I must have been a good girl last year, because for Christmas I was taken to a sushi making class at the Balboa Food & Wine School. Well, for Christmas I received a certificate to the class; we didn’t actually go until January. Apparently, it’s one of their fastest selling classes, probably because it’s one of the few actual hands-on classes you can take. And let me tell you, it’s definitely hands-on. Wash those hands before you get there!
It’s taught by sushi chef Jeff, who also owns Sushi On A Roll. It’s the only sushi catering company that does not have a restaurant location. They can arrange to come to your party, but I think they prefer to have your party come to their custom-made sushi lounge, the one with a circular sushi bar.
As any good class should, this one starts with a martini (you get two with the class). We had a pear martini, a mango martini, and a blood orange martini over the course of the class. Once everyone has a drink, we toasted and then started to learn how to make easy sushi. We mixed up wasabi from powder, tasted nori, and tasted the sushi rice. Even though it’s more economical to buy the 2-lb bag of wasabi powder, I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with buying the small cans. It would take a lifetime to go through 2 pounds of wasabi powder!
We ended up making a veggie roll with gobo and cucumber, a California roll, and a spicy tuna roll. Then he made us shrimp nigiri, salmon nigiri, and a protein roll (krab and spicy tuna, with shrimp and avocado on the outside). Since you each make your own rolls, we ended up eating 3 rolls, plus the nigiri, each. That’s a lot of sushi!
I don’t know where chef Jeff gets his salmon, but it was the best salmon I’ve ever tasted. He explained the various “grades” of the salmon cut, saying how the good pieces go to people you know and the lower grade parts go to people in the dining room that you never even see. We tasted both the C-grade and the A-grade. The C-grade was still better than anything I’ve eating (buttery, soft, and not fishy), but the A-grade was even better than that! You didn’t even have to chew!
It was a really fun class, and now that I know how much rice to use for each roll (2 golf-size balls for inside-rice rolls, 1 softball-size ball for outside-rice rolls), I think we should have a sushi party at home. The hands-on classes really are more fun than the ones where you’re just waiting to eat whatever is being made in front of you. There’s also a lot of good people watching in class.