Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sushi Party!

Let me begin with confession- first of all, the pictures I am about to show are nearly three weeks old (my camera broke and while it was being replaced I used my husbands which does not upload as easily); second, although I love receiving the school's weekly CSA shares, and I am quite the fan of the spinach, chard, and kale that comprises a lot of the early season vegetables in Colorado, occasionally, I too find myself tired of eating my greens and in need of some inspiration.

So, on a particularly quiet Friday afternoon (we had a lot of children absent due to vacations), I invited the second best sushi chef I know (my brother-in-law wins the prize), my sister Becky, to teach the children to make onigiri and hosomaki sushi rolls with the leftovers from the weekly CSA share and celebrate with an impromptu sushi party.

Onigiri is essentially a rice ball that is eaten as a quick, informal meal. It is traditionally rolled into the shape of sphere or a triangular prism. Ours was topped with a liberal helping of fresh, local, chard.

First the children rolled the sticky rice into a sphere (very satisfying!);

then they topped it with chard

and rolled it up with a thin strip of nori.

Then it was time for the children to experience the fun of making traditional sushi rolls. If there is any single cooking project that I would recommend doing with primary aged Montessori students it is this one! The lesson uniquely complements many of the traditional Montessori activities and it is a project that children can replicate safely and independently after being given a demonstration.

First, the children put the rough side of the nori facing up (rough smooth board extension?!);

then, they spooned a liberal helping of sushi rice on top,

filled it with their favorite vegetables,

rolled it up (just like rolling a Montessori rug.... "tight little rolls" the children kept chanting),

and carefully cut it into pieces with the chef's knife.

Mmmmnnn.... chard never tasted so yummy!

Afterwards, the children read Yoko by Rosemary Wells (one of their absolute favorite stories about a Japanese kitten who gets teased by her classmates when she brings a darling bento box of sushi and mochi for lunch). Then, we set out the sushi making materials on a floor table in the practical life area and every single one of the children chose to repeat the lesson and make more sushi to take home and share with their families for supper.

My sincerest thanks to my sister, Becky, for sharing her talents with us! Domo Arigato!
Becky's Favorite Sushi Rice:
8 oz. sushi rice
1 1/4 cups water
1 small piece of kombu
2 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
Rinse and drain the rice (water should run clear). Put the rice, kombu, and water in a sauce pan and allow it to swell slightly. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes; then, cover and simmer for 10 minutes at the lowest heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, covered with a damp cloth. Heat vinegar, sugar, and salt; heat until solids are dissolved. Allow to cool. Put rice into a non-reactive bowl (preferably a flat, wooden bowl); remove kombu and mix the rice with the vinegar mixture.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful and delicious Practical Life and Cultural experience. I'm sure the children loved it. Thank you for sharing.