The Intention Sessions Interviews

Check out this inspiring and timely podcast by Adrienne Enns of MAY YOU KNOW JOY. In one of the interviews, our Chef Sang discusses the story behind Sushi Making For The Soul.

Virtual Sushi Classes

As we prepare for the gradual re-opening of our actual studio, we have been thoroughly enjoying invitations to the virtual party. Thanks to all those who have welcomed us into their homes via Zoom. Looking forward to more such sushi parties in the coming weeks!

Still waiting for our Health Authorities to give us the thumbs up and looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Free Virtual Workshop For Kids

You’ve had it up to HERE, we’re sure. So are we…
So, we want to give you a bit of reprieve.

On MONDAY MAY 18th (4pm-5pm), we are conducting a free virtual sushi class for your kids via ZOOM. Coming to you from our kitchen in Toronto, your kids will learn how to make two classic rolls (California and Cucumber) using two different styles. While they’re at it, have them make a bunch for your dinner too!

If you think this would be of interest to them, email classes@sushimakingforthesoul.com for details and the ingredients list. (Taking up to 100 households). Gonna be a great workshop!

THE LOBSTER

I’m indifferent to lobster meat, whether cooked or served as sashimi. It may or may not have anything to do with taking a date to a Red Lobster during my university days. She was hardly impressed and never did respond to my follow-up calls. Although I can’t be sure if it was the lobster she had an issue with or me.
Pretty sure it was me.

The opening scene of my favourite Alistair Macleod story, “Vision”, takes place on a boat just off the coast of Nova Scotia. It’s the end of a successful lobster run, the father is pleased, and his narrator-son says, “There was a time long ago when the lobsters were not thought to be so valuable.” In fact, early American colonists referred to it as “cockroaches of the sea” and “poor man’s pot”, gleefully sloughing it off to prisoners, slaves, the poor.

That it is so prized today has as much to do with its status as a “delicacy” as it does with increasing global demand and the higher costs associated with lobster fishing.

But in spite of my romantic failings and culinary disinterest, I do love the lobster for it’s sheer physical beauty and it’s bionic replacement superpower. Lobsters can regenerate virtually anything it has lost on its body. If in danger, it will even amputate a claw or leg to escape. Then just as immediately, the cells near the lost limb will rapidly divide and multiply. In no time a new appendage forms, stronger than the one it is replacing.

And so it is—the lobster’s resilience and capacity to recreate itself that makes this creature, like those of us who find a way to recover from the mildest of heartaches to the gravest of losses, so achingly beautiful.

#novascotiastrong #novascotiaremembers

SALMON DONBURI

You can’t eat raw everyday and not even we’d do that no matter how much fish we got lying around. This is a very simple donburi (rice bowl) I make when I have some fugitive pieces of salmon in the fridge.
This recipe is really all about the sauce/oil, which works well with other proteins, especially firm tofu. (The sauce recipe is a family-sized batch, which you can store in your refrigerator for up to a month.)


SALMON DONBURI

Salmon Donburi

3-4 sliced pieces of salmon (1/2” thickness)
Bowl of steamed rice (see earlier post on how to make the perfect rice)

Sauce/Oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sesame oil
1 ts minced garlic
1 ts minced ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
2 Tb maple syrup (or honey)
3 Tb soy sauce
2 Tb toasted sesame seeds

Fried Onion
1/2 cup minced onion
2 Tb white flour
1 Tb vegetable oil

METHOD

Sauce/oil

  1. In a pan, add vegetable oil and sesame oil on low heat.
  2. Add ginger, scallions to the pan and bring to light simmer.
  3. Add onion and garlic to the pan (don’t burn)
  4. When garlic and onion start to brown, take off heat, add maple syrup and soy sauce. Mix well.

Fried Onion

  1. Place minced onion in microwave on medium-high for 1 min (to extract as much moisture as possible). Remove.
  2. In a bowl, sprinkle white flour evenly on the onions.
  3. Add vegetable oil to a pan. On medium-low heat, sauté onions until golden brown
  4. Drain excess oil on a paper towel.

