Sushi made by one of the students, Harvey Yamagata
My first sushi class for the Fort Worth Japanese Society was on Saturday, April 14.  I am teaching a series of three “hands-on” classes.  I am a board member of the society and my desire is to share my love of Japanese cooking with the community.  I do the Japanese Society classes on a voluntary basis and the profits go to the Japanese Society.
Enrollment was higher than I expected, 22 but then 3 cancelled so there were 19 people. I had never prepared for such a large group before so it was a lot more work than I anticipated.  The list of dishes we were making included: 
Cucumber Roll (Kappamaki)
California Roll (Uramaki or inside out)
Nigirizushi (Rice balls with raw and cooked neta (fish or other ingredients)
Salmon Teriyaki Hand rolls (Temaki)
I also did a demonstration on how to make perfect sushi rice, the most important ingredient!
Students were also given green tea and miso soup with tofu and wakame that I made.
The preparation was crazy!  I realized that to make enough rice for 20 people to prepare the different dishes, each person would have to have 3 cups of sushi rice.  Multiplied by 20, that made over 60 cups of rice, all cooked, seasoned and cooled right before the class.  You cannot make it ahead of time or it gets hard and just isn’t ideal.  I wanted the class members to have the best possible sushi experience.  I got up before 5 AM to cook the rice, then packaged it in plastic to go box containers with a very moist paper towel on top of the rice.  This turned out to be a great way to transport it and keep it from drying out.  I also cut several cucumbers, carrots, made sauces, wasabi, the dashi (stock) for the soup, portioned out miso, cut tofu, and prepared little containers of mayonnaise and wasabi for each student.  I’ll bet I spent over 6 hours getting things ready, not to mention writing up detailed instructions/recipes for each student and shopping for the ingredients.  Then the 5 members of our events committee helped set up the class which took another hour.
I believe the students got a big bargain at $30.00 for non-members, $20.00 for members to take my class!  I took a sushi class at Central Market a couple years ago just to see how they conduct it and it cost $60.00.  Maybe we should raise the price next year….
But, it turned out great and the students were very serious about their sushi making endeavor.  They worked very hard to create their rolls and nigiri zushi, learned about the history, perfect sushi rice, and best of all, got to sample their finished creations with a hot bowl of traditional miso soup. I really enjoyed teaching the class, especially sharing my mother’s version of California roll and knowing how good it tasted, then sitting down with the events committee afterwards to enjoy the sushi I made for us.
The next class will be on May 12, 2012 from 10:00 AM-12:00 Noon.  We will learn how to make 3 types of Chirashi zushi, a preparation of placing ingredients on sushi rice or tossing them with sushi rice.  Chirashi zushi is not well known yet, but it is a real treat and allows you to enjoy sushi without as much rice and it is delicious!  If you are interested in attending, please contact Harvey Yamagata at 817-737-9166.  Class 3 is the advanced sushi class on June 9, 2012.  We will be making a caterpillar roll (avocado and eel), pressed sushi, spicy tuna nachos, battleship sushi, and I will share my miso soup recipe.
I can also conduct any of the sushi classes for your private event, however the cost will be higher per person.
Contact me at 817-919-7761 for more information.