What does one do when one has a spare Sunday? One goes off to learn how to make sushi, of course!
Sushi is that fashionable food from Japan, renowned for its use of raw fish, but the main ingredient is rice. Not just any old rice, a special Japanese short grain rice that contains a lot more starch than other varieties.
We travelled to the Park Street Cafe in Bristol to join with others, in a class being taught by Sushi Chef, Kiyoko Hay of Your Sushi, a company specialising in the training of sushi making.
We started with a demonstration of how to cook the rice and prepare it for sushi. This rice is really something special. If you need an adhesive, this stuff is all you need. You could stick the Solvite man to a jumbo jet with it!
Our first roll was hosomaki – thin rolls. Using half a sheet of nori (seaweed) and a thin covering of rice, only one or two fillings are used. Next we moved on to futomaki – fat rolls. For these a full sheet of nori is used, and there is room for more filling. This is when the raw fish, meat or perhaps avocado go in. Watch the avocado, it has a mind of its own.
Kiyoko told us about the European rules and regulations covering the use of raw fish, and as long as they are followed there is no risk involved in eating them. If in doubt, Scottish salmon is always a good bet.
Our next challenge was uramaki, the famous inside-out roll, with the nori on the inside surrounding the filling, and the rice on the outside. This was a little more difficult, but we managed. The uramaki relies on the amazing adhesion of the rice to hang on to the outside.
Before we moved on to nigirizushi (blocks of rice draped with a thin slice of neta (fish or meat) draped over it) Kiyoko showed us the art of sashimi, slicing the meat very thin for decorating the nigiri. The knife she used was impressively sharp, and long enough to make the slice in one movement. Your average Samurai would have been impressed.
Our last item was temaki, a hand rolled cone of nori which has to be eaten soon after being made, because the nori soon looses its crispness and becomes difficult to hold. That’s why there is none in the picture.
After a short history of sushi and its origins, we packed our makings and headed for home. No stopping on the M4 services for a cardboard burger for us – we had fresh sushi on board.
Do you fancy learning how to make proper sushi? Check out Your Sushi, we had a great time, learned a lot and can spot good sushi when we see it.