Culture
Real Sushi Flavors from Japanese Embassy
13 March, 2014
Sushi Lessons at Culinary Academy

On 5-6 March, at the Culinary Academy under the aegis of the Agricultural University, the Japanese Embassy organized sushi lessons for academy students and university students, chefs of Japanese restaurants in Tbilisi, media representatives and sushi lovers. Washoku – part of the Japanese cuisine is becoming more and more popular in the world. We like to tell or remind our reader that last December, together with the ancient traditional method of Georgian wine-making, Washoku was
conferred the status of a monument of cultural heritage.
Mitsuru Imata, an experienced Japanese chef from Istanbul Banban restaurant, was invited to give lectures and lessons. He owns several restaurants and sushi shops in the Turkish capital. He began his dialogue with the famous Japanese expression: “Please, pardon me if I make anything wrong.” He is as humble as every high professional. He taught those who attended the lessons how to prepare fish for sushi, beginning from salmon and octopus, ending with tuna and eel.
Generally speaking, raw fish is recommended for sushi. It is impossible to apply this in Georgia and therefore, more focus is put on rice to reach the good taste. Another ingredient is rice. Reportedly, Georgian rice can be used, but the Japanese one is better. The rice Mashiko is the most appropriate. We must wash rice and leave it in water for the next half an hour – for 1kg around 1.2l of water. For 2kg of rice, 350g of sugar, 75g of salt and 550g of rice vinegar are needed.
Mr. Mitsuru told us that in Tokyo, sugar is not needed for rice, as the quality of the rice there is supreme as well as the raw fish and extra taste is not needed. The next step the Georgian cooks learned was the technique of rolling. However, unlike traditional sushi, there are other techniques in the west and this alternative way was also offered, the so-called “dragon roll”.
“It was the initiative of the Embassy. Sushi is popular all over the world. We have considered the great interest of the Georgian population in Japanese food and decided to give sushi lessons with the support of the Culinary Academy. It depended on the request of the academy. We asked them and they recommended that we could offer sushi lessons at first. We will continue introducing other dishes as well but I think that sushi is the best one in our cuisine,” Mr. Norihiko Nakajima of the Japanese Embassy told Georgian Journal.
As a sushi master, Mitsuru Imata is often invited to different receptions in Istanbul as well as abroad. He was the very person who was honored to introduce Washoku to such famous politicians as the Saudi Arabian Royal family members, MPs of Kazakhstan, last President of the Former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachov, Acting Prime Minister of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan and many others.
Another main ingredient of sushi is cucumber cut in thin slices. Kombu and Nori are sushi classics. And in an hour’s time, a rich variety of sushi was at our disposal with the wasabi dressing and soya sauce. I tasted the real Japanese food flavor. I am not sure whether I will ever make sushi myself, but it was delicious. Who knows what will happen? In the end, the students and Georgian cooks made sushi themselves.


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