This afternoon I gave a Sushi Night!” class. Yes you read right…sushi night in the afternoon. We had the traditional Japanese sushi, feasting on Authentic Miso Soup, Uramaki (rice on the outside), Maki (Nori on the outside), Veggie and Prawn Tempura, chilled sake, and for dessert…you guessed it, green tea ice cream. While getting the mise en place ready for our tempura and sushi rolls, well after all I am a fusion chef, we munched on Laver Crackers; an Asian cross between a seaweed cracker and fortune cookie. Nice crunch, somewhat sweet, and not too filling. Also known as sembei or senbei, they come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, usually savoury but sometimes sweet.
True to my personal healthy lifestyle, it took a bit of scouting to track down sushi ingredients that did not contain MSG, preservatives, and those words we find hard to pronounce that really aren’t food. We made the dashi (broth) for the miso soup with pure dried kelp (kombu) and pure dried anchovies. They did the trick. And I found a wasabi powder made by Eden Organic without colour or additives.
I’ve been working without an assistant these days, which makes things a bit challenging, simultaneously setting up, attending to the students, clean up, clean down, picture taking, and of course sampling the goodies. But once again, more than the food, which turned out nicely by the way, it was the people that made the day memorable and fun. This class started out with students who attended the last Latin night.
That night they decided on sushi for the next get together. Welcome two new couples and well… chemistry was in the air! So much so that the class stretched from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm…hmmm. One of the lovely ladies surprised her hubby for their anniversary… I think he is still surprised as I kept reminding him how happy his birthday was. I forgot to ask how many years, either way. The other couple complemented the group nicely as well, very humerous and thoughtful. I hope I get to see all of them again.
I just put the dishes into the dishwasher. I didn’t have time to roll a second maki during the class, and there is so much sushi rice leftover. So I decided to make a roll for my dinner. It was really delicious. Full of umami. I don’t feel guilty indulging after the crowd has dispersed. Vitamins and minerals are found in much of the seafood and vegetables used for sushi. The nutritional content is dependent on the ingredients used. For example, shrimp is high in calcium and iodine, whereas salmon is rich in Vitamin D. The nori used to make sushi is rich in both nutrients. Other vegetables wrapped within the sushi also offer various vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates are found in the rice and the vegetables.
I’d like to share my dinner uramaki filling with you and then I’m putting my feet up. The Toronto Jazz Festival was on the agenda for post class tonight…but my buddies were too pooped from their Saturday afternoon festivities to venture through the crowds. I just feel like relaxing while thinking about the great people whose company I enjoyed this afternoon.
Sher’s Smoked Salmon California Uramaki
Makes 8 Pieces
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted ( we used both white and black) 1 half sheet nori ½ cup sushi rice 2 slices smoked salmon 2 x 4 inch by ½ strips cucumber 2 x 4 inch ½ inch avocado slices 1 teaspoon sushi roe spicy mayo ( 1 tablespoon low fat mayo and ¼ teaspoon sriracha) I used red Thai curry.
Place nori sheet on a bamboo sushi mat (makisu) that has Take about 1/2 cup of sushi rice (seasoned with rice vinegar, pinch of salt and sugar) and place over the nori, leaving about ½ an inch of nori uncovered at the top end
Sprinkle rice with sesame seeds
Gently turn the roll over so the nori is facing you
In the middle place the cucumber, avocado, smoked salmon and the roe, and a line of spicy mayo
With your thumbs under the mat and your fingers over the filling, roll the mat over the filling, move the mat back, and continue to roll until you reach the uncovered nori. Gently squeeze as you go along.
Take the roll off the mat. Place the mat over the top of the roll and gently squeeze to square off
With a gentle sawing motion, cut the roll in half. Put the two halves parallel and cut those in half. And then cut those pieces in half to make 8 pieces.
Enjoy with wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce.