Going to Japan and not trying sushi is like going to Italy and not trying Pizza. So even though I didn’t love sushi I knew that at some point I would have to try some. I mean what kind of lunatic goes all the way to Japan and having never tired authentic sushi?
Not this lunatic!
I’ll admit my relationship with sushi albeit short, has been a rocky one. So short you could call it a one night stand. My boyfriend in high school brought me to a hole in the wall sushi joint. Where as chance would have it I got salmonella poisoning. Safe to say my boyfriend and I broke up a few weeks later. While said boyfriend was only a blip in my life, my fear of sushi stuck around for years. Ten years to be exact.
But alas I always give people (and food) a second chance.
When I got the chance to join a class on how to make sushi in Japan I jumped for it. I figured the control freak in me would be put at ease if I was the one making sushi. Never one to let my fears get the best of me I suited up and heading to Cooking Sun Tokyo cooking studio.
Learning to Make Sushi in Tokyo with Cookly
We started off by making Tamagoyaki. Which is basically a Japanese rolled omelet. Like sushi this is a staple Japanese dish that is eaten a lot by the locals. Tamagoyaki is usually prepared in a rectangular pan called a makiyakinabe. There are several types of tamagoyaki that can have many different ingredients.
The one I prepared had dashi, sugar, mirin, light soy sauce and of course egg.
Before coming to Japan everyone told me I had to try Tamagoyaki. I was intrigued but from the youtube videos I saw making Tamagoyaki looked pretty hard. Luckily our teacher showed us a bunch of tricks to make the egg not stick and how to get the perfect roll.
It actually was pretty simple and way more tasty than I could have imagined.
Next we got a lesson on how to prepare sushi topping shrimp. For someone whose paella is pretty famous back home, I was a pro with the shrimp bit. For those who haven’t worked with shrimp before the teacher explains everything. So it’s easy and not intimidating.
We then learned all about Inari Age.
Inari sushi is a type of rice ball that is very popular in Japanese cuisine. It is sushi rice stuffed in seasoned Aburaage tofu pouches. I had actually never tired Inari before but making it was a breeze.
Next came the main event. For someone who’s never even seen someone make sushi I was nervous to actually make sushi. Our instructor was patient and always demonstrated each roll before we tired it out. First we made Hosomaki rolls. I learned there are a lot of different types of rolls. Hosomaki rolls or “thin rolls” are 1” in diameter with vinegar rice on the inside and only having one topping.
For our rolls we used Tuna and cucumber.
Besides rolling my best friends Sam when we were 13 in five duvet covers and calling her a sammy roll, this was my first time rolling sushi. The hardest part was actually spreading the rice evenly on the nori sheet.
The rolls only have one ingredient so rolling them was pretty easy.
After Hosomaki we learned how to make California rolls. California rolls are like the gateway drug of sushi. It’s likely it was your first taste of sushi. Unlike Hosomaki rolls, California rolls will have the rice on the outside. To achieve this you use plastic wrap on the rice side to aide you in rolling. After you add your avocado, crab stick and cucumber. Rolling this bad boy will be a tad more difficult than a tiny Hosomaki roll.
Surprisingly, my roll came out the best.
We then finished by making some Nigiri or hand shaped sushi. This involved dipping your hands in vinegar and then modeling rice balls into ovals. We then molded it to fit our toppings which were; sashimi salmon, sashimi tuna, boiled shrimp, sashimi scallop and salmon roe (eggs).
They all looked so perfect I was impressed.
Learning to make sushi in Japan was a once in a lifetime experience. It was such a unique cooking class but still fun and informative. All of the sushi was super fresh which put my mind at ease and was so yummy. I tired every single piece I made and loved everything!
Finally I got my happily ever after Disney ending and fell in love with true sushi.
While making sushi is very different from other types of cooking I had done, our instructors took care to go slowly. I loved how we got to see her do each roll before I got a chance to. If you are heading to Japan I would highly suggest you take a sushi making class with the Cooking Sun Tokyo school. The space was cute, bright and very clean. Class sizes are small so you get a truly hands on experience.
To check your dates and for more info on Cooking Sun Tokyo School, check out Cookly.com my preferred booking platform for cooking classes.
* I am a Cookly Ambassador this post was written by me and all opinions are 100% my own.