In this week's Sparkle Sleepytime story, “Johnny Shark”, Johnny loves to explore with his family. His aunts and uncles often take him on adventures to see beautiful coral or deep caves or gardens of seaweed. And then, one day Johnny's uncle takes him to see a shipwreck, and Johnny gets to do some exploring all on his own.
I've only been snorkeling a few times, but I'm always amazed at how being under the ocean is almost like being on a different planet. The water swooshing past your ears, the alien looking fish and sea turtles, the seaweed undulating to its own underwater breeze — it makes it hard not to wish for gills and a mermaid tail so that you can explore more.
In a nod to that beautiful ocean world, this week's recipe comes wrapped in seaweed, or — as it's more commonly called in cooking—nori.
Nori is made by chopping seaweed very finely, mixing it with water, and lifting the resulting slurry out onto a bamboo mat to dry. If you've ever made paper, the process is quite similar.
While making proper sushi rolls with nori takes a bit of specialist equipment, you can make more casual nori hand rolls with nothing but, well, your own two hands!
What's more, because you can customize the fillings to individual tastes, nori hand rolls make a perfect build-your-own dinner. Just set out the ingredients, and let everyone put in what they like.
The recipe below contains all of the building blocks for a good nori hand roll—something sauce-like, a grain, a protein, and lots of fresh veggies—but feel free to substitute the specific ingredients for what you have on hand. Mashed avocado makes a great “sauce”, firm tofu or smoked salmon will work as a protein, and so forth.
Have fun exploring the world of nori hand rolls!
Nori Hand Rolls
One package pre-toasted nori sheets (about 10 sheets)
1 cup hummus
2 cups pre-cooked quinoa
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
3-4 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 cup sprouts or micro-greens
3 eggs, scrambled and cut into thin strips
⅓ cup sesame seeds, for serving
soy sauce, for serving
Cut all of the nori sheets in half, so that each square becomes two triangles. Prepare your workspace with a small bowl of water to dip your fingers into
Then, working with one triangle of nori at a time, slather a thin line of hummus just to the left or right of the center of the triangle. Layer the rest of the ingredients — a little quinoa, a few cucumber and carrot matchsticks, a few egg strips, a pinch of sprouts—being careful to resist the temptation to overstuff the roll.
Working from the side your ingredients are on, roll the nori into a cone shape and use your dampened fingers to help seal the final edge of the cone to itself.
Continue in this manner until you have enough rolls to feed your crew, then serve them up immediately with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a dash of soy sauce.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.