At the weekend I went to another sushi making course. You may remember how much I enjoyed the first class I attended, and I’m pleased to say that this one did not disappoint.
This time it was held at the Poland Street branch of YO! Sushi, and the subject was ‘Rice and Rolls’. Our excellent teacher Eddie explained how to prepare the rice – I have shared the method below – and then gave a series of demonstrations on how to make various types of maki (rolled sushi), as well as hand rolls and gunkan (‘battleship’ sushi). All the participants were provided with their own rolling mat and plenty of rice, vegetables and nori (seaweed sheets) to practise with, and Eddie was great at coming round to each table to give feedback and tips on how we could improve our efforts. He also gave us ideas about ingredients we could use in our sushi making at home and encouraged us to be imaginative and adventurous.
It is – of course – harder than it looks to roll the perfect maki, but after several attempts I would now be confident doing it at home. Making a decent looking hand roll works on the same principle as flower arranging – so if you have skills in that area you’re bound to be a natural. I really liked the idea of using up any leftover maki fillings for making gunkan, in which a block of sushi rice is wrapped in a ‘collar’ of nori and then topped with finely chopped ingredients – very credit-crunch-conscious as well as being delicious! I developed a taste for Japanese mayonnaise during the class and have been craving it ever since. Worth seeking out if you eat a lot of Japanese food at home.
I thoroughly enjoyed the class and can’t recommend YO! Sushi’s courses highly enough. It can be challenging to master some of the skills, but everything takes place in a very relaxed and fun environment and the teaching is absolutely top-notch. As you know, I love their cookery book, but there is nothing like some practical tuition to start you off on the right track.
A huge thank you to YO! Sushi for inviting me to attend this class.
Basic sushi rice recipe
For 300g cooked rice:
200g Japanese rice
35ml sushi vinegar (you can buy this readymade or make your own using 30ml rice vinegar + 15g sugar + 1.5 teaspoons salt)
Measure the rice into a sieve and submerge into a bowl of water. Wash it thoroughly and discard the milky water. Repeat this process until the water runs clear (usually 3-5 washes). Leave rice to stand for 30 minutes to an hour.
Put the washed rice in a heavy-based pan with the water and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to the boil and continue to boil over a high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 10 minutes before removing from the heat and allowing to stand, with the lid still on the pan, for another 10 minutes.
Transfer the hot rice into a shallow wooden salad bowl with a flat base or another flat serving dish and spread it out evenly with a moistened spatula. Little by little, add the sushi vinegar and mix it into the rice with the spatula using a folding action. Do not stir or mix the rice as this will make it mushy. Once all the vinegar has been incorporated, fan the rice gently to help it cool down. It should take on a glossy look, and once at room temperature, it is ready to use. If you are not making sushi straight away, cover the rice with a dampened tea towel to stop it drying out and stand it in a cool part of the kitchen. Use the rice within 4 hours.