Salmon

  1. In a frying pan, sauté salmon slices, med-high heat, in a bit of vegetable oil.
  2. Don’t cook fully through. Keep center raw.
  3. In a bowl of steamed rice, add salmon, drizzle generously with sauce. Top with fried onion and sesame seeds.
quarantinerecipes #donburi #salmonrecipe

EARTH DAY 2020 PAN-FRIED TILAPIA

It doesn’t matter if you think the fish is boring or flavourless. Tilapia is the third most consumed fish in the world. And with self-isolation causing you to pull out (…to the dismay of your soon-to-be wealthy barber…) all that hair on your head, I think it’s time you joined the party.

What I most love about Tilapia is that, unlike most fish, it lacks a selfish gene. It rarely competes for food or territory. Instead, they’ll go after the very plants and nutrients shunned by other species and substantially reduce oxygen-depleting detritus in the water. Their presence increases the population, size, and health of other species. (We Homo Sapiens can learn a lot from them. And it’s my hope that you will meditate on this while you chow down on my recipe below.)

EARTH DAY RECIPE 2: PAN-FRIED TILAPIA WITH MANGO SALSA

Pan-fried Tilapia

(Your kids will love you for not making another batch of Korean seaweed soup.)

4-6 Tilapia fillets (usually packaged with 2-3 fish, attached at the tail end. Just cut into individual fillets)

Dredge Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ts paprika
1 ts oregano
1 ts garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups bread crumbs

Mango Salsa
2 mangoes, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 ts salt
1/4 cup cilantro (or parsley), chopped finely
2 Scotch bonnets (or jalapeños), seeded and diced
(Mix all ingredients in a bowl.)

Vegetable oil for frying

Method

  1. Rinse frozen Tilapia fillets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Shallow dish #1 (Mix flour, salt and pepper, paprika, oregano, garlic powder): Coat fillets, both sides.
  3. Shallow dish #2 (Eggs): Dip fillets, both sides. Drip excess egg.
  4. Shallow dish #3 (Bread crumbs): Lay fillets, both sides.
  5. Heat enough vegetable oil in a skillet, med-high heat, and fry fillets, about 4 minutes per side.
  6. Plate or cut in half and wrap with tortillas (hola fish tacos!)
  7. Spoon mango salsa over fish and serve.

thewealthybarber #selfishgene #covid19 #earthday2020 #quarantinerecipes #tilapia #mangosalsa #fishtacos

EARTH DAY 2020 TILAPIA CEVICHE

It’s Earth Day’s fish because it’s Every Day’s fish.
Snobs sneer at it, accuse it of being boring, flavourless—qualities they know something about. (But these are the same culinary carpenters who’ll angrily blame the mallet for their throbbing thumb.)

I love Tilapia for its Swami Sivananda-like flexibility, its Leonardo DiCaprio-like sustainability, and its Bill and Melinda Gates-like fight against contagious diseases. (The Nile Tilapia has been effective in combatting malaria because of its love of mosquito larvae—how do you say “yummy in my tummy” in Tilapian?) And the sheer range of cooking techniques you can apply to it is nothing to shrug at.

I learned this simple recipe in Chile from an environmentalist friend, Jesus, who had a Tilapia pond in his yard, but preferred frozen over fresh for his ceviche. Frozen Tilapia is ubiquitous in every grocery store or box store here.

(Here’s the first of two Tilapia recipes.)

EARTH DAY RECIPE 1: TILAPIA MANGO CEVICHE

Tilapia Mango Ceviche

1/2 lb tilapia frozen, thinly sliced (the thicker the cut, the longer it takes to “cook” in the citrus juices)
1 mango, diced very small
1 Tb cilantro (or parsley), chopped

Marinade
1/2 Tb Kosher salt
1/2 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
1 Tb orange juice, fresh squeezed
1/2 ts lime zest
1/2 red onion, sliced into half-moons
1/4 ts sugar
1 Scotch bonnet chili pepper (or jalapeño if you prefer it mild), seeded and chopped

Method

  1. Salt the fish, all sides
  2. In a Ziplock®️ bag, add fish with lime + orange juice, red onion, chili pepper, lime zest and sugar. Make sure juices cover all the fish.
  3. Chill bag in fridge for 4 hours.
  4. Remove contents of bag into a glass or ceramic bowl (do not use anything metal, as the acid corrodes), add the mango and cilantro. Mix all together.
  5. Arrange on a plate (or just dump the contents into a bowl.)

