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Sozai Cooking School

From perfect rice to maki rolls and more, Time Out tests a sushi course in Aldgate

Former chef Celia Plender – trained in Japan – puts a new sushi class through its paces. But are the results good enough to present to the Emperor of Japan – or only fit for a monk’s bowl? The class
Sozai Cooking School: This class – one of many run by the school – is called ‘Dinner Party Sushi’.

The score
4 stars

The aim
Get to grips with cooking rice and make a myriad of enticing sushi,  not just the usual maki rolls.

It’s £75 for a two hour session.  

They claim
‘In this class you will learn to make really exciting party sushi full of tremendous “wow” factors and guaranteed to impress your guests.’

What we did
As we crowded round the kitchen stove, teacher Akemi Yokoyama talked us through the intricacies of washing and cooking sushi rice correctly. So far – easy peasy, Japanesey. Next it was on to flipping thin omelettes ready to wrap into present-like sushi parcels tied with chive ribbons. The cooking over, we then moulded, folded, wrapped and stuffed to produce round temari sushi, sweet tofu pouches inverted and filled with multicoloured topping, and our omelette parcels. But the most impressive trick was left until last. Maki rolls were cut lengthways, inverted around a cucumber baton, then rolled in another piece of nori seaweed. You end up with geometric sushi that looks like a stained glass window.

Who goes?
From total beginners up to people who have mastered the basics (eight in our class) but want to take their sushi making to the next level.

We tasted
Much the sushi we’d lovingly crafted, enjoyed with a few glasses of wine.

Best tip
Add a bit of potato starch to your thin omelette to make it extra sturdy.

A full box of own-made sushi, bamboo roll mat, apron and a list of instructions for that dinner party.

Where do I find it?
Sozai Cooking School, 5 Middlesex Street, E1 7AA. 7458 4567, Aldgate tube.

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