Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ready, Sake, Sushi!

 Summer really brings out people's creative juices.  Outdoor music festivals, food festivals and festivals celebrating different cultures are happening all over the city, restaurants roll out inspired summer menus and outdoor cocktail programs.  
This Tuesday, I had the occasion to try out a fantastic summer series, Sushi and Sake 101 at Haru. Held once a month, this interactive dinning experience brings together two fantastic treats...and all the secrets that go along with them:)

 This particular evening was specifically for Boston Food Bloggers, a network that consists of some of Boston's most enthusiastic food writers. I was lucky enough to be invited and it was so great to catch up with my foodie friends...while doing what we like best...eating!
The evening is run as a partnership between Richard, the passionate foodie and Haru's team of sushi making specialists. It was so nice to be on the receiving end of such passion and knowledge! I learned so much about Sake from Robert, who started the event with a mini presentation about the distinctive beverage.  Before this event, I knew little about sake, thanks to Robert and the tasting of three different and delicious sakes, I feel much more confident in navigating a Sake menu:)
 The series is very hands on, each couple is presented with all the necessary sushi-making tools and ingredients; a platter of sushi grade fish, a HUGE bowl of sticky rice and seaweed paper.
 Guided by Haru Chef Masa-san, we are taken on a step by step journey in the art of sushi making. Step one: a handful of sushi is rolled and placed on top of the seaweed, smooth/shiny side down:)
 After spreading the rice out, you flip the whole thing over (so as to have a sushi roll with the rice on the outside, although you can also do the Lindsey, my sushi neighbor did with hers:) )
You then place whatever filling you want in the middle...careful not to overload it or it won't close!
 A little squeeze of the bamboo sheet around the roll and voila! A beautiful looking roll of sushi, ready to be cut and enjoyed.
 Luckily, the expert Haru team did the cutting...which is just as well, because I would have ended up with a sushi salad if I had tried to cut my own:)
My first roll was a spicy tuna and cucumber...not bad eh?
Not wanting to leave us with just one technique, the team then went on to show us how to make nigiri, fish atop a bed of rice, as well as what I like to call a 'sushi basket', which is perfect for things like spicy tuna, any kind of tartar or roe.
After two hours of sushi making and sake drinking (we had three different kinds of sake, my favorite of which was the sparkling sake at the end),I felt that I had accomplished much more than I usualy do at dinner.
Sushi and Sake 101 is a perfect evening to have fun, to learn and to create, not to mention, it makes for a nice gift, an interesting date or a perfect tool to set yourself up for a sushi making party of your own!

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