I am a little bit surprised how many kids like sushi - I'm not sure mini-me would have been a fan. I see tots packing it in their school lunches, grabbing the house made packages at the grocery store and hitting up the all-you-can-eat Sushi spots. It's fun to make sushi at home, but California Rolls, especially the inside-out kind (my daughter's favourite) can be a little finicky and time consuming. Enter the sushi salad – think of it as a big bowlful of deconstructed California Rolls. It’s easy to prepare and really delicious, especially when you swap the chopsticks for crispy baked wonton scooper-uppers.
1 package of wonton or egg roll wrappers (in the produce section at most grocery stores)
2/3 cup Calrose rice
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp wasabi powder
2 tsp hot water
1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ginger juice (from jar of pickled ginger)
2 sheets nori (toasted seaweed) cut into ½” by 1” strips
2 tsp finely chopped pickled ginger
1 green onion, diced
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 large seedless cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced
½ ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
2 sticks surimi (mock crab meat), thinly sliced (optional)
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
Make wonton crisps up to a week ahead. Start by preheating oven to 375F.
Cut 3 inch wonton wrappers into halves on the diagonal (creating two triangles out of each square wrapper). If using the larger 6 inch egg roll wrappers, cut them into eighths on the diagonal.
Brush two baking sheets lightly with oil then lay out triangles of dough in a single layer.
Flip the wonton triangles over so both sides get a light coating of oil.
Bake for 5 – 7 minutes until golden and crispy. Watch them closely during the last few minutes of baking so they don’t overcook.
Remove from oven and place crisps on a wire rack to cool, then store in an airtight container.
Rinse rice and place in saucepan with 1 1/3 cups water.
Cover; bring to boil; simmer on lowest heat for 20 minutes.
While rice is cooking, put rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a glass measure or bowl and bring to a boil in the microwave, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
Transfer cooked rice to a shallow, large serving bowl and stir in vinegar mixture; stir often while cooling.
While rice is cooling, prepare all the toppings.
For dressing, in a small jar with a tight lid, mix wasabi powder into hot water, then add cold water, soy sauce, and ginger juice. Cover and shake to blend well.
When rice is at room temperature, add all the prepared salad toppings except the sesame seeds and toss to combine well.
If not serving immediately, refrigerate the salad.
When ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad, using enough to add flavour but not too much so the salad doesn’t get soggy. Toss gently.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with wonton crisps.
Serves 6 – 8