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