Wednesday, 17 June 2009

When in China, make Sushi... of course(!) 19 May 2009

Let´s face it, the only reason Emma and I chose to take a Japanese cooking class was simply because we both fancied some sushi. We could have hawked out a Japanese restaurant in China, and could probably have eaten out for cheaper than it cost to participate in the class... but... that would not have been half as fun.

Now, let´s explain why you can learn to make sushi in china. Well, we stayed at Sim´s Cozy Guest House - a great hostel in Chengdu - run by a Malaysian guy and his Japanese wife. Maki (the lovely Japanese lady) teaches sushi rolling to guests who are interested. Incidentally, in the last year we were only the second people to ask to do the cooking class. Mental! Surely everyone in the world would want to learn to make sushi while visiting China!

Learning the art of rolling sushi certainly took some practice, but we had a mammoth bowl of rice, lots of sheets of seaweed and a whole load of fillings that we could experiment with.

When i say we had lots of rice, i really mean it. If you were serving a curry or something similar there would probably have been enough rice in the bowl to serve 15 people! 15 very hungry people.

I have made sushi before, it wass a very amateur attempt one summer afternoon with Ms Perri Lewis. We created make-shift bamboo mats out of kitchen foil. I learnt today that by using the correct implements, you create much better sushi rolls. I think we also used microwavable basmati rice that day also (not recomended!).

Under the expert supervision of Maki, who showed us how to spread the rice thinly and evenly, without crushing the short grains and who ensured that we learnt the corrext way to roll the rolls, we quickly became experts.

2 hours later we had before us more sushi that you have ever seen in your life. Seriously, we had 4 gargantuan plates each of which was crammed with sushi rolls. Please note, we had turned a bowl of rice of approximately 20 portions (we had to get more mid way through the lesson) into sushi rolls. Imagine. It was pure bliss on 4 plate.

We finished the class at 6pm, dinner time. We found a tucked away corner in the restaurant and started to devour. After thirty minutes of leisurely eating we were beginning to slow - and, there was still loads left on the plates to eat. We slowed the pace right down. We reclined in our seats and the top button of my trousers had to be un-done.

Between the two of us we managed to of the four plates. It was hard work, but it was sooooo good.

Once we had regained the ability to move we wandered through the bar and restaurant sharing the sushi with other guests and staff members. Everyone loved it, and we made lots of friends.

To anyone who has ever said ´Sushi just isn´t filling´, I can truly attest that you are all WRONG.

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