Making sushi at home is one of my family’s favorite traditions. It’s much more than making a meal, sushi night is an experience. My kids love sushi, even 18-month-old Millie will eat a California roll like it’s going out of style. If you ask Peighton where we should go for dinner, she’ll say sushi every single time. We love our sushi in this family. We made sushi at home for the first time a year or so ago and while I was intimidated at first, the experience was so fun that we’ve just kept it up.
Now that we’ve entered the phase of toddlerhood that basically makes Millie a maniac at restaurants we haven’t been visiting our favorite sushi place (or any other place that isn’t a quick service type of joint). So, when Peighton wanted sushi over the weekend, I happily obliged. It’s not only a super tasty meal, but it’s a fun experience for the whole family. This post is part “how to make sushi” recipe part DIY family night type of thing. 🙂
Setting up for sushi night
Set up for at-home sushi doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You need some basic materials then I kind of just put everything out and we take turns making rolls and we eat as we go. Our basic setup includes sushi rice (here’s a recipe for the rice), nori, shrimp fried in panko, crab meat, avocado, cucumber. We sometimes add freshly baked salmon, cream cheese, asparagus, and other veggies.
Note: We typically don’t do raw fish just because sushi grade is hard to find around here but I would love to do some spicy tuna rolls. You can get sushi-grade fish from your local fish market or perhaps your local grocer. Our Whole Foods carries it at a steep price so we usually just go with crab and shrimp.
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Making sushi rolls at home
When we make our rolls we almost always do the inside out style, with the rice on the outside of the roll, because I love the way that looks but there is a trick to getting them just right. To make these rolls, it’s very helpful to have sushi mats [these ones are less than five bucks] but you can use plastic wrap and a tea towel if you are in a pinch.
To assemble the sushi rolls, Matt and I usually spread the rice on, add the nori to the rice, and then we let the kids fill the rolls (with guidance on how much to put in each roll). The trick is to get a nice even layer of rice. Since the rice is sticky it’s helpful to either spray the mat and spoon with nonstick spray or grease both with sesame oil.
You roll sushi a lot like you would roll a burrito except there’s no tucking in. So bring the end of the mat to the inside portion, getting it really tight, and as you roll you keep pulling back the mat, keeping it really tight the entire time.
The girls usually eat it as soon as I have a chance to cut it so the first roll goes to them and then Matt and I keep cranking out rolls until either the filling or the nori run out or until we’re too stuffed to eat another bite.
Some toppings we like to add to our sushi are sesame seeds and spicy mayo, which is just sriracha and mayo mixed together – more sriracha for more heat. You can also add tempura crunches to the top or eel sauce.
Sushi night is so fun because you really can create an endless amount of different types of sushi. I think it would be really fun to make it a multi-family event and have different families bring different ingredients and you can come up with so many different sushi roll combinations!
Sushi night must-haves:
Sushi making kit (not required but a great beginners kit)
We all love sushi nights. Nevermind the fact that by the end of the meal both of my girls are covered in so much rice that they could pass for sushi rolls themselves. We love making sushi together!
Have you ever made sushi? Or do you have a meal that you like to make together as a family?
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