Live life with colour and roll a sushi like a rainbow
No trip to Japan is complete without a spot of sushi sampling! Sure, you can easily chow down 10 plates at any chain restaurant, but if you wanna get a roll on for yourself, don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn under the skilled-hands of international sushi chef, Jiro Onoda.
Just a touch intimidating, right? I was nervous as the day before Jiro had emailed me to say that I would be the only person attending the class. This was a privilege, but a source of dread. While it was quite an honour to command the personal attention of a sushi master, I was afraid for someone with such culinary skill to watch over me fumbling to peel cucumber. Jiro made it look as effortless as sharpening a pencil; I felt like I was hacking at it with an axe.
Jiro, however, is a kind and patient teacher with a dream; to share his Rainbow Sushi with the world. Having worked previously as a graphic designer, Jiro sees the overlooked potential of sushi as art. He believes a diversity of colour to be an important feature of sushi’s aesthetic alongside presentation. Of course, Jiro’s vibrant sushi doesn’t just look beautiful but tastes soo good that he’s eaten it every day for the last 7 years! Now that’s passion.
What does it involve?
You will learn how to make sushi using traditional Edo (old Tokyo) techniques.
First, you will make maki rolls inspired by the colours of the rainbow, using 7 shades of ingredients, each vibrantly coloured by nature. Some as simple as carrot and others slightly more complex, such as yam soaked in eggplant juices to dye it a lovely lilac.
You will learn how to prepare the rice, chop the vegetables and then roll the sushi in nori (seaweed paper) on a bamboo mat.
While you’re waiting for the rice to cook you will learn to make dashimaki tamago, a sweet Japanese-style omelette.
Next, you will make nigiri sushi using tuna, salmon and squid, as well as cuts of colourful vegetables. Jiro will also show you a special slicing technique for the fish.
Finally, you can let the artist within you loose as you position the sushi pieces on your plate into a design of your desire, just before you devour your masterpiece with the rest of the class.
English Help Available
Yes! Jiro speaks English very well and is clear in his explanations each step of the way.
The workshop is a little more than I usually spend to do, well, anything. It costs 6,800 yen (£50), but it’s worth it! Obviously, you can find cheaper sushi making classes, but Jiro cares about the quality of your experience. He strives to teach sushi making as it is carried out in high-end restaurants, using only authentic ingredients and equipment.
You will also get a specially designed Rainbow Sushi box to take away with you, which includes instructions for how to make the jazzy sushi back home.
It takes about 2 hours, but you’re so fixated on the task at hand, it just seems to fly by! Then after you’ve finished making the sushi, you have the option to eat it with your classmates.
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm and 5.30pm until the end of August 2019.
It’s held in the café/bar of the Kitsune Shippo hostel in Asakusa. The location is quite homely and puts you at ease the moment you step through the door.
Take the train to Asakusa Station and then follow directions on Google Maps. It’s about a 10-minute walk, behind Sensoji Temple.
Should you go this summer?
I don’t really get a thrill out of cooking, and actually actively avoid it whenever possible, but this class was fun! Maybe just because sushi has an art to it. You’re striving to create something which is not only delicious but photo worthy. It takes so much precision to get the rolls and nigiri just right that you become lost in focus.
I was actually really pleased with how my sushi turned out and no doubt that was down to the help and skilful teachings of Jiro.
This workshop offers a unique opportunity to make Japan’s staple food with a colourful twist, under the guidance of an innovative sushi chef.
Check out the website to learn more and reserve your spot in one of the workshops!