One of my first memories in the Kitchen was watching my Mom cook. I can recall asking her if I could help her. Whether it be just to stir a sauce, chop an onion or peel a carrot. The answer was usually that we should “just watch”. As you know, “watching” isn’t half as interesting as “doing” which is why we really didn’t develop that interest in cooking until much later on.
The latest range of Junior MasterChef products is a great way to encourage children to get interested in cooking at an early age. When Kath from Be.Interactive and Fiona from Mark Communications offered that I test drive one of the kits available, I immediately jumped at the chance and asked for the Rice Kit. Being Filipino, rice is very much considered a staple in our culture, as well as most Asian cultures. I am glad that the new range also catered to all those that love rice!!
The Rice Kit contains a microwaveable rice cooker, rice bowl, serving spoon, chopsticks, measuring cup and recipe cards. I thought that it would be fun to get my nephew Ben and one of his best friend’s Jack to come over this weekend and road test the rice kit and have a sushi party! The idea was to make the rice ahead of time and provide the boys with a selection of sushi fillings and get them to make their own rolls.
I was a bit apprehensive to use the microwave to make “sushi” rice but I am happy to report it turned out fine. The technique I used to microwave the rice can be found here. The recipe for the sushi dressing for the rice was given to me by Jack’s Mom (who is Japanese) and it was so simple to prepare and came out perfect – just like what I would have in any top Japanese restaurant.
- 3 1/2 cups short grain rice, washed
- 4 cups water
- 3 inch square konbu (optional)
Vinegar Dressing Recipe
- 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
When cooking the rice in the microwave, place the konbu on top of the rice. Prepare the vinegar dressing by dissolving the sugar and salt on the rice vinegar over low heat. Force cool to room temperature by pouring the hot vinegar mixture over the rice and place this on top of another bowl of water and ice. Twirl the rice using the serving spoon provided until the rice comes to room temperature.
The fillings we used for the rolls were as follows – seaweed, salmon roe, tuna, king fish, salmon, cucumbers, prawns, tamago yaki (egg) and crab sticks.
Recipe Tamago Yaki
Put two five year olds in a room with some sushi rice, sushi roll fillings and a little bit of imagination and you get loads of fun !! I asked Ben what the best part of the sushi party was and he said “putting fillings in the rice and rolling them up!” Would he want to do it again? “Yes please!” he said.
The Junior MasterChef kits are available to purchase from here. They are also available at all the leading retailers such as Myer, K-Mart, Target and Big W. It’s the perfect Christmas present so hurry while stocks last.