Sushi and Sake 101


Clearly, I am not.

I tried my best at the Sushi and Sake 101 event at Haru last Tuesday, but unfortunately my sushi creations did not look so good/just wasn’t appetizing enough/were kinda falling apart/okay they looked horrible. (They tasted good though.)

So I’m going to admit that I’m not a natural sushi-maker.

But sake-drinker… Now we’re talking.

Richard aka The Passionate Foodie was our sake pro and I learned a lot from him that night.  Did you know that you’re supposed to sip sake like when you’re drinking wine, and not toss it back like tequila? You did? Yeah, me too. Richard led us through a sake tasting, called a kikishu, and we tried three different kinds of sake:

The three sake we tried were the Kaori Junmai Ginjo, the Wakatake Onokoroshi Junmai Daiginjo, and the Moon Rabbit Sparkling Sake. The sparkling sake was my very favorite – and not only because I can pronounce it easily. It was sweet and reminded me of champagne and vodka combined.

Now back to my sad sushi skills. My rolls were oddly shaped, with seafood spilling out. They were not pretty. So I’m glad I was with Mr. Sushi Expert himself – that would be Dan from Food in my Beard. Dan expertly, quickly, neatly rolled up some rolls, makis, nigiri… while I tried not to spill too much sushi rice on the floor.

We were like a lean, mean, picture-taking, sushi-making, sake-drinking machine: I took pictures, Dan rolled sushi, I drank sake, the chef came to slice our sushi rolls, we ate our Dan’s creations, Dan rolled more sushi, I took more picture, I ate more sushi, I drank more sake. Rinse (or dip fingers in glass) and repeat.

Meanwhile, at the other end of our table, were the real sushi-making machines: Meesh and Jacki of Just Add Cheese. These two gals were busting out some delicious looking rolls; I was really impressed.

Here you can see my hair, with Jacki and Meesh having fun.

The set-up was that each table was given the ingredients and then we made our own sushi, led by Haru chef Masa-san.

We made different kinds of rolls – spicy tuna, crab and shrimp tempura, different kinds of nigiri:

That shrimp nigiri was my only creation fit for public eyes.

In addition to the three flights of sake (remember: this is a judgement free zone), I also tried this lovely lychee martini. I’ve always loved lychees and was delighted to find fresh ones at Whole Foods the other week.  I ate them all though and didn’t get to make any cocktails. This martini was made with vodka, but I bet it would be great with sake as well.

I had a blast at Sushi and Sake 101. It was nice taking some sake lessons from Richard and learning how to make sushi from Haru’s chef, all while enjoying the company of friends. I will definitely be on the lookout for the sparkling sake! And maybe someday, when I’m feeling courageous, I might attempt to make my own sushi at home. Or I might just stick to baking cake.

Big thanks to Haru for the event invitation!


24 Responses to “Sushi and Sake 101”

  1. #
    Amy @MacnCheesenPeas posted July 22, 2012 at 9:06 am

    This looks like such a fun event!! I made sushi at a work party one time, and it is so difficult to make it all stay in there. That sparkling sake looks good, I usually don’t like sake but I would probably like it if it was sparkling!

  2. #
    Megan posted July 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    This looks like so much fun! I would love to learn to make sushi some time.

  3. #
    honeywhatscooking posted July 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    great post. you know, i’ve never tried sake… i love vegetarian sushi, i can’t get myself to eat the raw fish, but i really need to try sake. looks like you had a great time.

  4. #
    Tiffany posted July 23, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Three flights? You go girl, I do not judge at all!!! I want to try more sake variations especially on the hot sake side since I haven’t found one I like yet.

    I keep saying that I’m going to learn how to make sushi one of these days since I feel like it’s what a majority of my money goes towards.

  5. #
    dan posted July 23, 2012 at 12:39 am

    They must have crazy vacuums there cause the whole rug was covered in sushi rice when we left.

  6. #
    Michelle posted July 23, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I took a sushi-making class once and it was not pretty. A lot of fun, but not pretty. Also, I first tried Moon Rabbit Sparkling Sake at O-Ya and love, love, love it! Richard is so knowledgeable about sake and is always so generous to share his knowledge!

  7. #
    Daisy posted July 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

    what a fun evening! I guarantee I’d be better at sake drinking than sushi making, too!

  8. #
    Meghan posted July 23, 2012 at 9:52 am

    This looks like a fun evening!

  9. #
    Rachel Leah Blumenthal posted July 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Ha! I was so bad at this too. Our table looked like a little kid had been sitting there, with rice all over the floor and dirty napkins everywhere. I’m a total sushi-making disaster. So much fun, though! It was great to see you!

  10. #
    RichardPF posted July 23, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Thanks very Bianca for your kind words. I had lots of fun sharing my passion for Sake with everyone. Haru will be holding more Sushi & Sake classes in the near future so everyone will have an opportunity to learn more if they wish.

  11. #
    Ashley posted July 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

    This looks like so much fun! I don’t eat a lot of sushi, but it looks like it be a blast to make, especially with some friends.

  12. #
    Lin @ BeantownEats posted July 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I managed to screw up the first set of directions, which was to flip the rice over so it was on the outside #fail. Luckily the very nice supporting sushi chef helped recover it for me. Great seeing you!

  13. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted July 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    This sounds like an awesome night! I don’t know nearly enough about sake… but I have tried making sushi before and it is not easy!

  14. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted July 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve attempted sushi at home before and my rolls were definitely not pretty! That sounds like a great night though, and I’d love to learn more about sake.

  15. #
    Rhonda (@diningalone) posted July 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    That looks like so much fun! I was just talking about Sushi on my blog today! I really should try and make it sometime.

  16. #
    Jay posted July 24, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Haven’t tried sushi yet…def wanna taste now..:D
    Tasty Appetite

  17. #
    Joanne posted July 24, 2012 at 6:54 am

    How super fun! I’ve tried to roll sushi exactly once at home…and may never try again. But I would love to sit around and eat it so long as someone else is making it!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Yup and now I have a new found respect for all sushi chefs!

  18. #
    Simply Life posted July 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve really wanted to try making my own sushi- this looks like so much fun!

  19. #
    Ranjani @ Four Seasons of Food posted July 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I don’t have much experience with sushi making, although I love eating it. If I were given that plate of fish to make sushi with, I’m pretty sure I’d just eat it all as sashimi!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Yup haha I ended up eating some of it sashimi-style!

  20. #
    Jen L @ Tartine and Apron Strings posted July 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Bianca, what a fab evening of sushi and sake! I haven’t made my own rolls in, like, 15 years…because other people do a much better job! Haha! I just like to eat them :)

  21. #
    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings posted July 28, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Hi Bianca,
    I left a few comments earlier, using my blackberry…but I’m not sure if they went through :( I just wanted to let you know anyway that your sushi and sake night sounded amazing! I usually leave the sushi-making to the experts, but when I’m around the company of good friends and bloggers, I get inspired to try a challenge :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend! And oh, you coconut cheesecake post is to-die for!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 29, 2012 at 2:55 am

      Hi Jen! Thanks for the nice comments. They were stuck in the spam folder but I already fished them out. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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