This past Saturday, Adam and I attended a maki making class at Sea To You sushi school. I LOVE sushi and have attempted making maki before (many years ago, back in high school) but although they looked decent, the rice tasted bland so I quickly gave up in my attempts to make it at home and chose our local sushi spot instead. When I saw discounted tickets for sushi school on Groupon, I knew this was my chance to give maki making another go. Better yet, Adam agreed to go with me. Sweet!
This is our instructor:
The class began with every sushi student introducing him/herself and telling the class about his/her favorite sushi and their sushi making “experience.” One woman was “dragged” to the class and never even tasted sushi. I wonder what she thought about this experience. The rest of us definitely had a great time!
After everyone introduced themselves, our instructor briefed us on sushi making safety – fresh vs. frozen vs. cooked fish, clean utensils, clean vegetables. This part was a bit boring but I appreciated the content. Then we talked about making the proper sushi rice. The instructor highly recommended a rice steamer since it takes a lot of guess work out of the process (*we saw one at Target yesterday for $13. Sounds like a great deal to me). Rinse the rice, then follow steamer instructions. For every 4 cups of uncooked rice, use 1 cup of rice vinegar (very important, this is the only vinegar to be used for sushi) and 1/5 cup of sugar and 1/5 cup of salt. You can also purchase pre-made sushi vinegar that already contains the proper balance of vinegar/salt/sugar. Sushi rice is also available at most sushi restaurants for purchase. Note: for those that would like to use brown rice for sushi making, make sure you are using short grain Japanese rice. This rice is sticky and will not fall apart on you.
Once the lecture part was over, we got to see the chef in action! I was so excited!!!
1) Nori (seaweed) comes in large sheets – to make 1 roll, you need 1/2 of the sheet. Cut it in half and apply rice to the dull side (just looks prettier, the taste is not affected).
2) This is how much rice you’ll need for 1 roll = ~ 1 rice snow ball. 😀
3) Apply the rice onto the nori – a thin layer is sufficient. You can take some off, make sure edges are covered so the roll ends are not empty.
4) For an inside out roll, flip the nori with the rice side down.
5) Apply your fillings. If you’re a maki making novice, use no more than 2 ingredients the first few times. All vegetables must be 100% dry (cucumber meat only, etc.)
* It’s helpful if you have something solid on the far side of the roll – this prevents fillings from sliding away from you (the crab stick is used here as the “barrier”). Fill up to the half way point, leave some nori uncovered.
6) Big thumbs under the bamboo matt, begin rolling.
Voila! (it’s hard to show the rolling process in pictures – a class or a video tutorial is recommended so you get the technique right).
7) Smile proudly at your perfectly rolled maki! 😉
9) Plate (the instructor went over the process twice so here are the 2 rolls, cut differently).
Then it was time for us to make our rolls. Lots of fillings to choose from…
We had to put our rubber gloves on so I couldn’t take any pictures during our sushi making process. It was a blast. I made a california roll and a shrimp/ avocado/ cucumber/ pickled radish roll. Then we broke out into 2 separate groups (beginners and designer sushi makers) and our group (beginner) got to see how to make single ingredient rice side in maki and jumbo rolls. The designer sushi makers made dragon rolls, I think. For single ingredient rice side in maki, use half the rice and don’t flip it over. That’s it! 😀
The jumbo maki was well, jumbo! Place the nori vertically in front of you and fill to the max (half way down, leave some uncovered nori). You can have some veggies stick out on one side for a “flower” presentation. Our instructor literally used every single ingredient from the bar to fill this baby. It was scary and exciting. Follow the same rolling instructions. Makes 1 gigantic roll.
Isn’t it gorgeous?!!!
I made another spicy tuna roll (single ingredient) and a jumbo roll with everything I could stuff in there (including sweet potato fries, awesome!!). It was really really fun and I can’t wait to make my own sushi at home. It’s cheaper and I can control what goes into it. Anyone up for a sushi making party? 😉
Proud sushi students (the most unflattering picture of me in the history of pictures but whatev)
Have you made maki before?