Cooking Class

My school provides a few extracurricular classes each week for students who are interested in learning about the culture of Japan in addition to the language. Cooking is not high on my list of loves but when I found out that five of my classmates had signed up (and that they were making sushi) I jumped on board!

This particular class involved making hakozushi (Osaka style sushi). It's rectangular instead of rolled, requires molding with a box instead of with hands, and the ingredients are cooked or cured instead of raw.

Here's my oshigata. We each got one to keep so that we could continue to make sushi at home! 

The students were seated in a big rectangle with the teachers and ingredients at the front.

Step 1: Turn a plain bowl of fresh rice into sushi rice using some rice vinegar and a lot of fan-waving. You can't work with hot rice! One pair of students got to use a special vinegar pouch that turned their sushi pink! Kawaii (cute)! Yes, the point is to make the sushi look cute. I'm keeping my eye out for it in the grocery stores.

Step 2: Collect your choice ingredients. I picked up some avocado, crab, nori, salmon, oba leaf, and sprouts.


Step 3: Place a thin layer of rice on the bottom of your oshigata.

Step 4: Place ingredients down as the second layer. The ingredients should be spread evenly across the length and width of the oshigata.

Step 5: Add a second layer of rice. I added some pink here!

Step 6: Press layers 2 and 3 down with the top of your box.

Step 7: Add some more ingredients to the top if you'd like. Don't forget to press them down, too. 

Step 8: Now take your knife and slice down the slits the have been provided. Don't worry, you'll be able to finish the cuts later. Here's the teacher demonstrating and a close-up of my classmate cutting her hakozushi.

Step 9: Put the lid back on your box and push the entire sushi block out of the bottom.

Step 10: Now you can remove the top and finish cutting through the sushi block. Add some flourishes to the top.

Get excited...

Step 11: Add some miso soup (and some sake if you're not in class like me) and enjoy with your friends! Oishii!