I was hoping to write this wonderful post about Monkey and introducing children to Sushi with Yutaka. I’m really keen to introduce him to lots of different foods and would love him to enjoy experiencing new things as much as I do. You can really use anything with the sweet rice used in Sushi, so I thought it would be great for a rice loving Monkey to try.
Yutaka provide a wonderful range of ingredients to make it easy to make and enjoy Sushi at home. They pride themselves on the fact that their products are made in a traditional way and contain less additives than other leading brands. I was really keen to get started and thought we would make our Sushi with a selection of spring onion, cucumber, smoked salmon, prawns and fish sticks. All things that Monkey loves. It’s a myth that sushi has to be made with raw fish, and when introducing the concept to children I’d suggest picking things that they already love, maybe a cream cheese, or even slices of fruit.
Now the plan did actually involve my 6 year old helping me to make the Sushi, but he had other ideas. He’s been far from an angel at times over the holidays and I’d clearly picked the wrong day to try something new. Yes, blogger families really are normal! I’m sure on another day he would have loved getting his hands in the rice to get the right amount to spread on the Nori. I’m also pretty sure he would have loved rolling the Sushi out and would probably have done a better job than me. I actually think children would find the whole experience rather fun. Just don’t ask a 6 year old who got out of bed on the wrong side.
So glossing over that issue. I have never made my own Sushi before and wasn’t sure where to start. So after a look on the Yutaka website and Youtube, I had a better idea of what needed doing. I used the Yutaka Sushi Rice and followed the instructions on the packet to make the key ingredient for our Sushi.
Once the Sushi Rice has been cooked as per the instructions you add a mixture of Rice Vinegar, sugar and salt to season it once the rice has cooled down. Mix together and you are ready to make Sushi.
I spotted on Youtube that the rolling works best if you cover the Bamboo Sushi Rolling Mat with clingfilm. I then lay a sheet of Nori on top, rough side upwards.
I’ll be honest, my first attempt at rolling wasn’t brilliant, too much rice I think. But I definitely got better as I went. A really sharp knife is also a good idea to have on hand, when you need to cut your sushi into sections.
Next up, and something that would be really easy for children of all ages to make, I made Nigiri Sushi. Yutaka have a Nigiri Sushi Maker which is basically a two-part mould. Fill the mould with rice and press down with the lid. Take the lid off, turn the mould over on a plate and press out (there are pads on the mould to help with this). You then lay a slice of your preferred ingredient over the top. I also put a dab of Wasabi Paste between the rice and fish on my Nigiri Sushi – yum! You can wrap a ribbon of Nori round to hold it all together if you so wish.
None of my Sushi hung around for long. The rice with the seasoning was really flavoursome and although my beloved son refused to help in the making or be photographed (yes it really was one of those days!!) he did enjoy eating my efforts. He wasn’t so keen on the Nori seaweed, so in this instance the Nigiri Sushi was the best option. I will certainly be making Sushi again and hopefully next time my assistant will be more willing to join in. It’s a healthy food option and great as a snack or part of a buffet style meal, which work well with kids.
I’d spotted that there was a quick Chicken Teriyaki recipe on the bottle of Mirin I’d received from Yutaka, and I tried it out recently. It’s so easy, marinate some chicken thighs in a mixture of the Mirin (sweet rice win vinegar) and Yutaka Soy Sauce before cooking. Once the chicken is cooked add the remaining mixture to the pan to thicken. Serve. Delicious.
If you would like to learn more about Yutaka as a brand and Japanese cuisine in general, it’s worth checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages for inspiration. I’ve certainly been inspired to have a go here.
disclosure: I received the items shown along with a voucher for additional ingredients to enable me to try the products out. My comments still remain my own honest opinions.