For every picnic, every class trip, every water park day, and every opportunity for packed lunch, I asked my mom for sushi. Little did I know then that the “sushi” my mom made for me is not what most would call sushi. When we think of sushi and maki rolls, we usually think of the Japanese kind or the Americanized-Japanese kind. Well, the Koreans and Chinese make sushi rolls as well, mostly without the use of raw fish. These rolls are stuffed with raw or cooked vegetables, sometimes egg, sometimes pickles.

My mom decided to make her own version for me and my brother (this is a Kelly Lee original), one with ingredients that would be safe in room temperature and carried off to school or the park. It’s easily packable finger food with the perfect balance of sweet and salty: pork floss, jang gua (Chinese pickles), and fried gluten. We loved it so much that we begged her to make these rolls constantly, and then of course our cousins tried it, our friends tried it, and all the kids would scream for it. Sometimes my mom would have to make these continuously all day as we played.

Sushi for kids

My poor mom couldn’t keep up with how fast we ate them. I remember being so impatient that I wouldn’t even wait for her to slice the roll into pieces. I’d just grab (steal when she wasn’t looking) the whole roll and chew on it like an edible baton. I call them Kids Sushi Rolls because I couldn’t think of a food I liked more between the age of 5 and 12, including ice cream. However, when I introduced these rolls to Lon, he found them pretty addictive as well, so adults are not immune.

6 pieces Sushi Roll 3

All of the ingredients can be found at Chinese supermarkets. Pork floss (also labeled as pork sung) is fried and dried meat. It sounds weird and looks like carpet but sprinkle some on rice and you’ll fall in love instantly. The Chinese pickled cucumbers called Jang Gua are sold in glass jars in a dark liquid and come in different shapes. They can slice them in rounds, leave them whole, or cut them in strips. You want the strips. The fried gluten comes in cans and you want to make sure to buy plain, and not the one with mushrooms.

sushi line-up 4

Kids Sushi Rolls
~makes 6 rolls/60 pieces

Instructions -

1. Cook rice in a rice cooker/pressure cooker. When it is done, allow to rest in warm setting for 30 minutes.

2. While rice is resting, assemble the needed ingredients and tools. Have pork floss ready. You need to drain the jan gua and fried gluten. Take out seaweed sheets, a sushi rolling mat, and an extra chopstick.

can of fried gluten fried gluten and jang gua 2

3. When the rice is ready (still warm), place one seaweed sheet lengthwise, on the rolling mat. Spread 1/2 cup of rice on the bottom half, extending just a little past the half-way line. Try to make it as even as possible.

rice layer

4. Spread 1/4 cup of pork floss on a strip across the rice, leaving room on each side.

rice and pork floss layer

5. Lay a line of fried gluten and a line of jan gua. Some pieces of fried gluten may be much bigger and you can rip those pieces.

sushi filling 2

6. Place the chopstick across the center and roll the sushi up tightly. Hold the roll with one hand while pulling the chopstick out with the other. Set finished roll aside.

rolled with chopstick rolled with chopstick 3

7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 to complete 5 more rolls. They can be covered in plastic wrap until ready to serve, but serve the same day.

sushi rolls whole 2

When ready to serve, cut each roll into 10 pieces.

domino sushi pieces

posted by jessica at 10:42 AM Filed under Chinese, Inventive, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.