Sushi is one of our favourite foods - it's generally healthy, tasty and delicious. Even the kids are fans. It's hard to get your hands on anything decent in my hometown though. It's my dream that someone will open up a sushi bar here one day as unfortunately, supermarket sushi just doesn't really float my boat. So when Yutaka asked if we'd like to try making our own, we thought why not and spent Sunday afternoon perfecting our technique.
First of all, you need to make your sushi rice. This is the longest part of the process and involves washing the rice 3-4 times before boiling for around 25 minutes. It's worth it though as once cooked you have your basic ingredient that can be transformed into anything really. Yutaka have created a special 'boil in the bag' style sushi rice and this does make the process easier.
I'm not up to speed on technical terms (please see Big Stevie Cool's blog post for that) so please bear with me. First up, we decided to wrap the rice in seaweed with a simple filling of red pepper. The rice is very sticky but Harry LOVED getting his fingers messy. With his brother Jack's help and a little supervision, I think they did a grand job.
We loved using the Yataka rolling mat which is available as part of a 'sushi kit for 2' or individually from most large supermarkets. The results were impressive, especially as this was our first time!
Next up, Heidi used the Nigiri Sushi Maker to mould the rice into the perfect sushi shape. Although messy, this was super easy to do and she could manage without any adult supervision. We discovered it is best to pack the rice in as much as you can but again, we were so impressed with what Heidi managed to produce. As this was our first time, we simply topped with prawns and served with soy sauce and wasabi (for the grown ups - not recommended for kids).
A recent report found that the Japanese diet was one of the main reasons for their long lifespan and the ingredients we tend to use for sushi are renowned for being packed with vitamins and minerals. Letting the kids play with their food and make their own certainly encouraged them to try something new and the kids are now obsessed with chopsticks and have taken them to school to eat their fruit with this week! I'm definitely going to make the most of this obsession and make another batch of sushi for them to take in their lunch bag this week - it certainly makes a change from a sandwich.
Our final attempt at sushi-making was prawns wrapped in sushi rice and coated in sesame seeds - again, something the kids were keen to join in with. Jack is only 5 year's old and it certainly grabbed his attention.
We were REALLY happy with the finished results. I have a vague memory of us trying to create our own sushi around 10 years ago but it was a real disaster - with all of these new products and kits on the market now, it is honestly a piece of cake. We had lots of fun creating our own sushi and with lots of rice still left in our kit, I know what is going to be my go-to lunch now. My plan is to make a batch in the evening for the following day for Steve to take to work, the kids to take to school and for me to enjoy at home. We're definitely going to try a few different flavour combinations and I fancy trying Teriyaki Chicken next.
I also think with Christmas coming up, putting together your own sushi-making hamper or buying a ready-made sushi kit for 2 will make a unique and fun gift idea for any family who loves their food and cooking.
The lovely people at Yutaka have provided us with a 'Sushi Kit for 2' to giveaway. The kit contains everything you need to get started including sushi rice, sushi seasoning, nori sheets, rolling mat, ginger, soy sauce and wasabi. Simply enter via the rafflecopter giveaway below (UK entries only). Good luck!
Disclosure | This is a collaborative post with Yutaka