Traverse City Record-Eagle


January 23, 2014

Easier than ever to whip up sushi at home

TRAVERSE CITY — Home chefs have spent decades trying to re-create their favorite sushi with varied success.

The traditional Japanese fare once was relegated to specialty restaurants, but the proliferation of it’s staple ingredients has landed many a foodie in sticky situations trying to mimic chef-quality rolls for dinner guests.

But a little practice, a few good tips and a little imagination can cure even the worst homemade sushi experience.

”It’s not that difficult,” said Gary Jonas, owner of The Little Fleet. “You could do it at home.”

He’s rolled his own sushi at home before with pretty good success.

Jonas’ bar hosted a sushi rolling workshop last week where Chef Anie Driscoll, sous chef for Aerie restaurant at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, taught more than 100 people the basics of rolling their own sushi.

”When you’re doing it at home, practice makes perfect,” she said. “Have a party with your friends and expect your first few rolls won’t be perfect.”

Tables of amateur sushi chefs packed into the small bar for a chance to hone their skills under the tutelage of a trained chef. And most of them walked away with the techniques they will need to whip up a roll or two on their own.

Homemade sushi certainly can’t replace a good restaurant that has the ability to create specialized pieces, Jonas said.

But it’s not a bad way to inject a healthy alternative to a pregame spread on any given Sunday.

Driscoll provided a few ingredients that you probably won’t find on the shelf at a local grocery store. And most seafood counters don’t stock eel and smoked octopus. Nonetheless, the techniques are the same and Traverse City isn’t exactly far from the source of good fish.

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