The upstairs room of a traditional English folk pub with the melodic tones of a rehearsal floating through from the theatre next door, may initially seem an unusual choice for a sushi making workshop, but Will from E17 Pop Up has vision.
Will has the magical ability to transform Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre Pub, through his products and passion, into little windows into another world. Having come up with the concept of E17 Pop Up to bring global cuisine to Walthamstow, he has previously transformed the pub into, amongst other things: a Tibetan Kitchen, Trinidadian Café and Bangladeshi Feast. This time, an opulent sushi banquet.
The vast table we assembled around proved crucial. We were passed bowl upon bowl of garnishes, specially prepared rice, crisp nori (seaweed) sheets, assorted sauces and various exciting fillings and garnishes to choose from, including: everything from surimi (seafood sticks) and fresh (raw) tuna sashimi, to the less common asparagus and dill.
Will started with a brief introduction into the world of soy sauce, pickled ginger and the right type of wasabi (highest Japanese wasabi content you can get, in case you were wondering)!
With some refreshing Japanese green tea to set the scene, we got down to business.
Soon, we were engrossed in the intricacies and dexterity involved in making fresh personalised sushi rolls.
Here’s my step by step guide to the basics:
Step 1: with sushi mats covered in cling film (good tip for easy cleaning!), place a nori sheet – rough side up lengthways - and spread sticky …very sticky(!) seasoned sushi rice over. Make sure to leave a gap at the top for nori overlap.
Step 2: fill with whichever delicacy takes your fancy. This was a simple cucumber roll to begin with. It doesn’t matter if it overlaps or pokes out the end, as this can be trimmed.
Step 3: roll it all up using the sushi mat.
Step 4: Cut into discs using a wet knife and sawing motion and bask in the glory of your first masterpiece!
|cucumber maki rolls|
In total we mastered five types: nori on the outside (maki), nori on the inside (uramaki), rectangular with filling on top (nigiri), balls (temari) and cones (temaki).
|salmon and dill nigiri|
|temari in the making using cling film|
|decorated temari balls|
Even with a break half way to sample our creations...
...we still had plenty at the end to take home and proudly show off to friends and family.
Will himself, with some he made earlier to show us how it’s done professionally …
I couldn’t resist combining my loves of food and art to highlight the great talent to be found in E17!
To make your own sushi and learn more about this edible origami, sign up to Will’s other Saturday classes: http://www.e17popup.co.uk/sushi--dim-sum-classes.html.
He also has a dim sum workshop running on Sundays throughout the Trail. You can also find out more about other E17 Pop Up events coming your way through his website.