It was at the beginning of the week, when we were having lunch together as a team, that we were discussing dishes from different countries.
We talked about sushi when Nehemie proposed we eat Japanese food one day. Gerry suggested making sushi on Friday afternoon. So, we worked until 4 p.m. on Friday and then we all went to the kitchen. We watched a video on YouTube showing how to make sushi, and what you need to make it properly. Sushi may be small, but the list of what you need to make it is quite long:
- Sticky rice
- Nori sheets
- An omelette
- Oil for cooking fish and omelette
- Soy sauce
- Bamboo mats
- A plastic wrap
- A bowl
In case you are wondering what nori is, it’s the Japanese name for a species of edible seaweed. It’s technically red algae from the genus Pyropia, which includes P.yezoensis and P.tenera. Through a process of shredding and rack-drying that resembles papermaking, nori is made into dark green sheets.
While some of us were peeling and cutting cucumber, carrots and avocados into small pieces, others were preparing the sticky rice, fish and omelette. Some of us were really struggling with holding a knife while others were bragging about their cooking skills. Let’s just say, we needed each other. Actually, cooking together is a great team exercise!
Once everything was ready, we played the video again and tried to copy. First, we placed a sheet of nori on a bamboo mat and added rice and other ingredients. That was the easy part. Making a roll from it was much trickier. It looked so simple on the video.
In the end, we needed three people to push and hold the bamboo mat to prevent the ingredients from falling out. We learned from experience that, once ready, you have to tighten the roll with the bamboo mat quite firmly – although not too firmly – so that the ingredients don’t fall out whilst you cut the roll into smaller pieces with a wet knife.
The first sushi we made was far from perfect but, slowly, the next batches became better and better. It was fun. We learned a new thing and we worked together as a team around the kitchen table. And, guess what? It may not have looked very professionally made, but it tasted delicious! I love them!
Final tip: eat them with soy sauce.