Taking a Sushi Making Class: A Delicious Way to Spend the Afternoon

After about 14 years of being a vegetarian, two years ago I added fish back into my diet. At the time, I was preparing for a lengthy trial and I was eating even less than I was sleeping. I knew my standard veggie diet was not going to keep me going when I was away from home working 24 hour days. I was staying near Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles, so it was the perfect place to try sushi for the first time. It was love at first bite. (I am still sorting out my ethical dilemmas with eating fish, but that is a story for another day.)


Fast forward to present day and sushi (and fish in general) is now a major part of my diet. Since I love eating it so much I wanted to see if making it was just as much fun.


My friend Amber and I (well, actually we are related, but if I tell you how it will make me sounds a lot older that I am) went to Kabuto in Richmond, VA to take a private sushi class with their sushi chef.


We each got to select 3 rolls we wanted to make. Amber chose the Fire Cracker Roll (tuna and scallion roll topped with red pepper); Cajun Roll (shrimp tempura, fish eggs, avocado, and spicy mayo); and a California Roll. I selected the Dynamite Roll (tuna, yellowtail, and spicy mayo); Killer Roll (eel, avocado, with tempura flakes on top); and a Philadelphia Roll (because I just can’t get enough cream cheese).


We started with a lesson on how to make the sushi. You begin by grabbing a large clump of rice, somewhere between the size of a large egg and really small baseball. The rice is then spread across the nori (the seaweed paper that comes with sushi). I probably went a little heavy on the rice . . . because rice is delicious.


Once we lined the nori with rice, we flipped it over to add our ingredients. I wanted to pack the roll, but a little went a long way.


Then it was time to roll! Much like in life, you gotta keep it tight to keep it all together.


We used the bamboo sushi rolling mat to compress and shape the rolls to be nice and pretty.


All that was left was to slice the rolls. The trick was to have a slightly wet blade and saw through the roll rather than trying to slice it.


Voilà! Just a few finishing touches and I had a full plate of scrumptious sushi!


We loved our sushi making class and the results were delicious. Having the private lesson (and a chef willing to take photos of us) made the experience extra special. Plus, any new experience where you get to eat your creation can’t be bad!

Adopting A Fish

Getting a fish was not on my To Do list. In fact, this week I had other New Things planned. Two were canceled due to work and a third was canceled due to fish.

This week I adopted a rescue fish. Thats right, a rescue fish. The owner didn’t want it anymore and was going to flush it. They had the fish for a year and just decided that they didn’t want it anymore. So, my friend Summer swooped in and saved it from a trip down the drain. Summer decided, since I spend so much time at work, that I could use some company and my office needed to be more homey.

When I told my friends that Summer gave me a fish, the first two questions were: “Alive or dead?” and “In a bowl?” These questions concerned me. Mainly because I wondered what it said about me that my friends would think that someone would hand me a dead fish.

At first was hesitant about having a fish. I feel responsible for a great deal of fish carnage as a child and I remember at least 3 backyard fish burials. Also, I feel bad about keeping it captive in a bowl. But its not like I can exactly release it back into the wild. Now that I am an adult, I feel I have as good of a chance of keeping it alive as anyone else, and at least I won’t be flushing it down the toilet.

Peyton Manning Beta Fish

I soon realized that I was a nervous fish mother. He wasn’t moving or eating much so I became concerned. A friend commented, “He’s a picky eater and aloof? Your fish sounds like a jerk.” Another suggested he was just being coy. However, my friend Candace pointed out that the poor guy was probably just cold. Despite keeping my office roughly the temperature of a tropical island, the water in the tank was quite chilly. So, I moved the tank to a warmer spot in my office and set up my space heater and warmed the little guy up.

The next day he was cold again. I realized that I couldn’t keep up this routine. After work I went to the pet store and spent more than I would like to admit on a larger tank, a heater, and other fish accessories. Setting up an aquarium is more of a process than you’d think. I spent at least 20 minutes just cleaning the rocks for the tank. But once I got it all set up the fish seemed a lot happier.

Betta Fish Tank

I decided to name my betta fish Peyton Manning, which I have discovered is a remarkably unpopular name for a fish. If anyone has tips on how to keep Peyton alive and happy in his new little super bowl, please let me know.

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