Sanitize your hands, turn off your lights, take off your clothes, say grace to Mother Earth, and eat with tortilla chips or scoop into Tostitos®️

#covid19 #quarantinerecipes #earthday2020 #tilapia #ceviche #chile #sushimakingforthesoul

WaSOYbi

Refined sushi eaters like you have been practicing it long before #physicaldistancing became a hashtag. But for many others, they’re still partying like it’s 2019 when it comes to #wasabi and #soysauce

Getting waSOYbi just right is like a spiritual exercise for them. They could be in the middle of a conversation about their failing marriage, but their patient partner will still pause to let them finish making their beloved paste.

“You done now, honey? Okay, good. Yes, I need space. And no, it has nothing to do with what’s been happening these past few months. I’ve been wanting this for years.”

Yes, I know. The very idea of creating that greenish-brown silt in a dish is as revolting as a stranger on the subway offering to lend you their homemade mask because you forgot yours. It’s a testament to your uncompromising stand against bad form that you don’t do it.

You know better. You know that diluting wasabi in soy sauce makes it effectively defenseless against the dangerous H.pylori bacteria in raw fish. You know that undiluted wasabi is one of the best inhibitors of streptococcus mutans, the cause of tooth decay.

But we mustn’t judge others who don’t know any better.
We’re Canadian. We’re kind.

And I must confess: I’ve not always been so charitable myself. A student, Zach, once blurted out in a class that I was acting like a dictator, that making waSOYbi wasn’t an act of barbarism.
I didn’t respond.
He later apologized.
I didn’t respond.

Last night, I made sushi. I also made waSOYbi. Colour saturation was perfect (green, with hints of dark caramel); exact 2-1.5 proportion of soy to wasabi. It was the most delicious condiment I’ve ever had!
Zach, you were wrong then, but you are right now.
I accept your apology.

waSOYbi

#quarantinestories #sushimakingforthesoul #thetimestheyareachangin #soysauce #wasabi

SEAWEED SOUP

We go through a lot of sushi in our workshops, but this one is not the variety used for making rolls. Of the hundreds of variations of soups, Korean seaweed soup #miyeokguk #미역국 is my favourite, in part because it’s the simplest one to make, and in part because it’s one of the best and most delicious hangover cures.

It is traditionally prepared for mothers who have just given birth. Made from brown seaweed (or Japanese wakame), the nutrients in the seaweed are known to cleanse/replenish the blood, produce breast milk, and generally quicken recovery. It’s also served on your birthday because, frankly, you need to be reminded every year how much your mom had to endure to give birth to you. I use beef because it deepens the umami, but you can use any meat protein.
Or not.
Dried seaweed is so cheap (and lasts longer than any guilt trip) that storing a bag in your pantry is something to deeply consider between binge-watching your favourite Netflix anime for the second time.

Seaweed Soup

SEAWEED SOUP WITH BEEF

(Serves a hungry family of four OR a “mom-it’s-a-weed-for-the-love-of-god-and-I’m-not-really-feeling-it-right-now family of ten.)

Ingredients
1 oz dried seaweed (Miyeok / wakame)
5 oz beef chuck or round, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 ts fine sea salt
1/4 ts black pepper
1 Tb sesame oil
2 Tb soy sauce
1 ts minced garlic
6 cups water

Method

  1. Cut dried seaweed with scissors, 2” length
  2. Soak dried seaweed in cold water for 10 min. Drain and rinse the seaweed a few times in running water. Squeeze the water out. Set aside.
  3. In small bowl, mix beef with salt, black pepper, and garlic.
  4. Preheat pot on med heat. Add sesame oil, seaweed and beef. Stir well until the beef is lightly brown. Add soy sauce and water.
  5. Cover the pot and boil over medium heat until the meat is fully cooked (approx. 10 minutes).
  6. Serve with your children (or anyone else’s for that matter) gathered around the table, periodically reminding them of what you went through.

#covid19 #quarantinerecipes #greatmoms #wakame #seaweedsoup

KINTSUGI

I dropped a salad plate that shattered into a million pieces the other day. It was given to me years ago by a master sushi chef and mentor, Osada-san. He had made the plate himself.

I don’t usually get sentimental about objects, so when the tears came, it surprised me. Yet even in that moment I knew it wasn’t just about a broken plate.

