|Lucy with Japanese chefs|
For two years of my college life, I had a roommate who was half Japanese. Her mother would cook for us when she visited so I fancied myself to be familiar with the food. I like tofu. Yakitori. Tempura. (Although please hold the raw fish sushi.) On this trip, I urged myself to try as much of the strange food that was offered as possible, wanting to be a good and adventurous foodie.
|At the Kyoto market|
And then we headed to a private kitchen for our lesson. We had a Japanese translator named Chieko-San, and a number of ladies who helped us as we worked. They had prepared the rice and the dashi or stock ahead of time so we could work on the main event: Sushi rolls!
Square sheets of Nori (dried seaweed)
Sticky rice or Sumeshi (not regular American rice)
Eggs, cooked and cut into long strips
Crab legs, tuna, or whatever fish desired
cucumbers, cut in long triangles
To roll the sushi, you will need Makisu or bamboo sheets
Lay out the sheets of bamboo and place a square of seaweed on top. Then spread a thin layer of sticky rice over the seaweed.
In the center of the rice fields, arrange the logs of eggs, cucumber, and fish. All of these should be cut or rolled so they are thin and long, as these will be the center of your sushi rolls.
Moisten the ends of the seaweed. Using the bamboo sheets, roll the sushi tightly. Remove the bamboo, cut the roll into bite-sized pieces, and serve with individual bowls of soy sauce and wasabi paste. These rolls were delicious--though I did not use the optional tuna.
Gochiso-sama! (it was a feast!) Saiko deshta! (It was outstanding!)
PS, about the food in general...The sea urchin, although considered a delicacy in Japan, is not for me. Ditto the eel tempura. In fact I hate to confess something that's never before happened to me on vacation: I lost three pounds and began to yearn for the kind of recipes we cook at Mystery Lovers Kitchen! But the food was gorgeous--and fish lovers would be in heaven. Scroll down for a tour through the market...
|Zucchini marinated in saki|
|Bamboo shoots--from scratch!|
|Green tea sweets|
Itadakimase! (Bon appetit, literally, "I humbly receive.")
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, including DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS--coming in December! Follow her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter