When I was little and hesitant to try something new for the first time, my Dad would always say, “start with what you know.” It’s no surprise that I’ve adopted this same approach with my boys when it comes to trying new things, especially food.
If your kids have never tried sushi, they may not want to begin with raw fish. Our boys started with cucumber rolls (Kappa Maki). Most kids like cucumbers and rice so it’s hard to go wrong. Our boys also love edamame, spinach gomae (steamed spinach in a sweet sesame sauce), mixed green salad with miso dressing, agedashi (fried) tofu and udon because they started with what they know…veggies, tofu and noodles.
Even more fun is letting your kids roll their own sushi at home. But forget about sushi rolling mats and complicated folds. Just buy a package of nori (seasoned roasted seaweed) or colorful soy wrappers and let the kids fill them with rice and strips of veggies, omelette, or grilled meat. We like to call them, “Sushi Roll-ups.”
Easy Sushi Rice
2 cups sushi or short-grain rice
2 cups water
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Rinse rice until water runs clear. Place rice and water in a rice cooker or a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, covered.
Heat rice vinegar in a small pan over low heat. Stir in sugar and salt until dissolved.
Transfer rice to a large glass or wooden bowl and gently toss the vinegar mixture with the rice. Let rice cool to room temperature before using.
1 package nori or soy wrappers, cut in half
Your choice of fillings, cut into long strips (Benny & Nicky’s favorites are cucumber, carrots, bell peppers, avocado, tofu, omelette and teriyaki chicken)
To roll your own:
Spread a little bit of rice on a square of nori or a soy wrapper. Top with your fillings. Fold over or roll up and enjoy!
And remember, great sushi doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be fun, colorful and delicious.
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