Sushi is delicious, nutritious, and impossible to make at home. After all, the only people who know how to make it are specially trained, nimble- fingered chefs, right? Wrong! With a bamboo mat and a bit of practice, you and your child can make fresh sushi right in your own kitchen–and have fun doing it. Get started with these autumn-themed rolls, then see what filling combos your family can dream up.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
2 cups short-grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, sliced into finger-size strips
1/2 cup rice vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large ripe avocado, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise
10 sheets nori (a type of seaweed, available in Asian markets or the international aisle of well-stocked grocery stores)
Soy sauce, for dipping
Bamboo sushi mat, available in Asian markets and many grocery stores
Parent: Cook the rice according to package directions. While the rice cooks, steam the squash. Immediately after the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a wide, shallow bowl. Set the cooked squash aside to cool.
Parent & Child: Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar, plus the sugar and salt to the rice.
Child: Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix the ingredients into the rice. Keep stirring to help the rice cool faster!
Parent: When the rice is cool, set up your sushi rolling station. Place your sushi rolling mat in the center of a large workspace or cutting board and set out the avocado, squash, and rice each in separate bowls. Place the nori sheets on a plate, and fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water and the remaining 1/4 cup of vinegar (this will help keep the rice from sticking to your hands and, later, your knife). Set out a baking sheet next to your work station.
Parent & Child: Place a sheet of nori on the sushi mat, rough side up. Dip your hands in the vinegar water. Scoop up about 1/3 cup of rice with your hands and place it in a small mound on the bottom third of the nori, almost all the way to the edges. Use your palms to flatten the rice a bit so it’s on the nori in an even layer.
Child: Place two slices of avocado end to end in the middle of the rice, then put two slices of butternut squash next to the avocado. Dip your finger in the vinegar water to moisten the top edge of the nori–it will also help glue your roll together.
Parent & Child: Follow the Cooking Class instructions to roll your sushi roll (see below).
Child: Place the sushi roll on the baking sheet seam-side down while you and your parent make the rest of the rolls.
Parent: To slice a roll, place it back on the cutting board, seam-side down. Dip a sharp knife int o the vinegar water. Cut the roll in half, then cut each piece in half again to make 4 pieces. Cut each quarter in half again to make 8 pieces total. Repeat with remaining rolls.
Parent & Child: Transfer the sliced sushi pieces to a serving plate and serve with soy sauce for dipping.
Makes 10 rolls
Per roll: calories 118, fat 3 g, protein 3 g, carbohydrates 21 g, dietary fiber 4 g
Cooking Class: How to roll sushi
1.Use your thumbs to lift the bottom corners of the sushi m at while resting your pointer fingers on the roll filling to help it stay in place.
2. Begin rolling the mat away from you while pressing inward on the filling.
3. When the bottom of the mat begins to touch the rice, use your pointer fingers to push it forward instead of into the roll.
4. Continue rolling forward until the roll is formed. Apply gentle pressure to help seal the roll, then unwrap the sushi mat to reveal your sushi roll.