I’m so obsessed with Sushi and all these Japanese, I might as well have been born Japanese. In an effort to share that love with my picky eating daughter, we were lucky enough to attend Mái Cuisine’s Parent & Child Sushi Class. A hidden gem in the craziness of 42nd Street, Mái Cuisine sits on a quiet block, amongst other Japanese outlets, a mini-japan town some might say. They offer a sit-down restaurant and a grab-and-go Deli section.
I for one know that sushi isn’t for everyone. Heck as a child I thought it was plain gross! But the know-it-all in me just knows that if my child gave it a try…just once… she’d be hooked. My daughter, my mini-me, also inherited my skepticism. If there’s anyway to get your child to eat something new though, having them make it always works. Chef Miki was on hand to show us simple, fun techniques for making our own all-natural, delicious sushi rolls from scratch. Ava declared love the minute Chef Miki made a piece of sushi in the shape of a butterfly.
Ava had such a blast, in no time she was making sushi like a pro. Ever so mischievously, she must have thought I was crazy that day as she was actually allowed to play with food — GASP! As expected Ava’s favorite is the Inari-Zushi. It’s sweet and light. A perfect introductory to Japanese food for your little one. We found ourselves eating them as fast as we were making them. At one point Ava had the little beggar girl routine down pat as she went table to table in search of another sweet fried tofu pouch to feed her habit. It was a struggle to get her to save just one for her father.
Ingredients: 1/2 handful of vinegared rice, 1 tsp of sesame seeds, 2 inari pouches.
- Squeeze excess water out of inari pouch (over a sink). Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the rice.
- Open the inari pouch and hold it in one hand. holding the rice in your other hand.
- stuff the rice inside the pouch carefully.
- gently press the rice into the pouch, avoiding air pockets so the rice doesn’t come unstuck and fall out.
- flip the pouch over and gently shape the pouch into a cylinder using your fingers to check that it is tight.
- arrange any way you like on a plate and garnish with ginger (gari) if you’d like.
Mái Cuisine is located at 16 East 41st Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue. They are open for lunch Monday to Friday from 11:30 – 2:30pm and dinner from 5:30 to 9pm. Stop by and try some of their signature dishes like mouth-watering miso-marinated cream cheese, prosciutto box-sushi, matcha sweet dumpling in mango coconut soy milk and much much more — yum!