Following a practical activity in their Japanese Culture lesson, sixth form students Samantha and Marisa tell us about the art of Sushi making.
Sushi is an important and well known part of Japanese cuisine. Specially prepared with vinegared rice and using a range of ingredients such as uncooked fish, seafood and vegetables. Sushi can be prepared and presented with a diversity of styles, for example, onigiri; a ball of rice shaped like a triangle and wrapped in nori (seaweed).
During our Year 13 Japanese Cultural lesson we have been introduced to making sushi by our teacher, Miki Sensei. Many of us have not made sushi before or even tried it! So we began the lesson by watching a clear demonstration as she talked us through the process step by step. To save time she had already prepared the sushi rice, toppings, seasoning mix, cutlery and makisus. A makisu is a mat woven from bamboo and cotton string, specially made for rolling sushi.
- First, the rice should boiled until cooked then placed into a tray or mixing bowl.
- Next, add the sushi seasoning mix into the rice and mix well.
- Place a sheet of nori on the makisu with the shiny side facing downwards, the rough side facing upwards so the rice can stick better.
- Cover half the sheet of nori with a considerable amount of rice and spread with your fingers. The rice is sticky so it is best to use some cold water to soak your fingers in before spreading.
- Puff it up with your favourite toppings! Place them in the middle of the rice, covering from both ends.
- Now the challenging part… Lift up the end of the makisu closer to you with your thumbs whilst placing your fingers on top of the toppings. Slowly lift up and roll it over the toppings and ensure the rice sticks. Keep rolling while pulling back the makisu so it doesn’t become part of your sushi!
- When the roll is finished, let the roll sit on top of the edge of the nori so it doesn’t unroll.
- Place the sushi roll onto the chopping board and cut into pieces (sizes depend on your preference).
- Add soy sauce and/or wasabi (optional).
Additionally, we made special origami boxes out of beautiful origami paper following clear steps written and drawn out kindly by Miki Sensei. Most of us either ate or discarded the ends of the sushi roll as it doesn’t look as appealing, then we put the rest of our sushi in box with cling film to take home.
Some students discovered that they did not like the taste of sushi but it’s the process of making it that counts! Overall the class enjoyed the process of making the sushi and boxes, also the outcome of them trying sushi for the first time was great! Some students really enjoyed the lesson and it even encouraged them to make sushi outside of school to bring in for lunch.
It was a really valuable experience and enjoyable lesson, not to mention learning things within Japanese culture in all our other lessons were great too. The course as a whole teaches you a few beneficial phrases if you were to ever go to Japan, also things you should and should not do in Japan which would make your way around much easier and simpler. It is definitely a recommendable course and worth partaking in.