I'm still playing catch-up with some recent events. Back in March I attended a hands-on cooking class at the West Seattle PPC Market to hone my sushi skills. This PCC location has been remodeled and it's great. With the remodel we got a giant class room with everything you'd need for any kind of cooking class. It even has large screen monitors above the display area so you can watch the action on the screen, giving you an aerial shot of the instructor's hands and work. The instructor chopped an enormous amount of vegetables for the entire class to use through two rounds of sushi roll creation. The years he spent in a Zen monastery must have taught him patience.
Each table sat four and lacked for nothing in the way of sushi accessories.
Ah, the salty and shiny tamari.
Here is my first plate of fixin's, including umeboshi paste, arugula, avacado, cuke, carrots, and baked tofu.
The trick to keeping your bamboo rolling mat like new for a decade - a resealable plastic bag. The instructor said he's been using the same bamboo mats for a decade. He makes sure not to get them wet or dirty with food.
Begin with your sheet of nori then apply the rice but not too much. This is where many people go wrong - too much rice. Then a schmear of umeboshi and wasabi.
Begin rolling, carefully but with purpose. When you slice the roll, keep your knife moist, parallel to the table, and retain a nice even sawing motion. Do not apply too much pressure or you will squish all that work you just did.
Cut some pieces on the bias. Looks all professional, huh?
If stuffing comes out of the end pieces, so be it. It all adds to the presentation.
Now for the inside-out roll - nori on the inside, rice on the outside. It's not as tricky as it sounds. This time begin with a half sheet of nori and an even layer of rice. Then take a sheet of wax paper, place it on top of the rice then slide your hand underneath the plastic bag and flip the whole thing over onto the wax paper so that the nori is on top.
Then build your roll on top of the nori.
Carefully roll it up using the wax paper as your guide. Cut your pieces while the roll is still wrapped in the wax paper. And, presto, you have the inside-out roll!
In May I will take a class on how to make piroshky.