I consider sushi to be one of the best methods of delivering vegetables into my mouth.
And as a formerly vegetable-averse kid, that carries some weight.
If my family had been making dishes like ATK Kids’ Cucumber-Avocado Maki when I was a kid, I would have been far less reluctant to eat veggies.
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Seasoned sushi rice, crunchy cucumber, and creamy avocado make for a filling and refreshing meal in this recipe from our newest cookbook, Kids Can Cook Anything!
Not only is it delicious, it’s also a fun project to take on with kids—and as we well know at ATK Kids, one of the best ways to get kids to eat vegetables is to involve them in preparing and cooking them.
Maki is just one of many forms that sushi can take. In maki, seasoned rice and nori (a sheet of dried seaweed) are rolled around a filling and then sliced into bite-size pieces. (“Maki” means “roll” in Japanese.) Other types of sushi are rolled into different shapes, or don’t include nori. But I think maki is the most fun to make—especially with family.
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Maki is also supercustomizable; you and your kids can experiment with different veggies, seafood, and more to see what you like best. Have a whole sushi-rolling party! But whatever fillings you choose, make sure you don’t substitute sushi rice for a different kind of rice—its sticky texture is key to sushi that doesn’t fall apart.
Make sure to cook the rice in salted water and stir in unseasoned rice vinegar and sugar once it’s cooked and cooled so that it’s perfectly seasoned when it’s time to roll. A sushi mat works best for rolling maki, but if you don’t have one, parchment paper will work. Read on for our kid-approved filling and rolling method that works perfectly every time.
How to Fill and Shape Maki
1. Place 1 nori sheet, shiny side down, on sushi mat, with longer side parallel to bottom edge of mat.
2. Scoop 1 cup cooked, cooled, and seasoned sushi rice onto nori. Lightly wet your hands and spread rice into even layer, all the way to edges except for 1-inch border at top.
3. Place fillings in line across middle of rice.
4. Use sushi mat to lift and roll bottom edge of nori sheet up and over filling.
5. Gently squeeze and pull mat toward you to tighten.
6. Lift up edge of mat and continue to roll remaining nori and rice into log. Use mat to gently squeeze outside to seal and tighten. Transfer finished maki, seam side down, to cutting board and cut crosswise into 8 equal pieces.
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