by Caroline

Sushi for Change

Sushi for Change

In the spirit of the day, we took a vote on our celebratory Inauguration Day dinner, and sushi won. It’s one of those modular meals that everybody likes because each can tailor it to his or her own taste. Of course in this house, it’s all vegetarian sushi;  all I can tell you about the fish is go to the best fish market you can, ask them what’s freshest, and have them cut it for you. The main thing is to make the rice (recipe below) and then slice up and lay out whatever filings you like. It’s not fancy here — cooking with kids is always a bit of an art project — but it’s always tasty.

Here’s what we use:
sheets of roasted seaweed (“sushi-nori”)

1 sweet potato, cut into sticks and roasted with a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce

spinach, cooked, excess water squeezed out, and tossed with a splash of rice vinegar and sprinkled with sesame seeds

1 avocado, sliced

3-4 carrots, cut into matchsticks; raw, steamed, or roasted with the sweet potatoes

1 pound of tofu, sliced and fried

2 eggs, beaten with a little bit of rice wine, cooked into an omelette, and then sliced

cucumber, shitake mushrooms, and any kind of pickled vegetables are also nice if you happen to have them.

To make the rice, first cook 2 cups short grain rice in 3 cups of water. While it’s cooking, combine in a small bowl 6 T rice vinegar, 2 1/2 T sugar, and a pinch of salt. Let the rice cool a bit after it’s cooked, just by spreading it out in a large bowl, then stir in the vinegar mixture. Keep the rice covered with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out while you’re making the sushi (we never have this problem).

It’s helpful (but not essential) to have a bamboo rolling mat; a small kitchen towel will do in a pinch. Lay your sheet of seaweed on the rolling mat or towel. Spread the rice on a sheet of seaweed, leaving a slight border at top and bottom but getting it all the way out to each side. Lay your fillings on top of the rice in a small pile. Roll the seaweed up over the filling, and then continue rolling into a tight cylinder. Slice and eat!

I didn’t take very careful pictures of our process, but here’s how it looks:

Sushi ingredients, plus a banana (I don't recommend banana sushi)

Sushi ingredients, plus a banana (I don't recommend banana sushi)

Eli demonstrates how not to arrange the fillings

Eli demonstrates how not to arrange the fillings

Eli likes to make train tracks with his tofu slices; we admire and then rearrange.

Eli likes to make train tracks with his tofu slices; we admire, and then rearrange.

Eli likes a super-protein roll of egg & tofu

Eli likes a super-protein roll of egg & tofu

Ben's tidy avocado roll in progress

Ben's tidy avocado roll in progress

A finished roll

A finished roll