My first full day in Tokyo was spent in a kitchen, attending a sushi making class. The cookery lesson isn’t about me learning how to make sushi, I’ve known how to make sushi for quite a few years, learning how to refine my method, or to gain some inspiration would be welcome. Also to have a fun activity producing one of Japans iconic foods.
It is also an attempt to learn more about Japanese dining etiquette, and a few of the easier faux pas to avoid, although there is an inevitability that I will commit an etiquette fail when dining, perhaps this little burst of knowledge and insight my etiquette fail may not be too bad. I consider it likely I will commit most of the etiquette fails possible during my time in Japan, hopefully not all at once.
There were a few differences for me to learn within in the sushi making process, mostly with the rice cookery and the volume of seasoning added to the rice. I also enjoyed learning a few different rolling techniques.
In the class we also touched on Japanese meal composition and presentation, the Japanese obsession with seasonality of menus, differences within the miso pastes, soy sauce grades. The class also helped in part to prepare a few different side dishes to eat with sushi, classic miso soup, sesame and soy tossed spinach and Japanese salsa on tofu, all very tasty. But with a class that only lasted a few hours there was little hands on activity besides the sushi rolling itself.
The class itself is held in a residential flat in Asakusa, the small flat’s kitchen is suitable enough for the task at hand, with a small work surface set up for us all to have a small space to prepare our sushi, the living quarters of the flat are just big enough to fit a table that sits 8. Besides the small bathroom this is a typical Tokyo flat. This small space helps to explain to me how the dining scene in Japan is so huge, with only a limited amount of cooking really available in an apartment this size.
I rarely include links or locations of the places I frequented, however I strongly recommend this class to anyone visiting Tokyo. http://www.asakusa-tokyokitchen.com/