Some of our challenges feel too daunting, our desperation as silent and infectious as the very thing we know caused it. Relationship problems. Financial crises. Mental health issues. Losses—of employment, shelter, personal security, self-esteem, even of loved ones. Heartbreak in its countless guises.

And of the virtues declaring itself today in all its human splendour—kindness, patience, courage, charity, love etc.—the most consequential of all may be: resilience.

Kintsugi is the 400-year-old Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with powdered gold. Every break, whatever its kind or cause, is unique. And rather than concealing it, kintsugi artists incorporate the “scars” as a part of the design solution. The new product becomes stronger, more resilient, than it had been before.

“It’s a beautiful idea, but beautiful ideas don’t shatter. Plates do. So do our lives, our hearts. Reality is what is fragile.”

But we have entirely missed the point of kintsugi. By mending broken plates, these people weren’t trying to construct a metaphor—they weren’t poets.
Their work wasn’t some coded message for “you can achieve if you simply believe”—they weren’t cheerleaders.

The practitioners of kintsugi were scientists, reconstructive surgeons. They aspired to see things clearly.

And this is what they saw: brittle shards of broken pottery that needed fixing, resilience-building. Their solution: copy the ways of the human anatomy, of man’s indomitable spirit.

KINTSUGI: The Art of Resilience

#covid19 #quarantinestories #kintsugi #resilience

MAKING PERFECT STEAMED RICE

In Korean, “rice” translates into “Ssal”, but once cooked, it takes on new name: “Bap”.

However, the word “Bap” means more than just “cooked rice”. During times of strife, war, dislocation, and quarantine, it symbolized for Koreans the value of life itself. Bap also translates to “meal”, embodying the virtues of social engagement, community, charity. For example, a person extends an invitation to friends or acquaintances by asking them if he can treat them to “Bap”–meaning a shared meal and time together.
We look forward to having Bap with you again soon!

Stay safe.

This is how we’ve been doing it since 2008 (before adding any seasoning—that’s the next video). But if you want to learn how to make fluffy delicious rice, watch this video. Enjoy!

APRIL 20, 2020 UPDATE : COVID-19 AND SUSHI CLASSES

All sushi workshops, whether they are public ones at our kitchen studio or corporate/private offsites, are suspended until at least May 30, 2020. Upon further direction from municipal, provincial, and federal Health Authorities, we will let you know when workshops will be resumed. Thank you very much for your patience.

As the chef & owner of Sushi Making For The Soul, I wanted to take this time to address the growing uncertainty and concern around the COVID-19 pandemic and our sushi classes. I am mindful of what is of greatest concern to our guests, being as we are in the business of handling and serving food, particularly at this time. Therefore, we have enhanced hygiene practises, sanitation, and social distancing within small groups because all this is critical to slowing the spread of the virus. I understand your anxieties and I share them with you.


Our “Sushi Distancing” measures, include, but are not limited to:

1. Capping our maximum numbers that recommended by The Public Health Agency of Canada (changing on almost daily basis). By doing this we can break up our workstations into multiple stations to ensure recommended social distancing;

2. Greeting all guests at the sanitation station (includes hand cleaners, sanitation wipes, gloves);

3. Securing guest coats and bags away from any work or food stations;

4. Ensuring every guest washes their hands as soon they arrive;

5. No-handshaking;

6. Distributing plastic gloves multiple times throughout the class. (Ordinarily, we do not use gloves, simply bare hands and water to pick up rice and other ingredients);

7. Our staff washing and sanitizing their hands every 1/2 hour;

8. Wrapping of all food in plastic wrap before the arrival of workshop participants.

Finally, to our prepaid clients (individuals, corporate, private, public institutions), I wish to calm any anxieties you may have about future classes. You have all been very loyal and trusting of us and we thank you. You will be given priority to re-book classes once this all passes. Dates will be emailed to you to choose from before they are posted publicly. For now, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada and keep you informed about the latest developments so you can rely on our commitment to you with peace of mind.

During the challenging weeks and months ahead, I can only wish that you and those closest to you remain safe and healthy. COVID-19 is yet another crisis which great countries like ours can transform into opportunities to bring people together rather than divide them. It is my hope we can act on such an opportunity during this very difficult time.

I look forward to meeting you at a future workshop!

Thank you.

