The possibilities for creativity with food are endless. Here are some pictures from our last cooking class. We made sushi. Creating something this elaborate can be challenging, empowering and fun, especially when you get to do it all together.
I would recommend if you do this at home to cover your sushi mat in clear plastic wrap. Doing it this way allowed the clients to be able to feel like it was easier to make inside out rolls then it was to make them with the nori (seaweed) on the outside.
I think that’s saying something if you have ever made sushi before you know what I mean. Here’s a little of the process, to make inside out sushi, you layer the sushi rice down on the mat put your nori slightly dampened on top, and then you add your fillings. This is tricky not to add too many filings so that it looks like a burrito, because less is more here.
Roll a little bit then pull back your mat so you’re not rolling it up into the sushi, and continue to roll your layers up and pull back the mat until all of the nori, rice and fillings are rolled in on themselves. Then you slice them into individual sushi rolls and add whatever toppings or sauces you want. I am making this sound simple but it does take a little practice to get the right ratio with rice and the ingredients. But having patience and allowing yourself time for the creative process is an important element of learning.
One of the fun things about inside out rolls is you can add something to the top of the roll after it’s rolled up. You can put mango or salmon, and then lay a piece of plastic on top of that and slice through the plastic, toppings, and roll to create your slices. I am sorry that I don’t have pictures for you of this part of the project. But after you slice it, you just carefully remove the plastic that’s been holding your toppings in place and put the food on your favorite plate to be enjoyed or shared.
Towards the end of the class I wanted to elevate their process beyond just getting it done so you can eat the food because there is certainly enough of space and time in life when you will be doing that out of necessity. But part of our practice here is to remember that we eat for the experience. We want to enjoy the process, and each other’s company, but we also want to enjoy the food. We are very visual eaters. Think about the last time something came out on a plate to you looking delicious. You might have anticipated it more, or delighted in the experience. Likely you were even more satisfied with the experience. We don’t need to wait to experience that when someone else makes us food. Create enjoyment now.
So I gave them a challenge to create something that was really visually inspiring. They had a few sauces at their disposal, a pineapple reduction, thickened soy, and wasabi, as well as a spicy mayo. And they had all of the veggies and fruit that were made to be fillings that could also be accents. They took it and ran. It was fun to see the artistic creating that happened along with a little old fashioned competitiveness playing in our favor. This is the creativity that you see and they were very proud of their accomplishment. You see, it was no small thing.
Food and Nutrition Coordinator