Internet, meet Bond.
Bond, internet. Bond was my Sushi Instructor last week at Sea to You Sushi and Asian Foods in Brookline. His laugh is infectious, and he ﬁnds his students to be particularly hilarious when it’s obvious that they have no idea what they’re doing. He’s been teaching the art of sushi for twelve years now, but it was pretty clear to my group of rag-tag wannabe sushi chefs that the man really loves his job. My ﬁrst bite of a basic California Roll wasn’t until my third year of college, but my obsession with the little bite-sized (and sometimes not-so-bite-sized) rolls has become extravagant. I may have even told someone recently that I could eat sushi every single day and never tire of it. In 2008, I made an attempt to make my own sushi at home with a “sushi kit,” but the rolls came out the size of Frisbees no matter how hard I tried! They were still delicious of course, but I felt like a rookie, and I knew I needed some guidance. Fast forward to June 2010, and the leadership I was looking for ﬁnally appeared: in the shape of Bond. Sushi Instructor Bond. First, Bond laid down the rules and told us all about sushi-grade ﬁsh, how to take care of ingredients properly, and how to not get food poisoning (in a nutshell). Then we all went around the room to introduce ourselves to the group, an activity I usually loathe with every ﬁber of my being, until Bond told us we could say what our favorite sushi roll was. I enthusiastically shouted “UNAGI!!” like a cheerleader. The promotion of eel consumption is a cause that I take very seriously. Why? Because it’s delicious, and more people should give it a shot. Trust. After the scare tactics, it was time to get our hands dirty. An array of sushi ingredients were on display on a nearby bar: Crab meat, cucumber, avocado, sweet potato (wait, what?), and of course sticky rice and seaweed paper. Bond then gathered us all around to demonstrate the proper way to make a sushi roll, which I will now share with you. First, place the seaweed paper (also called “nori”) on your bamboo rolling mat. Wrapping the rolling mat in plastic wrap beforehand makes clean-up a lot easier. Then, take a large snowball-sized amount of sticky rice and plop it down on the nori sheet. Spread it all over so you get a nice thick layer of rice.
Once the sticky rice is actually sticking, ﬂip it over so that the rice is on the outside and the nori is on the inside. Then you can start piling on the crab meat and cucumbers and a Happy Meal or whatever else you want in your sushi. Next, it’s time to roll! I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous about this part since my past experience with this part of the deal didn’t go so well (FRISBEES!). But Bond told us something about rolling sushi that changed my life. “Cat paws.” Yep, that’s the secret to getting tight, perfectly round sushi rolls. Make cat paws with your hands and SCRUNCH that roll until your knuckles hurt. Observe the ﬁnal product.
Perfection. Lastly, Bond showed us how to use the knife to cut our perfectly rolled sushi and sent us oﬀ into the great unknown to make our own individual sushi creations. The good news: my ﬁrst attempt wasn’t terrible!
The bad news (for me): My friend Abby’s sushi came out better.
Some people are just blessed with the innate power to sushi. Sigh. Regardless, I’m so glad I took this class with Instructor Bond. I have a greater understanding of WHY sushi is made the way it is made, and my prior love/obsession has only grown stronger. Plus I made enough to sushi to feed myself for the entire weekend. :) Thank you to Bond and Sea to You Sushi for a wonderful night! — Alison