I love re-creating my favourite dishes at home, but some of them are more intricate than others. Sushi is one of those dishes. The California roll may not be authentic Japanese sushi (not surprisingly) but it is a great lunch staple, especially in the hotter months. In fact in the Summer you’ll find me rolling sushi most evenings, as it’s as healthy as it is tasty. So when Zomato invited me to a sushi-making masterclass at Kuriya Keiko – a Japanese restaurant-come-cookery workshop space in Islington – I was eager to learn more.
We started the evening with a plum wine cocktail (heavenly) and an introduction by Keiko, who told us all about her background as a chef, and her love for sushi. She proceeded to teach us all the best way to prepare sushi rice (1.15 cup of water to 1 rice), before giving us an in-depth tutorial of how to make a California Roll, and an Inside Out Roll – the latter being the more technical of the two. Keiko was vibrant and energetic, offering us words of advice and encouragement as we battled with our rice (key tip: keep your hands wet!). We were given ingredients to place inside the rolls, such as smoked salmon, avocado and ham. Yes, ham! Keiko told us how she loves experimenting with flavours, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that one of her favourites is Italian ham and olives – certainly not your usual Japanese flavour combo.
After we were all finished with our creations, we were told to tuck in. They always say something tastes better if it’s made by your own hands, and I would have to agree. My sushi tasted so much more tangy and refreshing than any I had made before. It reignited my love for the simple California Roll, and I made a pact that from here on out I would always make it this scrumptious. As we ate, Keiko gave us a presentation on how to make another Japanese favourite – gyoza. Afterwards we were given some freshly made gyoza to try, accompanied by a traditional sake from Kyoto. I love gyoza so much that I actually burnt my mouth as I shovelled in one of the delectable dumplings. The moral of the story? Wait for your food to cool down before you eat it!
Kuriya Keiko often holds cookery workshops and you can get involved at a great price! I would highly recommend it for food lovers, and fans of sushi. Doing it with a friend or group is even more fun too.
We also enjoyed a lovely meal after our masterclass, but that’s another story for another post.
You can read more of my restaurant reviews on Zomato.