Momma Told Me: A Fresh Take On Sushi- A Family Friendly Chili Lime Chicken Sushi Recipe!

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Fresh Take On Sushi- A Family Friendly Chili Lime Chicken Sushi Recipe!

Chili Lime Chicken Sushi
Momma Told Me: You never know, until you try it!

As angelic as I like to believe I was, Momma and Pop recount my childhood with a different style of reverence. Momma was a fairly good home chef with a fresh take, whether she was baking from a package, or scratch; but I was also a pretty stubborn palette. Once I had has something in a category, and decided I didn't care for it, the entire category was then off limits in my mind. The biggest example, in this case, being fish. Pop loved a heaping pile of freshly fried fish sticks (the kind you get from a jumbo bag in the freezer at your local grocer); unfortunately  the greasy 'fish' smell, paired with the chunky mayonnaise-like tartar sauce had my mouth saying 'no' long before my first bite. I sat at that table, the first night those fish sticks appeared on my plate, and refused to take a single bite. My resolve lasted long after the table was cleared and my, now cold, plate remained in front of me. Scrunched nose, I was promised I wouldn't be grounded if I ate one, single, bite. I did, and that was the last time 'fish' touched my lips for several years. Oh, the many hungry nights I spent skipping dinner!
Kraft Fresh Take
Chili Lime Panko Fresh Take
Some parents have the gift of patience. Instead of having an 'all or nothing' mentality, or simply making an entirely different meal each time they want to eat something their child doesn't, they find creative ways to introduce new food. I have a girlfriend who will tell her 10, 8, and 3 year old children to simply eat a bite of something, without any introduction. She aims to get the food in their mouths before explaining what it is, so their first impression is of taste, not title or contents. This sneaky chef approach drives her fiance mad, since he considers it 'tricking' the kids. I see both sides of the line, but I've found this tactic can be similarly applied to adults as well as kids. You don't have to reinvent an entirely new recipe to get your family and guests to try new cuisine. My secret? I rely on easy dinner and meal aids such as Kraft Fresh Take.
Chicken Sushi Ingredients
Kraft Fresh Take Chicken
Kraft Fresh take comes in 9 unique varieties ranging from Spicy Chipotle Cheddar to Rosemary and Roasted Garlic, and essentially consists of a bread crumb and Kraft shredded cheese mix. I first discovered #FreshTake when it launched, and was lucky enough to get a sneak peek as one of their first demographics. In the beginning my endeavors consisted of hymning and hawing over how easy it was to toss any protein in the snap seal pouch, shake, and toss on a baking sheet. Not only did these unique coatings offer a lot of bold flavor, but a wonderful crunchy texture our family instantly loved. For months I used Fresh Take as a meal aid for busy nights when I'd forgotten I had pork chops in the bottom drawer, or didn't have the time to cook from scratch. Then I discovered that there were recipe ideas on the inside of the packaging, as well as an entire collection of meal and snack ideas on the Kraft Fresh Take website.
Chicken Sushi at home
Kraft Fresh Take Chili Lime Panko Chicken
I began to feel a little more empowered. As Kraft released more and more new flavors like Cheddar Jack and Bacon, or Smokey Mesquite BBQ, I found new ways to cook with Fresh Take. I tried new proteins, I whipped up a delicious omelet, some Chipotle deviled eggs; and I kept a stockpile of Fresh Take varieties in my fridge at all times. When the Chili Lime and Panko Fresh Take came to a Walmart near us (see more in my Google+ here), I knew my first taste deserved something special. Inspired by the 'Panko' bread crumb base, which called to my tastes for fine Japanese cuisine, I told Jay adamantly, "I'm going to make sushi!" With a furrowed brow he looked at me confused, as I continued, "And, even better, I'm going to make it without fish!" We both love sushi, but I'd never trust my culinary knowledge, or knife skills to raw fish, so this seemed like a reasonable compromise.
Chicken Sushi Roll
Chili Lime Chicken Sushi
As it turned out, a new printable coupon had just been released on the Walmart website for $.99/1 bag of Kraft Fresh Take. When I arrived at my local store I was tickled to find the everyday low price cheaper than my usual grocer, and snagged two bags for less than $1 each! When I got home I pulled out the ingredients I'd had on standby, since I received a sushi kit years back as a gift, and went to work at my first attempt at home made sushi. (Yes, this was my very first attempt- so, if I can do it, so can you!) I added a little Sriracha sauce to a whipped raw egg and rolled my thin cut chicken strips in it, before dunking 2-3 pieces in my Fresh take bag and shaking vigorously. I'd then carefully lay each piece on a pre-greased cookie sheet and allow them to cook while I made the fresh Sushi Rice, tossed in rice vinegar (for flavor).

