Last year's Eat Cambridge festival really opened our eyes to the talent of local foodies, so all of us at Bridges decided we just had to be part of the 2016 event.
At home we roll sushi regularly for family meals and gatherings with friends. We delight in the colour of all the fresh vegetables that contain so many great vitamins and minerals. So when planning what to do for a workshop for an Eat Cambridge fringe event, a sushi workshop was the ideal choice.
In planning the workshop, one thing was clear, I wanted the participants to find sushi-making simple. I put together a list of instructions so they would be able to master the basics, so they could be chefs and diners on the same night. I wanted to keep it simple, but to look appetising, with colourful ingredients.
On the day of our workshop, on a busy, sunny Saturday, we turned our little café from a daytime eatery in to a proper teaching environment. We replaced our little tables with a large banquet table, threw over some cloths and put out some freshly chopped & prepped vegetables and boiled rice. Our cheerful participants arrived one by one, aproned and equipped with their bamboo mats, sharp knives and chopping boards. They all looked so professional! And the bottles of cold wine and sake they bought with them were most welcome.
The first roll I demonstrated was a hosomaki (small roll). The key to this is 'simple is best, less is more.' There was some overflowing of ingredients, and yelps of 'oh no!' but this was soon rectified and everyone managed a nice neat roll in the end. The eager students devoured their creations, and were delighted with their efforts.
Next we moved on to the Futomaki (big roll). The results were even more beautiful this time, as there was space to put in more colourful ingredients.
They had the choice of pretty peppers, succulent pink salmon, green asparagus and beans, and luscious avocado. The resulting swirling, twirling pattern was an absolute delight.
By the time our keen students had finished their second creations they were looking very professional. Time to pour some warm sake and toast their fantastic achievements.
Our tummies were getting full, but we moved on to making some Uramaki, inside out sushi rolls. It's as simple as it sounds, just flip the nori (seaweed) after spreading rice on top before its rolled and the sushi will be inside out.
The results were fabulous. You would never know they were sushi newbies!
In the last part of the session, we talked about how simple sushi can be after a long day at work or school. I showed my easy Temaki (handroll), where you simply get a small piece of crunchy nori, pop in some rice and veg, and simply roll it in your hand. No bamboo mat required, so its super quick. The freshness of this method is unbeatable.
To finish our wonderful evening, we feasted on some beautiful fresh fruit salad. The ingredients for this I had ordered the day before from the Radmore Farm Shop, in Chesterton Road. Using the sharpest of knives the enormous melon was cut into a bowl, the innards scooped out, and refilled with a selection of juicy fresh colourful fruits. Just the right amount of natural sweetness after the sushi.
I would like to thank all who helped with the planning and support for this event, and of course our enthusiastic attendees.
Since our workshop, everyone has been asking, are you going to sell sushi at Bridges? At the moment, the answer is no.
There is always something in your life that is special and you want to keep as it is.
I like that.
The excitement when my family see me taking out the that bamboo mat, the glow in their eyes when the rice is rolled and enjoyed with the crunchy nori.
No selling, no transactions, just pure love.
Let's keep it like that.