I’ve been known to make sushi at home on occasion but, given how affordable it is here in Japan, I’ve gotten too used to having others do all the work while I, ahem, eat the spoils. 🙂
But when a friend of mine arranged a group cooking class at Arigato Japan this past weekend, I jumped at the chance to learn just how to make those gorgeous patterned sushi rolls I’d been seeing all over the internet.
Turns out, I had the chance to learn a lot more in our two-hour experience. Anne, the owner, welcomed us to the class and turned us over to the capable hands of Shirley, our American-born Japanese instructor. Shirley gave us a brief history of sushi before she and Anne helped us to prep the rice. Sushi rice may require more than you think – kombu (seaweed) and rice vinegar are two surprise ingredients.
Under Anne and Shirley’s tutelage, we prepared three different types of sushi:
- Temarizushi – Small, bite-sized rice balls topped with fresh ingredients like salmon, tuna, egg or shrimp, along with a plethora of garnish options (shiso leaves, micro greens, miso, yuzukosho, salmon roe, egg strips, cucumbers)
- Patterned sushi – Those cool-looking sushi rolls with designs in the middle. We made ours with huge flower design.
- Oshizushi – Sushi made by layering rice and various ingredients (ours had scrambled egg, smoked salmon, avocado and sesame seed) in a narrow wooden box, before cutting it using the slats provided and pushing the molded sushi out.
The patterned sushi was a bit time-consuming but not particularly difficult The other two, however … let’s just say, I know exactly what I’ll be serving at my next get-together! Both the temarizushi and oshizushi were incredibly easy to make. While you need a mold to make oshizushi, you can whip up temari with simple plastic wrap. But all three were delicious and more than filled us up. We were also served a small plate of three “appetizers” (goya tuna salad and whipped kabotcha puree were my two faves) and a bowl of suimono (clear soup).
Arigato Japan’s cooking studio is incredibly convenient and easy to find. It’s located less than a minute’s walk from Exit 1 of the Azabu Juban metro station, on the 5th floor of the K&S building. You can check out Arigato Japan’s cooking classes and food tours at their website.