Sang Kim

HAENYEO: The Women of the Sea

They are the Haenyeo (해녀)- the women of the sea. You will find these grandmothers in the frigid waters off Jeju Island at all times of the year, in search of mollusks, shellfish, octopus, seaweed- anything that will command a reasonable price at the market. They can hold their breaths for up to three minutes, dive as deep as 30 meters, contending daily with hazardous weather, poisonous jellyfish, and sharks. And when they return to land with their catch (men still refer to it as “gathering” or “harvesting”), these indomitable, fiercely-independent women must navigate a rigidly Confucian ecosystem, with archaic ideas about the role of women in a society engineered by men. In the semi-matriarchal haenyeo community, the women are the breadwinners, and it is their husbands who stay home, cook, care for the children. In South Korea, as almost anywhere else with outmoded sensibilities around gender and sex, this has always been equivalent to losing face.

This is the last generation of the haenyeo (almost all of them are in their fifties to late eighties.) At their peak in the 1960s they numbered more than 25,000. Today, there are less than 5,000 plying their trade. It is a practise and way of life in decline. But there is a legacy that will not be denied them. In this small community, in that part of the world, challenged for centuries by every accepted societal norm, these women of the sea have always ruled.

#internationalwomensday #haenyeo #womenwarriors

Our Chef Sang returns to CTV’s Your Morning to prepare Oscar-winning film ‘Parasite’s “Ram-don”

The now-viral instant noodle dish from the Oscar-winning film, PARASITE.
Here is the recipe and segment.

Ninja Sushi Innovation Challenge with Laurel Hill

Team at Laurel Hill blow minds with some creative platters

Kasian Sushi Workshop

Designers and Architects everywhere beware. Sushi Warriors from this fine firm are ready for battle!

Craft Public Relations Team-building Sushi Workshop

Brilliant, creative, innovative, tireless enthusiasm. And that’s just this group making sushi rolls!

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services Sushi Workshop

Presented by United Way

SUSHI MAKING FOR THE SOUL WITH FRIENDS

Giving the gift of sushi-making and bonding with friends

HOK TEAM-BUILDING SUSHI WORKSHOP

The great designers and architects at HOK love to create. With the excellence displayed here, they may want to consider designing a sushi restaurant for their own team!

Toronto Date Ideas Private Sushi Workshop

Some of the best first-time sushi makers Chef Sang has ever taught. Check out their work!

Bridal Shower Sushi Workshop

A surprise bridal shower sushi workshop for Kara

Desjardins Summer Sushi Workshop

A fabulous summer #sushiworkshop with the great peeps of Desjardins

TD Securities “Underwriting Hope” Sushi-Making Fundraiser

One of the inspiring sushi workshops this summer teamed the generous people from TD Securities with our own Chef Sang to show our commitment and love for a cause so dear to all of us: leading vulnerable children and youth toward their inborn promise! We are so honoured to have contributed in our own small way to such an important fundraiser! Thanks to 2nd Floor Events for hosting us at their gorgeous venue!

#underwritinghope #TDbank

Tribe Team-building Workshop

#wetribe

Who Really Invented The California Roll?

California Roll 5

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recently honoured the great Japanese-Canadian Chef, Hidekazu Tojo, for inventing the California Roll. His eponymous restaurant is one I recommend to anybody visiting Vancouver, and his signature rolls, including Pacific Northwest and Great BC, are some of the finest locally-sourced makimonos anywhere. He is also one of the bonafide innovators of omakase in North America, when the diner at a sushi bar leaves the selection of small dishes in the chef’s hands. In Toronto we have Kaji and Hiro, the Alpha and Omega of local sushi chefs, successfully striking that right balance between nurture and nature. But Omakase in our land-locked city is an achingly serious conundrum because we are thousands of miles from the three coasts, where a chef in closer proximity, like Tojo, can tap into the wealth and variety of fresh seafood, not only along his B.C. coast, but from where he stands, just a stone’s throw away in Japan’s Tsukiji Market.

Soon after the announcement was made about Tojo, I was asked by some local news agencies to comment on the “inventor of the California Roll”. And because my students do a version of it in my Making Makimonos class, I sometimes share the story about its origins. So, I thought I would throw my two-cents into the tank and clear the record so as not to be perceived as promoting fake news by my beloved minnows.

