Making meals fun

Photos: Jonno Clench.
Photos: Jonno Clench.

Phoebe Churcher.
Phoebe Churcher.
Today’s Cooking 101 is brought to you by Phoebe Churcher, a third-year bachelor of culinary arts student at Otago Polytechnic.

We all know the struggle of trying to feed our children meals that they will enjoy without making us cringe at low nutritional value, but here's the solution - tell them they are having donuts for dinner and I guarantee there will not be any complaints.

By combining classic sushi ingredients with the Instagram trend of sushi doughnuts you can now keep the family happy with this simple meal.

In recent years, Japanese food has become a favourite within New Zealand households, with sushi becoming one of our most popular convenience foods.

This recipe uses basic sushi ingredients alongside a nutritious daikon radish.

However, feel free to mix and match your toppings to ensure all of the family needs are meet.

For those who are more nutritionally aware, swap our sushi rice for short grain brown rice.


Photo: Jonno Clench.
Photo: Jonno Clench.
Sushi donuts


Sushi rice
1 cup sushi rice
1½ cups water
2 Tbsp sushi seasoning

Sushi toppings
1 small carrot
½ red capsicum
¼ cucumber
¼ daikon radish
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
1 small chicken breast
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
4 Tbsp Japanese mayonnaise (available from the international section in most supermarkets)

To serve
soy sauce

Rinse the rice in a strainer or colander until the water runs clear. Combine with water in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Rice should be tender and water should be absorbed. Cool until cold enough to handle.

Stir the sushi seasoning into the cooked rice. When you pour this into the rice, it will seem very wet. Keep stirring and the rice will dry as it cools.

Place sushi rice on a large plate or chopping board to cool. Set aside. Peel the carrot, daikon and cucumber. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin strips from the cucumber and capsicum. Slice thin pieces off the daikon and carrot, and simmer in a small pot of water until tender.

On a separate chopping board, take your chicken breast and, using a sharp knife, slice as thinly as you can. The thinner it is, the easier it will be to place on your sushi donuts.

In a small non-stick pan, place the chicken and the teriyaki sauce. Slowly bring up the heat, making sure the pan doesn't become to dry (add a little water if it starts sticking). After no more the five minutes, the chicken should be cooked. If unsure, cut open a piece to check.

To make the rice doughnut
Take a handful of the cooled rice and place on a large piece of cling film. Press the rice down so that it sticks together.

Wrap the rice, then flatten into a small disc. Make sure it is firmly pressed together so that when you unwrap it, it does not fall apart. Continue to make ''rice patties'' until you have used all the rice.

Take a small round cookie cutter and press in the centre of the patty and remove. Using wet hands, round the inside edges of the doughnut.

Take all your prepared vegetables and chicken and add to the top of your doughnut. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and place some of the Japanese mayonnaise on the doughnut.

Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

What is it?: Daikon raddish is a long white radish, milder in flavour than small round or oval radishes and it can be eaten simmered, stir-fried, grated, pickled or baked. Its leaves are also edible.

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