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September 25, 2016 / mintcustard

Making simple sushi for lunch and a panda onigiri just for fun.


Home made sushi and panda onigiri.

Taking a packed lunch to work everyday has many benefits. It’s cheap, it’s customised exactly to your tastes and in my case means I have to take a break to eat it. The downside is that every evening (or morning if I’m not organised) I have to ring the changes.

One way I have managed this is by making my own sushi. It might not be as beautiful as those you can buy but it doesn’t fall apart. Made with fillings that I enjoy, eaten with chopsticks and drizzled with a little soy sauce, sushi is my ideal lunch.


Lunch box filled with sushi.

You could go to a class to learn how to make sushi or you can learn very easily by watching videos on YouTube.

It took me a little while to get the rice right. Sushi rice needs to be washed, washed and washed again until the water runs clear. I didn’t do this as thoroughly as I should have to begin with and this was my downfall. I use a rice cooker but the same applies if steamed in a pan. Once cooked the sushi rice needs to be dressed. The amount of dressing below is for the rice that is made from one cup of uncooked sushi rice.

Sushi su

4 dsp rice wine vinegar

2 dsp sugar

1 dsp mirin

  • Mix the three ingredients together and warm in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Stir gently into the warm rice and stir once to combine.

One cup of uncooked sushi rice is sufficient to cover two whole sheets of nori, making two sets of sushi rolls. Favourite fillings here are salmon, tuna, avocado, cucumber, peppers and sesame seeds. Wasabi is as addictive as chilli so you must add a little, or in my case, a lot. Covering your sushi mat with a tight wrap of cling film prevent the sesame seeds from getting trapped in the bamboo slats.


Panda onigiri kit. Rice ball press and nori shape cutter.

Once I had mastered sushi rolls then my googling and trawling of YouTube led me to make nigiri (small blocks of rice with fish or vegetables on top) and rather splendidly onigiri. The only person I have to please with my bento box is me but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a little fun. You can buy sets to make shaped rice balls and with the cutters supplied you can add features to make pandas, cats and even Hello Kitty characters. Well, it has to be done.

Add to your lunch box a small pot of soy sauce, some pickled ginger and pair of chopsticks and sushi is a brilliant addition to your lunch box repertoire.

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