‘I want sushi please mummy!’ I hear this at least once a week from my little one and I never know whether to feel pleased that she likes eating something which is really quite sophisticated or cringe because people listening may think I’m a pretentious twat with her off Spring. It all started because I was looking for a cheap lunch which was easy to carry when we were out and Tescos do the taster sushi packs for £2 for 2 packs. Perfect for both my daughters, not too big, so no wastage and a relatively balanced healthy meal, or so I thought.
This worked fine for a while, until I made the mistake of letting Megan have a ‘big girl’ pack one day, and now she insists on only having a larger more expensive pack because she is not a baby any more, and don’t even get me started on the wildly expensive Yo sushi restaurants which on the rare occasion we have been, my husband has ended up almost having a hernia trying to return the ninety billion plates they lift off the moving belt, because they’re still ‘starving’ twelve dishes in.
Therefore you can imagine my delight and relief when I came across a couple of tutorials on Pinterest which showed how straight forward making your own sushi is. Believe it or not, there is nothing to it, it really is as easy as it looks, only takes as many ingredients as you can be bothered to put in beyond the basics and makes a great activity for me and Meg to do together. Eating is, after all, one of our favourite past times!!
So, although strictly not a mini make, I love it so much, I’ve included it here anyway!! I’d love to see pictures of your own efforts if you give this a go!
To get started you need to buy the following ingredients. Although some of these things may look exotic, I brought everything from the same aisle in Tescos, and I am pretty sure that most of the big supermarkets will carry all, or most of them. I like the wasabi sauce and pickled ginger to add to the top of my sushi, but you needn’t bother with these. Megan hates them!
- Sushi rice
- sushi vinegar (and mirin if you wish to include it, I didn’t bother)
- A bamboo mat for rolling
- wasabi sauce (in the green tube)
- pickled ginger
- dark soy sauce
- your choice of filling (we used smoked salmon and cucumber sliced thinly)
- seaweed sheets
To get started, follow the instructions on the box to prepare your sushi rice. This basically involves measuring out the required amount, (we used half the packet for the two of us) and then washing it a couple of times with water. I put the rice in the saucepan I will boil it in (always looking for ways to save on washing up!) and then run cold water into the pan, drain it off, wash again, drain and repeat. This stage is totally alien to me, but the water is no longer clear when it’s been swilled around the rice so there is definitely something being washed off! The required amount of water is then added and you leave it to simmer on the hob for ten minutes with a lid on, before turning the heat off and leaving it for twenty minutes with the lid on. I then transfer the rice into a bowl, and add some sushi vinegar and some salt and then try and leave it to cool, but me and meg aren’t very good at this bit and end up using it warm!
While the rice is on the hob, I cut up the cucumber into thin strips and get the mat ready on a large chopping board. Next is the fun bit!
1. Take one sheet of seaweed and place it shiny side down on the mat. Use a spoon to add rice to the sheet. It’s called sticky rice for a reason! Expect plenty to stick to your fingers and the spoon! Spread it out with the base of the spoon as evenly as you can all over the sheet, leaving one inch or so one end of the sheet clear. This will be the end you will roll towards, so it can stick together.
2. Next, add your filling into the centre of the sheet. Here we have smoked salmon, cucumber and crab stick. Yes, there is quite a lot! We were being greedy! You may want to add less, particularly the first few tries because a lot of filling can make it quite hard to roll!
3. Now comes the rolling itself. This is quite tricky until you get the knack! Lift the mat and roll it over as shown in the picture. Make sure you push it down and roll tightly so all the filling is enclosed. Keep rolling forward until the mat has gone entirely over the sushi. It does say to wet the end with no filling so it all sticks together, but we found if you roll tightly enough there is no need and it all holds together.
4. Once your roll is free of the mat, using the sharpest knife you have to cut the roll into slices. This is tough to do if the roll isn’t tight and I’ve found a gentle back and forth motion to begin helps, rather than hacking at the roll! The first and last slice will be a bit naff, because this is where the roll is loosest, but the rest of the slices should look more professional!
So there you have it! Beautiful rolls of sushi! Look at her happy little face! First plate of I think about eight this day! We like to use every last scrap of rice!
This is Megan counting the sushi to make sure we both have the same number on our plates! There is no getting past this one when food is involved!