Ultimate Lunchbox

Learn how to make the ultimate lunchbox with Francis the talking dog. The Japanese are known for their amazingly complex lunches, but this step-by-step guide shows you how to create your own ‘bento box’ (Japanese for lunchbox) from scratch.

If you want to add your own sushi to the lunchbox, try this simple recipe. And remember, you can always change the filling to suit your tastes.

Note: Sushi rice, sushi vinegar, seaweed (nori) and bamboo mats can all be found in the Asian section of larger supermarkets, or in smaller Asian foodstores

Basic Sushi Rice

Ingredients (makes 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sushi rice
1/8 cup sushi vinegar

Rinse and drain rice until water runs clear. Place in a strainer and drain for ten minutes. Place rice and 1/2 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover, bring to the boil, then simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until rice has absorbed water. If you can do not lift the lid, as this will give you better results. Remove from heat and allow to stand for ten minutes with the lid on. Transfer rice into a mixing bowl and turn over with a spatula, adding the vinegar slowly. Continue to the turn the rice over, breaking up the lumps, until it is cool.

Basic Sushi Roll

Sushi rice
Nori sheets (seaweed sheets)
1/2 small avocado cut into strips
1/2 red capsicum, cut into strips
1/2 large carrot, cut into strips

Place a nori sheet, shiny side down, on your bamboo sushi mat. Using damp fingers spread 1/2 cup sushi rice over the nori, leaving a thumb-width strip along one of the short edges. Arrange 1/2 filler ingredients over the rice, and using the bamboo sushi mat roll firmly into a cylinder. If the nori won’t stick try running a little water over the exposed edge with your finger, then pressing it closed into a roll. Cut roll into four slices.