I often wonder if the crazy kids at Casa Conception (the IVF clinic responsible for the existence of both my beautiful babies) didn’t add a drop or two of some random international DNA in the embryonic cocktail shaker. You know, for shits and giggles.
That’s the only explanation I can come up for my four-year old being an oddly obsessive Francophile and for the indefatigable fixation both he and Sugarpuff share for Japanese food.
From sashimi to soba noodles, sushi to soft shell crab, tofu to tokoyaki… just dish it up and, if it’s of Japanese origin, they’ll demolish it. They can’t get enough of the stuff. So much so that they’re both on a hugs and kisses basis with the folk at our local Japanese and Raffles spends so much time chatting up the lovely chef he’s virtually bilingual.
So when we were invited to the home of a friend to “make sushi” Raffles and I were particularly excited. But, no matter how much fun it was to make our own sushi, the thing that particularly tickled my fancy was watching my half British son learn to make the Japanese staple under the tutelage of a French woman in her Australian backyard. The very embodiment of what makes Sydney such a great place to call home.
Sushi is a fun and healthy food for kids to learn to make at home and you can pick up a rolling mat for next to nothing at the local supermarket. And it really isn’t hard. Rolling sushi is one of those things that gets a lot easier with practice. Since our Japanoise masterclass, we’ve had a few more tries at home and, after a few slightly shambolic early attempts, my four-foot foodie is making rolls like a pro! A slightly haphazard pro, but close enough.
In fact, so cocky is Raffles about his new-found sushi making prowess, he’s taken to giving tips to the aforementioned Sushi chef. Thankfully he’s indulgent of my crazy son, and has promised to take his advice under consideration!
Simple Salmon & Avocado Sushi
2 cups sushi rice
3 1/2 cups water
125ml rice vinegar
2 tbs caster sugar
6 nori sheets
250g fresh salmon, sliced into strips
1 avocado (or cucumber) sliced
Soy sauce, wasabi & pickled ginger, to serve
- Rinse rice in cold running water until water runs clear.
- Place the rice and water in a large saucepan, covered, over high heat and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
- Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan and heat gently until combined. Set aside and allow to cool
- Remove from heat, stir gently and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes to cool slightly and transfer to a non-metal bowl.
- Stir the vinegar mix gently into rice using a wooden paddle or fork to break up rice
- Continue turning and fanning the rice for 10 minutes until cool.
- Place a nori sheet, shiny-side down, on a sushi mat.
- Spread a thin layer of rice over the nori sheet, leaving about 5 cm clear along the far edge (use wet fingertips to damp edge).
- Place salmon and avocado along the centre of the rice.
- Hold filling in place and roll the mat (from the closest edge) firmly over the rice and filling.
- Slice with a sharp knife and serve with wasabi (for grown-ups), soy and pickled ginger.