Gluten Free School Lunches #2

I have to admit that most of our gluten-free lunches are rice-based. But no-one here complains about that. We love our rice! A few months ago Posy had home-made sushi at a friend's house and pestered me for weeks until I arranged to go and learn how to make sushi with her friend's mum. I was gob-smacked to discover how easy and cheap sushi is. And nutritious! All those vegies. Seaweed! I am sure you all make sushi all the time, but just in case you are a sushi newbie like me, here are some tips:

Use sushi rice. It is a special short grain rice that cooks up nice and sticky to stay together in the sushi roll. I have also discovered by accident that sushi rice makes excellent risotto, and is also half the price of arborio rice. But do label your rice containers anyway..

Cook your sushi rice a few hours before you want to make sushi, and store it in the fridge. It will then be the perfect consistency for rolling.

Here is a useful, short You Tube video (by a Japanese sushi master, no less!) to show you how to roll the sushi. It really is this easy.

We use mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) to flavour our rice, but our friend who showed us how to make sushi used rice wine vinegar mixed with a bit of sugar. I figure mirrin is already sweet so I use that. Anyone else have a preference? We don't use wasabi, and our sushi is still yummy.

We also don't stuff our sushi with expensive raw fish. We are sushi barbarians. Please don't tell the sushi master. This is what we put in our sushi:

Vegies: cucumber, carrot, capsicum, celery, zucchini, spinach etc cut into matchsticks.

Protein: left-over cooked chicken. Tuna from those tiny flavoured tuna cans. Please, please don't tell the sushi master.

I would love to know what you all put in your sushi.

Flavouring: Did you know that those little soy sauce fish that come with your take-away sushi can be washed and re-filled? Just squeeze under water to wash, and squeeze in a bowl of soy sauce to re-fill.

But if you haven't made sushi before, do have a go. Here is how easy it is - since that first day I have never made it. Ten year old Posy is our sushi queen and makes it every week. My job is cutting the matchstick vegies, and she does the rest..


gretchenjoanna said…
I did make sushi 20 years ago when we hosted our first Japanese exchange student and she taught us. Then we did it again once or twice, but since then my youngest and her husband, and one grandson, have taken over the craft for our extended family. But even they haven't made it for a while...

Almost I got inspired by your post to think, THIS is what I will make when I start cooking again. (I am hopeful that I really will cook again.) I love sushi. But...I immediately realized that I don't have the discipline to eat a reasonable amount, so I better just eat it when we go out. That's my excuse.
Jo said…
Gretchen Joanna, it is always excellent to have a good excuse! I will tell you when I would have got around to making sushi if Posy hadn't forced me to - never, that's when!! How wonderful to have someone else to make sushi for you:)

I know you will start cooking again one day. One morning you will wake up and think, 'I want to cook..' And you will. I have a dear friend who lost her husband not so long ago - it took her many, many months before she started cooking, even though she loves to cook. I think for the longest time she lost the sense of who she was, she didn't recognise herself without her other half..
Anonymous said…
I've seen the news and weather. It's snowing in Tassie and below zero in Launie. Woo hoo! Sounds good. Getting warm up here.

But as to sushi. Too cold to have if for lunch if it's snowing.

We had the world's best with our evil mother-out-law. Yes, she was Japanese. We were spoilt by the best sushi. All other sushi is not up to the standard of the evil MOL. But I will never have hers again. Hint: apparently there's this powdered sushi stuff they put in their rice which imitates the rice vinegar or something that they put in the rice to give it the texture and flavour. And they use a big round bamboo flat-bottomed bowl to mix it through.

And the best thing? Sweet omelette. Don't know how she made it and will probe my never have it again.
Hobart Chic said…
Ah yes, I do love myself some sushi. It's all about finesse and practice. Mind you, people say the same thing about sewing, and I largely avoid it!

For sushi centres, I like avocado, seedless cucumber and fried egg in strips. I do all the fillings you do, and sometimes have pickled ginger, wasabi and gluten free quality soy sauce. It just depends what is in the fridge and in the budget.

For the proper sweet omelette, see this recipe:

It's important to keep the sushi cool before eating, which should be easy in the current weather!
Jo said…
Lucinda, yes, we left the dog's water bowl outside last night, and this morning he was so very confused as he tried to drink from his ice-block..

Commiserations on evil MIL. I like the idea of sweet omelette, looked up Hobart Chic's link. Mmm.

Hobart Chic, thanks for that. No avocado lovers here, but we do make egg pancakes - never thought to put them in sushi. Brilliant! Although Posy's school is nut-and-egg-free, at least Rosy could take them, and that is what is great about sushi, you can tailor each one to individual tastes.
Hobart Chic said…
Well, I can't afford to be much of an avocado lover. Every time I see the price, I buy something else.

I didn't know that schools go egg free as well, I would have thought the allergy risk would be negligible compare with nuts, but I know some people get very sick so it's best to err on the cautious side.

Oh yes, egg omelettes for sushi(or fried rice) are easy and yummy. They are filling and a particular favourite of mine.

Good luck with it all.
Jo said…
Thanks Hobart Chic - I must say it puts a spanner in the gluten free lunches to go egg-free as well! Luckily we can still use eggs in baking, just not have 'naked eggs' like the omelette or boiled eggs etc. I hear you on the price of avocados - and mangoes - and any other tropical fruits bar bananas right now:( Lucky we still have fabulous apples and pears..

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