Japan is arguably the best destination in the world for foodies, or even those who just like a good lunch. Discovering a country’s cuisine is one of the main reasons we travel, and we knew Japan would blow our minds.
A visit to Tokyo is an overwhelming sensory experience and a great gift to your tastebuds. Exploring this fantastic city’s delicate cuisine cannot be complete without a sushi-making workshop, where you can learn the history of the sushi we have come to know, table manners in Japan and of course how to put together beautiful nigiri rolls and make your own decorative sushi! Dinner parties will never be the same again after you learn some simple, yet essential skills for making sushi.
We did a bit of research online and came across the Tokyo Sushi Tour, led by chef Morris, which was both child-friendly and had fabulous reviews. We got in touch and luckily for us, Morris was able to book us in on our first day in Tokyo, which despite the slight jet-lag was the ideal way to kick-start our one month stay in Japan.
After kindly picking us up from the station and showing us around, we sat down with Morris in his apartment and began the class with a sushi quiz! My son Charlie and I were the clear winners (those weekly lunches at Yo! Sushi in Brighton finally paying off!) and we all learned a great deal about the ‘dos & don’ts’ of sushi etiquette like how to correctly dip a nigiri roll in soy sauce and whether or not to eat it in one bite (answer: yes,you should be able to fit it in!).
The history of sushi is fascinating, and it was a real treat to learn more about how one of the world’s favourite foods has developed throughout the years, for better or worse (looking at you California rolls!).
READY, SET, LET’S MAKE SOME SUSHI!
We were eager to start making our delicious lunch, but first we had to practise the rolling movements with a toy nigiri roll (see picture below), which is an ingenious way to get you used to the routine. It’s very complex, requiring you to move the sushi in about nine separate movements, that pro sushi chefs manage in about five seconds but took us at least 30.
After learning how to do it on our own by looking at the helpful slides, we started making our vinegar rice in preparation for three types of sushi: Decorative Sushi Roll (kids will love this), Hand-Shaped Sushi and Battleship Roll.
We used seaweed sheet we had previously cut, the vinegar rice we’d prepared earlier, fish sausage and Furikake sprinkles.
After rolling each individual ‘sausage’, we pressed them together and, when we cut through, voilá, our beautiful decorative rolls came to life!
I think after that, I may even be able to try more intricate designs at home, like these super kawaii Totoro ones.
Charlie is really into food and is keen to learn, so we were really thankful that Morris was both willing and incredibly patient while helping him prepare and cut his own sushi.
Our creations were absolutely delicious and we were so glad we had done this on our first day – we were now prepared to explore the city’s huge sushi scene without looking too much like novices.
After the class, Morris emailed us the recipes and technique slides, so we’re all ready (and excited) to put our newly acquired skills into practice when we go home.
General tour info:
Tokyo Sushi Making Tours have sessions in the morning and in the afternoon, for individual groups (1-6 people) or larger groups (7-40 people).
Classes cost ¥6000 per person (£32/$50)
The workshop takes place near the Kita-Senju station, conveniently located near the beautiful Asakusa district in Tokyo. Morris provides a fantastic guide on how to reach the station and where to meet.
Find out more about Tokyo Sushi-Making Tours
* We were kindly invited to join the Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour, however all opinions are our own.