The Novice Foodie, on a (Maki) Roll

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Jerad selected one lower-end (Sapporo) and one higher-end (Hitachino Nest) beer for the class. As the rice cooked, we enjoyed the Sapporo while noshing on edamame and spicy cucumber salad. Kelly explained her fish-buying process for sushi: She goes only to Bob's Seafood (where most local chefs get their fish), she tells them that she is making sushi so they direct her to what's freshest, and she asks to smell the fish to make sure that it doesn't smell like...well, fish. I don't normally buy or cook a lot of fish because my husband doesn't like it, but I do want to make my own rolls in the future, so this information is something I look forward to taking advantage of.

Ready to roll a fish joint. - KELLI BEST-OLIVER
Kelli Best-Oliver
Ready to roll a fish joint.
Then came the highly-anticipated portion of the class: learning how to roll maki (or as I like to call them, fish joints). In addition to being a hops prophet, Jerad is an excellent maki-roller and taught us well. Let me tell you about that rice: When they call it sticky rice, they aren't fucking around. Jerad's tip for working with sticky rice was to dip your fingers in vinegar and water repeatedly during the rolling process and to do the same with your knife when you slice the rolls.

The finished product. - KELLI BEST-OLIVER
Kelli Best-Oliver
The finished product.
I made one roll with asparagus, carrots, avocado and tuna, and one with avocado, salmon, carrots and lemon. I love the texture of maki. The chewiness of the rice and nori, the smooth, buttery fish and avocado, the refreshing crunch of the veggies and the salty-sourness of the soy sauce combine to make a perfect mouthful.

I desperately wanted to abandon table manners and stuff my face with the fruits of our labor, but I thought better and used enough restraint to manage chopsticks and delicate sips of beer, thinking to myself Yeah, I made that, bitches. Delicious.

Kelli Best-Oliver is on a quest to become a full-fledged foodie. She chronicles her adventures for Gut Check every Tuesday. She writes about any damn thing she pleases at South City Confidential.
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