As preparation for our A Little Yumminess Around the World Summer Camp, we practiced a good many of the recipes with our own kiddos. Sushi was the one they were most excited about. We have learned that if you cook with kids, they are definitely more likely to try new dishes. Our own little ones are no exception. Also, when making something like sushi, giving them the option of adding to the dish what they like, gives them control over what they eat. Kids love assembling their own food and adding what they like, and excluding what they don’t fancy.
Our kids made onigiri (rice balls) using cool molds in the shapes of cars and stars, sushi rolls and hand rolls. We know making sushi well is a well-honed craft, but the kiddos’ creations were pretty tasty and looked quite good given their ages. It’s far simpler than you think and sushi made at home with mostly vegetarian fillings is much cheaper than a meal at a sushi restaurant. Fillings we offered were avocado, cucumber, carrots, ham and turkey (unconventional), smoked salmon and tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet – recipe below). Let your imagination be your guide here and include things you know your children like. Here are some neat tips on sushi making from the Passionate Eater blog.
It ended up being the perfect post school kitchen/dinner playdate and the children were all decked out and super adorable in their chef outfits from Happy Chefs. And of course these very cool chef outfits are going now be our Halloween costumes!
Sumeshi – Vinegared Rice
what you need:
- 1 3/4 cups Japanese short grain rice
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
how to make it:
- Rinse rice and then soak it for 15 minutes.
- Cook rice using a rice cooker. [For stove top: bring rice and two cups of water to a boil. Lower the heat then simmer covered, for 10 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, keep covered and let sit for an additional 15 minutes.]
- Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Dress the warm, cooked rice with the vinegar mixture (fold, don’t stir to keep from crushing the rice). Let cool to room temperature before making sushi.
Tamagoyaki – Japanese Omelete
what you need:
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- oil for frying
how to make it:
- Beat eggs, sugar, mirin and salt. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
- Heat a pan with oil. When the pan is hot pour just enough egg mixture to coat the pan. Swirl the pan to spread the eggs as thinly as possible. Cook on each side for 30 seconds.
- When cool enough to handle, stack and roll the omlettes. Cut across the roll into very thin strips then fluff to create a pile of delicate ribbons that you can use for sushi or as a side dish in a bento box.
You might also like these other foodie play dates: Cheese Plate Play Date, Empanada-making Party, Easy Peasy Dumplings, Making Parantha (Indian flat bread) with kids.