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Humanistic Culture , Env. Protection

The Enticing Sushi from the Fridge

A creative cooking competition involving parents and children was held at Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre on April 17, 2021, to promote vegetarianism.

Under the guidance of their father, the children make their sushi zealously. (Photo by Lim Pei Chin)

Many people have already tried making sushi with Jing Si instant rice, which can be conveniently and instantly cooked with only hot water. But if such sushi is made by parents and children, what creativity would it unleash?

On this day, the coffee tables at Jing Si Books & Café (Yishun) were filled with Jing Si instant rice, seaweed, beancurd skin, vegetarian salmon, cucumber, etc. The ingredients alone were very tempting, fresh and vibrant. Parents and children were exuberant and enthusiastic with some saying, "Do you want a Mickey Mouse sushi? Shall daddy do it with you?" "Let’s cut this first, and then cut the long sushi..."

In response to Earth Day which falls on April 22 each year, Jing Si Books & Café (Yishun) and Tzu Chi Teachers' Association organised the "Parent-Child Creative Vegetarian Cuisine Competition" on April 17, 2021 to promote vegetarianism. At the same time, this event also aimed to publicise the convenience and nutritional values of Jing Si instant rice. Six families had participated in this event. From their smiling faces and the convivial atmosphere, we could feel their ardour and eagerness.

Adeline Chua, the emcee of the event, is from Parent-Child Bonding Class. At the opening speech, she said, “For every 15 vegetarian meals we consume (equivalent to the reduction of 12 kilograms of carbon emissions), it is equivalent to us planting a tree!” Since the main ingredient of this competition is Jing Si instant rice, youth volunteer Lee Tong from Tzu Chi Teenagers' Class (also known as Tzu Shao), also explained to everyone the origin and significance played by Jing Si instant rice in international disaster relief.

Lee Tong, a young volunteer introduces the origin of Jing Si instant rice and calls on everyone to support vegetarian cuisine to reduce carbon emission and promote health. (Photo by Lim Pei Chin)

Professional western chef, Joyce Goh (left) demonstrates how to use Jing Si instant rice to make delicious sushi. (Photo by Woh Ah Thiam)

Before the start of the competition, professional western chef cum Tzu Chi committee member, Joyce Goh first demonstrated how to make appetizing sushi with Jing Si instant rice. Joyce believes that sushi is best suited for clearing food in the fridge because any ingredient can be added to sushi. The making process is also simple and quick. More importantly, it is easy for children to join in, fostering intergenerational interaction. During the demonstration, Joyce also explained the scoring criteria, which is creativity, quality of the sushi and the interaction among family members.

Next, the interesting session began. The six families could not wait to start as they looked at the ingredients on their table. The atmosphere became lively very quickly, with the various discussions turning into an orchestra of exchanges, sounds and sights of adults and children making sushi. Among the guiding hands of the parents, some cheeky children lost interest but with patience from their parents, they managed to complete their sushi. After half an hour, the completed pieces were placed on the table for Joyce to judge.

(Photo by Lim Pei Ting)

Among the participants was a couple, Lee Chee Hong and Tay Hui San who came with their daughter. Both parents opined that such activity is unique and they wanted to make use of this opportunity to educate their daughter about the importance of carrying things through to the end. They said that during the competition, their daughter was very participative and provided many ideas while most of the hands-on work was done by the parents. Madam Tay also hoped to learn more varieties of vegetarian food preparation through this competition to have more balanced nutrition. Her daughter has been a vegetarian since young. Although the rest of the family are not vegetarians, she is willing to deliberately prepare vegetarian food for the child. At the same time, the family will slowly progress to become vegetarians.

Wang Lai Leng said that the main reason for being a vegetarian is that she loves nature and believes that all beings are equal, and one should not harm other animals to satisfy ones’ craving for meat. (Photo by Woh Ah Thiam)

Another mother, Wong Lai Leng came with her daughter. Initially, the daughter was shy and did not dare to express her opinion. However, the young girl gradually became more engaged and involved after a while. Her daughter also understands that being vegetarian can save planet Earth. The mother and daughter have been vegetarians for four years and feel very healthy. Madam Wong said that she became a vegetarian because she loves nature. Moreover, she believes that all beings are equal and one should not harm other animals to satisfy ones’ craving for meat. “Time does not wait for one to become a vegetarian. And do not hold on to a later time. The real fact is that it is not difficult to be a vegetarian, it just requires determination.”

Before the event ended, members of Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) presented the Tzu Chi song titled "Love and Care" using sign language. At this time, every child calmed down and watched, and the scene was calm yet enthralling. After the announcement of the results, the emcee concluded that the objectives of the cooking competition are to advocate vegetarianism and ­to save planet Earth. Therefore, everyone is a champion of the competition because everyone is a vegetarian hero!

(Photo by Lim Pei Ting)

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