Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sushi Making Class

Sushi Class - my spicy tuna roll

Last week, my camp friend, her younger sister and I went to an i wish... lessons' sushi making class at the Hill Center in Eastern Market.  We had bought the class on Living Social months ago, so I had been looking forward to this for a long time!  The class taught basic sushi making technique including how to make 3 rolls - cucumber, California, and spicy tuna.  We made a regular Maki roll as well as an "inside out" Maki roll.

Sushi ClassSushi Class - cucumber rollSushi Class - cucumber roll

Here is what I learned:

When you spread the sushi on the rice, make it a THIN layer, without crushing the grains.  Then you won't overfill your sushi.
Stack your filling only at the bottom of the roll, then roll up around it.
Hold the back of the mat with your thumbs while holding the filling with your fingers until you've gotten over the first roll.  Then pull back the mat while you roll, so it doesn't get wrapped in your maki.

Sushi making takes practice! It's hard to figure out what the right amount of rice and filling is so that you don't over or underfill your roll.

Sushi grade tuna isn't regulated by the FDA like meat.  It means that it was frozen at -31°F to prevent parasites from growing.  It can be purchased at Whole Foods or other high-end markets, and buying it frozen is probably better than "fresh".

Sushi Class - inside out rollSushi Class - california rollSushi ClassSushi ClassSushi ClassSushi Class - ella

We were all quite proud of the skills we developed.  Some of our rolls came out better than others (my California and little sister's Spicy Tuna rolls were a bit of a flop) but I think with practice we could get pretty good at this!  No matter how floppy they looked, they were all super delicious.  Now that I have the basic idea, I want to go to H Mart for the mat and rice and then make some more "American" sushi.  I'm thinking about BBQ pork, mango and kiwi, maybe even chorizo sushi!  So many possibilities!!

If you want to learn how to make sushi, you should check out an i wish... lessons class.  They have classes in DC, Chicago, Boston, and Detroit (which covers about 90% of my friends and likely readers).  It's a bit expensive, but watch for a Living Social or Groupon and it could be as affordable as going out to eat!

Sushi Class - MJ's roll

Sushi Rice
from i wish... lessons


Ingredients
3 c sushi rice, uncooked (you can buy this at an Asian market or most grocery stores)
1/2 c rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
note: instead of the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, you can alternatively buy sushi vinegar at an Asian market

Instructions
1. Wash rice - rinse in cold water repeatedly until the water is nearly clear (it will be very cloudy the first few times).
2. Cook rice according to package instructions (preferably in a rice cooker)
3. Make rice vinegar mixture by mixing salt and sugar into the rice vinegar until fully dissolved.  Add more sugar until you've reached your preferred balance of sweet and tart.
4. Place rice in a large bowl or bin for mixing and slowly pour rice vinegar as evenly as possible over rice surface.
5. Mix rice by tossing and slicing with rice paddle (or spatula).
6. Allow to cool for 20 minutes under moist rags before use.

Sushi Class - cucumber roll

Cucumber Roll
from i wish... lessons

Ingredients
3 cups prepared sushi rice (see above)
3 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
1 cucumber (sliced into strips lengthwise with a julienne cut)

Instructions
1. Prep nori by cutting sheets in half.
2. Place nori half-sheet at the very bottom of the rolling mat and spread a thin layer of sushi rice on top without pressing too hard on the grains.  Only cover 3/4 of the nori, leaving a clean strip along top (side furthest from you).
3. Line a couple of slices of cucumber alone the bottom edge of the nori (only go up about 1/2 inch).
4. Start rolling from the edge closest to you, using the bamboo mat to press the roll together as you go.  Once you have rolled it all the way, wrap the mat around it and give it a squeeze to give it a nice round shape.
5. Move to a cutting board and cut into 6-8 evenly sized pieces (don't cut on the mat!).

Sushi Class - mj's California roll

California Roll
from i wish... lessons

Ingredients
3 cups prepared sushi rice (see above)
3 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
3 crabsticks
1/4 cucumber (sliced into strips lengthwise with a julienne cut)
1/4 avocado (sliced into strip lengthwise with a julienne cut)

Instructions
1. Prep nori by cutting sheets in half.
2. Spread the sushi rice in a thin layer directly on the mat in a square slightly larger than the nori, then place the nori on top.
3. Place cucumber and avocado stacked along the bottom end of the nori (only go up about 1/2 inch). Split the crabstick in half and add on top of the cucumber and avocado. (It will peel apart like string cheese)
4. Start rolling from the edge closest to you using the bamboo mat to press the roll together as you go.  Once you have rolled it all the way, wrap the mat around it and give it a squeeze to give it a nice round shape.
5. Release it from the mat, sprinkle some sesame seeds on your cutting board, and roll the whole roll through the seeds to coat evenly.
6. Move to a cutting board and cut into 6-8 evenly sized pieces (don't cut on the mat!).

Sushi Class - my spicy tuna roll


Spicy Tuna Roll
from i wish... lessons


Ingredients
3 cups prepared sushi rice (see above)
3 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
1/2 lb raw sushi-grade tuna
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce
1/4 cucumber (sliced into strips lengthwise with a julienne cut), optional
1/4 avocado (sliced into strip lengthwise with a julienne cut), optional

Instructions
1. Mix mayo and sriracha in a bowl.  Add more sriracha until reaching your preferred spiciness level.  Chop tuna and mix with spicy mayo.
2. Prep nori by cutting sheets in half.
3. Place nori half-sheet at the very bottom of the rolling mat and spread a thin layer of sushi rice on top without pressing too hard on the grains.  Only cover 3/4 of the nori, leaving a clean strip along top (side furthest from you).
4. Place spicy tuna mixture, cucumber, and avocado (if using) along the bottom edge of the nori, stacked (only go up about 1/2 inch).
5. Start rolling from the edge closest to you, using the bamboo mat to press the roll together as you go.  Once you have rolled it all the way, wrap the mat around it and give it a squeeze to give it a nice round shape.
6. Move to a cutting board and cut into 6-8 evenly sized pieces (don't cut on the mat!).

Note: this is not a paid post.  i wish... lessons doesn't know who I am or that I'm posting.  I just had a great time!

4 comments:

Jeff said...

I guess I'm in the 10% ...

d.liff said...

Yeah, sorry about that pal. I can't say I know much about Minnesotan sushi making classes.

Steve said...

Now that you and your camp friend are experts, maybe you can make some sushi for us when you visit for the 4th of July.

d.liff said...

Then you really wouldn't have any excuse to leave the lake!!