Really, maybe the title of this post be: “What Making Sushi Taught Me About Real Life.”
You see, it all started when my friend YK asked if I’d like to learn how to make some Korean dishes. Who would ever say ‘no’ to that!? So YK came over a couple times and shared a few of her favorite dishes and a few that she thought would be easy for us to recreate.
One thing she brought was a fried tofu triangle type thing that you stuff with some seasoned rice. Yum.
We also made some spring rolls. I’m going to give myself a ‘Needs Improvement’ for those.
Next we made Japchae which is a stir fry that combines sweet potato starch noodles with fresh vegetables. Here’s a similar recipe that looks yummy [this is definitely going in the meal plan rotation].
We added a little cucumber to the top of ours for a fresh crunch.
[My husband is reading this over my shoulder as I type and he just asked, “So what did making sushi teach you about real life?” I’m getting there. Work with me. I have a process.]
The next thing we made was sushi. And, you guys, she complimented my rice [insert goofball smile]. Okay so if you’re wiser than me to the ways of the Far Eastern World than you’ll know what I’m talking about is actually Korean Kimbap. It’s seasoned rice and vegetables wrapped in roasted seaweed. There are a lot of add-ins that are off-limits to us because of allergies. But it’s basically a Korean sushi. If you see it on a menu the kim means seaweed and the bap means rice.
[We used cucumbers, carrots, avocado, beef, fresh spinach, and shiitake mushrooms.]
[Got to work on my technique.]
So as YK is showing me all of the ingredients she’s picked out for the kimbap she asks why I’ve never tried to make it myself. I mean, when the kids were diagnosed with allergies we pretty much had to stop eating Asian out because it was too hard to control the cross-contamination. And my answer kind of disappointed me: because I didn’t want to do it wrong.
As someone who has gone from not trying any new recipes to someone relatively fearless in her menu planning, I kind of did a double take [yep, at myself]. If the family likes the way it tastes and it’s healthy for us, what does it matter if it’s a less than traditional? FYI here’s an example of a more involved and traditional kimbap.
So that’s what sushi [now revealed to be kimbap] taught me about cooking. And probably about life. Don’t worry about doing it right. Or doing it like you’re supposed to. Work it out however it’s right for you and your family.
Here’s the best part: they both liked it. Awesome.