How to Make First Bento with Your Toddler
moshi-moshi mommies 😉
Wish you were in happy day *hugs*
Today, I’d love to share our moments of making first bento and tips on how to make perfect sushi rice~
Seaweed and vegetables are great for toddlers (and adults!) and since making sushi can be a fun project, it’s a great way to entertain your lil angel and get them to eat healthily.
Lettuce, cucumber slices, crabsticks and carrots slices 😉
Sushi means “vinegar flavored rice”.
It is a simple food that can be prepared with foods we all know and love.
It does not have to involve any raw meats.
Learning how to cook rice and prepare sushi rolls is a window into Japanese culture.
Indeed, it is simply tasty and nutritious 😉
Below are some of our pictures *alhamdulillah*:
My first tamago!
Wohoo~ Cooling the tamago.
YunaFi-cHan n Tamago *winks*
Me: Guide my kiddies on how to make Maki Roll
KiruaMi-cHan: Making his very first Maki Roll!
Superb job big bro! *yatta*
ReiHi-cHan: making her first Maki Roll! *uh oh*
Splendid job big sis! *kawaii*
Result: Kiddies Bento – Maki Roll + Tamago + Sushi Rice (shapes of bear, heart & star!)
Result: Papa’s Bento – Maki Roll + Tamago + Chicken Teriyaki + Sushi Rice (shapes of bear, heart & star!)
Here are some tips on “How To Make Perfect Sushi Rice“:
Things You’ll Need:
- sushi rice
- rice vinegar
- Bento Kits
Step by step guide:
To make great sushi, the fish needs to be fresh, and the rice needs to be sticky.
The following amounts will make about four cups of rice, enough to make several rolls or pieces of sushi nigiri.
- 2 cups rice: You will need Japanese short-grained white rice, also called japonica rice or sushi rice.
Do not use Malaysian-style long grained rice as it will not turn out well.
Japanese rice has the right amount of starch needed to make the rice glossy and sticky but not mushy or dry.
- 3-4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar: Only use rice vinegar to make sushi rice.
Rice vinegar is a mild vinegar made from fermented rice or rice wine.
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar: Use plain white sugar to taste.
- 2 teaspoons salt: You may use table salt, kosher salt or sea salt depending on your preference.
How to Make Sushi Rice (Gohan):
Step 1: Preparing the Vinegar
- Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan on the stove over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved into the vinegar.
Do not boil the mixture.
Leave sitting off heat until needed.
You can make this portion before or while the rice is cooking.
Step 2: Preparing the Rice
- Rinse the rice in cold water.
This will take several minutes and several changes of water.
Rinse the rice until the final change of water runs almost clear.
- You can leave the rice to soak in the water for 15 minutes, or let it it sit drained in the strainer for up to an hour.
Step 3: Cooking the Rice
- Steam the rinsed rice in an equal amount of water (e.g: 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water) in a rice cooker or on the stove top following the package’s directions or by bringing to a boil, then cooking over very low heat until the water is evaporated and you are left with lovely sticky rice.
- As always when cooking rice on the stove-top, use very low heat after the initial boil and keep the lid on at all times. The trapped steam is what enables the rice to cook.
- An optional step is to add a piece of kombu, or dried kelp, to the rice as it cooks to add more flavor. If using the stove-top method, discard the kelp after the initial boil.
- Once the rice has finished cooking, it can be left off heat in the pot with the lid on for up to 15 minutes.
- For information on rice cookers see Mahalo’s Guide to Rice Cookers and read this review of rice cooker brands.
Step 4: Seasoning the Rice
- When the rice has finished cooking, add the vinegar seasoning to the rice. Turn the rice out of the pot and into a non-reactive shallow bowl.
- The traditional method uses a wooden container, such as a hangiri.
- You want to cool down the rice and add the seasoning at the same time.
- Use a tool like a shamoji in a gentle chopping motion to spread out the grains of rice and ensure the seasoning covers every grain.
- Some people use a hand-held fan to help in the cooling process.
- Use a non-reactive metal or wooden container for the final step of seasoning the rice, as some metals will react with the vinegar and mar the flavor of the rice.
- Be careful not to squish the grains of rice together when adding the vinegar mixture. You want to maintain the integrity of the rice grains.
- Spreading out the rice makes it cool down faster. This stops the rice cooking in its own heat. To make sushi, the rice should be at about room temperature.
- If you are not going to make the sushi right away, cover the seasoned rice with a damp cloth to ensure that it doesn’t dry out.
- Never refrigerate sushi rice, as it will get too hard to work with or eat.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy your “Sushi Day” with your toddlers too!
Gambatte ne mommies
May Allah swt always blessed your day. Amin~
p/s: If you would like to do same activities with your precious toddler and love to get the above items, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just click here for details 😉 We’ve only got 10 set. Delivery on 15 November 2008.