Brown basmati or pearl barley: both work as the basis of this kid-friendly Japanese salad pot. It's a very simple, nutritious little salad giving parents a sushi-like fix while getting kids used to the idea of Japanese cooking without any wasabi heat or raw fish.
Makes 4 pots
300g pearl barley or brown basmati rice
2 spring onions
1 pack of hot-smoked salmon
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
sesame seeds, to garnish
Takes 30 minutes
1. Boil the the pearl barley or rice in salted boiling water for 25 minutes, or according to pack instructions. Drain in a sieve and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
2. While the barley or rice is cooking, show the kids how to top and tail the spring onions then slice as thinly as possible. They might find this step easiest using kitchen scissors (watch little fingers).
3. Peel, de-stone and slice the avocado into strips then slice the cucumber into sticks.
4. Get the kids to flake the salmon in a large mixing bowl with a fork (keep some bits of fish chunkier for texture) then stir in the chopped spring onions.
5. Once the barley or rice has cooled down, get them to measure out then mix in the mirin, soy and sesame oil then add to the salmon mix along with the avocado and cucumber.
6. Stir everything together then serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.