Learn how to make de­li­cious sushi

Crys­tal Tow­ers’ chef Su De­nan shows new­bies how to put to­gether a plate that tan­ta­lises the taste­buds

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

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.

PIC­TURES: AL­LI­SON FOAT

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.

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