I think learning something new is a wonderful thing. It adds another string to your bow, can expand your horizons and in general new skills can be handy to have. So the invitation along to a sushi making class with Shikisai Japanese Cooking Classes was definitely exciting.
Shikisai Japanese Cooking Classes are professional classes at a commercial kitchen facility or in your own home, run by a qualified Japanese chef. Learn to prepare exquisite dishes simply and with quality ingredients. Shikisai Cooking also provides special Vegan/Vegetarian “Shojin Ryori” cooking classes.
I love cooking but can’t say I’ve ever tried my hand at sushi. Potentially because I’m only a relatively new fan of these tasty rice rolls, but still that was so excuse. Good to embrace all cuisines.
Currently located at Cook’s Cookout in Victoria Park a group of four wannabe sushi masters were greeted by the actual resident sushi master Kyoto.
Principal cooking teacher Kyoko Seta is an accomplished Japanese cook specialising in elegant Osakan-style dishes. Kyoko has lived in Perth since 1998, and runs an acclaimed WA Japanese restaurant.
The class was scheduled to go for three hours and so as soon as we were all assembled it was aprons on and time to get cracking! As I discovered with sushi making the first key step was to get all the fillings prepared. And as a part of this I learnt how to make teriyaki sauce from scratch. I’m not going to lie I was very excited about this because if I’m honest I had no clue what was in teriyaki sauce. So to find out that it was as simple as two ingredients? Say what!! Soy sauce and mirin, as easy as that. The other other potential ingredient is a sprinkle of sugar if you’d prefer it a little sweeter, though I thought there mirin added enough sweetness. So we watched Kyoto prepare some sauce and then cook up some teriyaki chicken which was going to make for one of my favourite sushi rolls.
Next up we learnt to make Japanese egg omelettes. They are similar in style to a western omelette, but are sweeter, because of the few spoonfuls of sugar. So that was interesting to learn, a fair bit more sugar was used in Japanese cooking than I had perhaps realised. So the omelettes were fried and carefully flipped and set aside to cool.
We then busied ourselves with carefully slicing thin strips of avocado and cucumber before we turned our attention to prepping some prawns. Another trick of the trade was learning how to keep them straight. Basically you remove the head and then very carefully insert a wooden skewer and then when it cooks it can’t bend. Means it is a much easier shape to work with for sushi rolls. Little tricks to make life easier – I was loving it!
We all had a turn at preparing some sushi rice and gently ‘cutting’ through the vinegar. Softly, softly, so as not to mush up the rice. Kyoto then handed us each a sheet of seaweed. I’ll admit that the first time that I tried sushi I hadn’t liked it at all and it was because I didn’t like the seaweed taste. But as I found out it can be very dependent on the seaweed you use, because I tried some of the brand Kyoko was using and it tasted amazing. Slightly salty and then almost a little sweet. What a difference good seaweed makes!
And then everything was ready and it was time to roll.
As a total rookie I felt a little nervy but I had an expert on hand to help so it was time to seize the day! The challenge appeared to be learning where to hold your hand on the sushi rolling mat. The first go I was a little lost, but soon it started to make sense. You want to squeeze out as much air between the grains of rice as you can, but be careful not to end up with a wonky roll, you need to remember a few different things, but four rolls along it did start to make a bit more sense and I was ready to turn pro.
I can honestly say that eating a piece of the teriyaki chicken roll only a few moments after it had been rolled, along with a dunk in some soy and wasabi was delicious! Fresh is best and this tasted so good! We were then taught how to make inside out sushi rolls and hand rolls, which further expanded our sushi making repertoire. We’d never have to buy sushi again!
The class was fun and informative, you got to snack on a few pieces of sushi as you go and you go home with a giant container of sushi so dinner is sorted! Kyoko is an incredibly knowledgeable and helpful teacher and really wants to show people that cooking Japanese food at home can be very easy if you learn a few basic skills. I really appreciated the chance to head along and learn something new and I can’t wait to have a sushi making weekend at home in the very near future….. and I suspect that teriyaki chicken is going to be making a regular appearance on our dinner menu from now on.