Learn how to make delicious sushi
Crystal Towers’ chef Su Denan shows newbies how to put together a plate that tantalises the tastebuds
THE great thing about experts is that they make everything look so effortless. The best ones can go a step further, fixing your clumsy attempts and turning them into a success.
This is what happens when you attend a sushi-making class at Crystal Towers. I asked chef Su Denan if he was a sushi master and he said no, he still had about five years to go – and that’s only half way. With that amount of training, you can’t expect your first time to be perfect, but he’s there to show you how and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
A platter of pretty sushi makes me incredibly happy and it’s not as difficult to achieve as you might think, especially with Chef Su at your side. Besides ending up with a respectable array of sushi, there is the added advantage of pride in having more or less made it yourself.
The class begins with a welcome cocktail, but naturally we had to order more wine and bubbly to help us along.
Everything you need is laid out for you – ready-cut salmon, bowls of water, sticky rice, chopping boards and a necessary cloth for the hands as it can be a bit messy until you figure out the deft movements. The rice is the key and if you ever do this at home I suggest you enlist the help of your local sushi place and buy the rice ready made.
We began with my favourite: salmon roses. Chef Su instructed us to wet our hands (but not too much) and roll the rice into balls. Wrapping the salmon with a sliver of avocado around that was easy.
We followed this with California rolls and maki, for which we had to use nori seaweed and bamboo mats. Every time our filling inexplicably squeezed out the end of the rolls, Chef Su was there to put it back in and keep things tidy. Finally we were allowed to wield his magnificent knife to cut our rolls, after which we added the finishing touches of garnishing the salmon roses with mayonnaise and caviar.
With a little bit of behind-thescenes help, which included plating up with wasabi, ginger and cucumber, we had magnificent sushi platters which we tucked into with more wine. And I’m delighted to report it was excellent.
Whether you learn to make it for your own enjoyment or to wow guests at your next dinner party, this is a brilliant skill to have in your repertoire.
The last class for this year is next Saturday, with classes resuming in the new year on the last Saturday of every month at 6pm. A maximum of 12 people can be accommodated in each class, but groups of six to 12 preferring a private experience can book on the date of their choosing.
The class costs R310 a person (subject to change) and includes a welcome Crystal mojito cocktail, the demonstration, making your own sushi and then eating it.
● African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa is on the corner of Century Boulevard and Rialto Road, Century City.
EFFORTLESS: Sushi chef at Crystal Towers Su Denan hard at work at the counter. He shows customers how to make sushi.
HERE’S HOW: Denan shows Bianca Coleman how to make sushi.