridge. Proceed until your rice is used.
|filled with canned salmon and a strip of cucumber, ready to roll (so to speak!)|
|roll the closest edge away from you, squeezing the ingredients around slightly as you roll|
|looks like something you'd see on Border Security!|
Allow to set in the fridge for at least 20 mins (this softens the nori). Either cut into pieces or in half if your toddler prefers to hang on and chomp.