Friday, March 7, 2014

Healthy, Fun Eats: Homemade Handrolls Recipe

Lil Miss A-chan proudly holding up her Temaki (Japanese for Handroll), filled with very healthy sliced cucumbers, carrots and pan-fried Tilapia fillet.
I love food, and eating healthy to keep fit. I grew up in an Asian family in Honolulu, so we ate tons of fish and rice growing up. The daily challenge of feeding my daughter healthy food everyday is one I know is a universal one, particularly for those on a budget like me ;-). Today I'd like to share one of my $10 dinner recipes that's healthful, kid-approved, and pretty yummy. It's one I grew up with back in Oahu, but very easy to apply anywhere you are in the world.


You'll need

1) ROASTED SEAWEED for wrapping, which is available at most supermarkets in the Asian food section, Costco, or you can find it online. Seaweed should be cut into 4" by 2-3" rectangles. Scissors are the best tool for this.

The Beauty Benefits of eating seaweed are outstanding: it's a great source of zinc and antioxidants helping to strengthen the immune system. It is considered to have anti-aging properties; its rich iodine content helps maintain healthy thyroid function and can assist with weight loss (thumbs up!); it helps boost energy levels due to its vitamin B and iron content; AND seaweed's bounty of vitamins, minerals and amino acids makes it an amazing food for improving the health, as well as the strength of hair, skin and nails. I mean, WOW, right?

Roasted Seaweed: Delicous on its own, and the essential wrapper for Handrolls
2) TILAPIA or any thin white fish fillet. Beauty Benefits of Tilapia: Tilapia has B12 (which gives skin its healthy coloring), selenium (an antioxidant) and phosphorous (helps with cell repair) and I bought 2 pounds of it for $5, which is a good deal, in my opinion.

BUDGET TIP: I optionally chose to beef up my tilapia portions by battering them in a Korean pre-prepared batter called "Jun" and/or Korean Pancake Mix. It is essentially a lightly seasoned egg and flour base that you can easily mix with just water to coat meat or veggies in, then pan-fry them in. It helps to add some bulk to your meat if you need to stretch out your portions, and you want to save some money $. This batter can be purchased at Korean Supermarkets for a couple dollars a bag.

Korean Pancake Mix: "JUN" - use to easily add bulk to your meats and veggies.
3) STEAMED WHITE RICE. I like Nishiki brand; and I would suggest cooking at least 2 cups of it for a family of 3-4.

4) Sliced raw, pickled or steamed VEGGIES of your choosing to put inside the handrolls, e.g. cucumbers, carrots, avocado.

5) SOYSAUCE and wasabi and/or any other sauce or garnish to taste.


1) After slicing the veggies in long, thin strips so they will be easy to roll up in the hand-rolled sushi. You can also slice Japanese style pickles (easily purchsed at any Asian style supermarket).

2) Put your rice  to cook and start on the tilapia.

3) I like tilapia because it's easy to cook and easy for kids to eat -- soft, not so fishy and delicious. And of course, budget friendly. The battering, just involves lightly coating the filets in the "jun" mix and then putting them aside.

The battering, just involves lightly coating the filets in the "jun" mix and then putting them aside.
4) Put a touch of olive oil on a large non-stick skillet on med-high heat. The fish should pan-fry for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. The meat should fork easily when done.

After that the fish was just pan-fried for about 5 minutes on each side on med-high heat with a touch of olive oil on a non-stick pan until golden brown.
6) After cooling the filets off after removing them from the pan, set all the handroll/temaki ingredients, family style on the dining table, with an abundance of seaweed for lots of fun wrapping. Each family member can get a plate and serve what they want to put in their roll.

And let the wrapping feast begin!

A handroll - so delicous, healthful and fun to make.
Enjoy and let me know how your temaki festival goes!


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

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