She started us out by teaching us how to properly make sticky sushi rice. Then we had to wait for it to cool. The waiting was hard, but she brought us yummy gingered pork and seaweed to much on in the meantime.
Once the rice cooled she spread it onto the seaweed which she had placed on a piece of plastic wrap on the bamboo sushi mat. She had wet fingers so the rice would stick to the seaweed and not her fingers, and she made sure to let us know that proper sushi has rice going all the way to the edge of the seaweed. "Mind the edges!" (This made me nervous so when it was my turn I ended up placing grains of rice meticulously along the edges one by one until she assured me I was not a bad student.)
Next up: sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds, (I forgot to do this step. Oh the shame!) then flip it over for "inside out", American style sushi. (with the rice on the outside of the roll - I forgot to do that step too, although I think I like it better "right side out" as it turns out)
A long slice of cucumber needs to run the entire length of the roll and acts as a sort of handle for rolling later.
For this roll, she used a long slice of sushi grade raw salmon that we got from Central Market. According to Shino, sushi grade means "guaranteed not to kill you."
Then she folded the plastic wrap and bamboo mat over and around the roll, using the cucumber as a "handle" to pull the contents back towards her. This was definitely the tricky bit.
It took a lot of concentration.
Finally she squeezed the roll together with the bamboo mat.
It turns out it's easiest to leave the plastic wrap on the roll while you cut it. Then you start by cutting the roll in half, then each half in half, and so on, until you have eight equally sized pieces. So clever!
At this point I was apparently so hungry that I forgot to take pictures of the beautiful sushi that we made. We had some leftovers (although Shino said no one in Japan would eat leftover sushi the next day) so I took a picture of those. I promise it looked prettier when it was fresh!
Thanks again Shino! You rock!