Honestly, the entire process was more than easy- it was fun. I enjoyed carefully slicing my chosen roll ingredients (fresh cucumber and avocado), and the challenge of working with sticky rice. I loved the color and texture my Fresh take coated strips added to the roll, and even scraped the baked 'crust' off the cookie sheet as a 'crunchy roll topping.' But most importantly, I truly felt a sense of pride when I was done. I'm not sure why I'd envisioned my first sushi roll coming out melted and mis-shapen, but the end result was quite contrary. Not only does is Chili Lime Chicken Sushi recipe easy enough for a novice chef to tackle, but the compliments at any Fall football game, or even from a picky young eater, are sure to be worth their weight in gold. I'm off to pat myself on the back!

What Daughter Says: See food differently and experience a Fresh Take when you reinvent classic cuisine with new flavors!

Chicken Sushi
Chili Lime Chicken Sushi
***Click here for printable chicken sushi recipe.


*1 Package Kraft #FreshTake Chili LimiePanko
*1 C Sushi Rice
*4 Chicken Tenderloins, cut into strips lengthwise
*2 TBS Sriracha Sauce, or chili sauce of choice
*1/3 C Rice Vinegar
*1 Egg, beaten
*3 Nori Sheets (this is your 'seaweed')
*1/2 Medium Avocado, thinly sliced
*1/2 Cucumber, cut into thin strips about 5-6" long


1.) Make Sushi Rice: Rinse and drain rice 3 times, or until water runs clear. Place rice in colander and allow to drain 10 mins. Place rice and 1C water in small saucepan over medium heat. Cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 12 mins, or until warm water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, allow to stand, covered, 10 MINS. A rice cooker may be used, to device directions, if desired. 

2.) Transfer rice to a large bowl (ceramic preferred). Gently toss rice venegar in sushi rice, with wooden spoon. Pay attention to coat the rice without crushing it, while gently breaking up large clumps. This process should also introduce air, and allow the rice to cool.

3.) Depending on your knife work with the raw chicken, you may desire to cut the 'strips' in half, lengthwise, once more after cooking. Ensure chicken has cooled entirely prior to building roll.

4.) Place 1 Nori Sheet, shiny side down, at the edge of your sushi mat, closest to you. Leaving a 1" gap at the end of Nori furthest from you, spread 1/4 rice mixture over Nori using damp fingers. I like to keep a little cup of water by my side to dip my fingers in as I work. Be careful not to drip water on the Nori, or it will wrinkle and curl. Spread rice as far out to all 3 edges, as possible, while leaving 1" gap at the top. Next, arrange strips of Chicken, Avocado, and Cucumber next to each other in the center of the rice. Add a squirt of hot mayo if desired.

5.) Using mat, and beginning at end closest to you, roll firmly away from you, careful to life the bamboo mat to avoid rolling it into the sushi. Lightly dampen the exposed Nori and press against the side of the roll roll seal. Slice with a very sharp knife, or use a damp blade to prevent sticking. Serve alongside wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger!



  2. That is so creative! I never even occurred to me that you could actually make your own sushi roles. I love it!

  3. That's really neat. I wouldn't want to eat real sushi but that looks good.

  4. That looks delicious - I can imagine how yummy it is with the crunchy chicken and the creamy avocado. What a brilliant way to use the product.

  5. This is too clever and perfect for me since I don't eat regular sushi.

    april yedinak

  6. Wow...your attention to detail, creativity and food porn never ceases to amaze me.

  7. Your chicken sushi looks delicious

  8. That is amazing! I've never tried sushi but your version looks delicious!

  9. I am so glad you wrote about this and shared it. I am going to look for this Kraft Fresh Take brand and give this a try.

  10. I have not been able to find these from Kraft yet, but I keep looking, I probably don't know what section of the store to look in. I think you version of sushi looks good and I like you don't like this would be a cool answer.

  11. Ok, I hate sushi and I'm drooling over your post! Seriously that is how awesome it looks!!!

    I'm a huge fan of Kraft Fresh Take! The husband is a Huge fan of Sushi. I think we need to combine forces and make this! Yum.

  12. I am not sure that my entire family would like these, but I certainly would. I am totally saving this for the future on pinterest.

  13. I don't eat real sushi because I do not like fish, but I do eat veggie sushi and this chicken terraki kind my local place makes. This one looks so good too.

  14. I've never had sushi, but chicken looks a whole lot better than the fish.

  15. What a clever idea! My family loves sushi, I must try this. :) Fresh Take has so many flavors that we could have different sushi every night for over a week!

  16. I don't care for real sushi, but this loooks like a great sub. Very creative!

  17. This looks delicious~! Why can't I find the Fresh Take around here??? I am so frustrated. The "supermarkets" here are little more than corner groceries and half the stock is expired. AAARRRRGgghhhhhhh!!!!!

  18. I love sushi! This is such a cool idea for kids (and adults) who are a little squeamish about trying sushi.

  19. we always use freshtake the kids love it, and this looks great i could never get my kids to try sushi they would definitley like this recipe though

  20. I was so scared this was going to be raw meat, but that looks yummy!

  21. I never tried Kraft Fresh as of yet. It looks like a convenient and delicious product and this recipe and the photos are wonderful. I would enjoy it.
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