Today, the California Roll is as recognizable a brand as the Big Mac and as ubiquitous as Ikea furniture. A sushi bar in North America will not succeed without some variation of this money-making maki on its menu. In the late 1990’s, when the war against the hosomaki (a traditional Japanese roll, where a maximum of four ingredients are used, and wrapped in nori- roasted seaweed wrap) was declared, sushi chefs with little classical training began to pave the New Road for the Roll. Every imaginable ingredient under the sun was shoved between a sheet of nori and rice.  These uramaki (American-made, larger-than-life-rice-on-the-outside-rolls) could have as much as eighteen ingredients in them, and were christened with all kinds of attention-grabbing names: the ominous Red Dragon; the unappetizing Caterpillar; even the nostalgic (“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”Rainbow Roll. Thankfully, many of the sushi bars that mass-produced these rolls have been shuttered, and a new wave of neo-conservative, classically-trained chefs have taken their place. Sushi bars began the march back to its roots, which meant the hosomaki inched its way back into favour (read: kappa and tekka). Even still, the California Roll has remained a staunch staple.

My favourite variation is the California temaki (cone-shaped handroll), which is delicious with less vinegary rice and a firmer avocado because the shredded shirimi (imitation crabmeat) and softness of the rice demands textural contrast.

California Roll 3

And, of course, what would anything from California be without two slices of “just-like-my-grandma-used-to-bake-it” bread bookending it? Enter the California Roll Sandwich for those who don’t believe (in spite of the evidence of my elbows and knees after taking a bite of it) that gluten causes inflammation. It’s a homage to the great Alice Waters reincarnated as a Japanese sushi chef.

California Roll Sandwich 6

The origin of the California Roll has petrified into myth; and like all creation myths, origins get muddied. The re-telling of it is full of drama and suspense, with a dose of shifting invention for flavour. And as proudly Canadian as I am, as much as I believe he is the cream of the crop in the broadening landscape of fine sushi chefs in our country, the story of Tojo inventing the California Roll is the merely another muddled creation myth.

The Californians invented it, of course.

The name of the roll was not intended for ironic effect, and the sober story is well-documented. For starters, my friend Casson Trenor, the writer and sustainable seafood activist, wrote a bestselling book about sushi, and in it he also discusses its origins.

*    *     *

It is the 1960’s in L.A.’s Little Tokyo. The restaurant is called Tokyo Kaikan, one of the first tempura bars in America. It also had a small sushi bar. Besides the many Nehru-jacketed, love-beaded, tie-dyed hippies disembarking from their hippy vans, TK’s clientele was otherwise Japanese businessmen, and they all longed for the rich flavors of toro– the fatty belly part of the bluefin tuna, which was prized back home. There was little of this to be had in California. What was readily available, however, were truckloads of fresh avocados crossing the Mexican border. With almost a third of its content being fat, avocados offered the texture and melt-in-your-mouth qualities of toro. So, in an inspired moment, Ichiro Mashita, the sushi chef at Tokyo Kaikan, sliced some ripe avocado and blended it with chopped boiled shrimp to give the mixture the reddish coloring of tuna meat. Later, due to prohibitive costs, he switched from shrimp to shirimi (made sausage-like from non-usable bits of white fish), which until then was tossed to the seagulls from the docks of Cannery Row in Monterey. It is still used today. Finally, to hide the cheap quality of the nori that was being used, he turned the roll inside-out, to keep it (forgive me) under wraps.

These two innovations (replacing tuna belly with avocado and putting rice on the outside) rocked the sushi world almost as much as Prince hating sushi shook the Rock world. Purists back in Japan mocked the roll for creating simulated flavors and deemed the hiding of the nori sacrilegious. Americans, however, preferred not to see the “black paper”, as their palates were not used to the taste of roasted seaweed.

So began our undying love affair with, not to mention the misappropriation of, the California Roll.

California Roll 2

And despite nay-sayers and tongue-waggers of recent years, this Roll-To-End-All-Rolls has taken on iconic status. And like some of the other great American culinary ideas, from Spaghetti-and-Meatballs to Philly Steak to the bafflingly un-Chinese Egg Foo Young, the California Roll  is sure to endure the real test: Time.

In the end, who really cares who “invented” it? Let’s celebrate and champion our great Canadian chef. When you make it as well as Tojo does, you may as well take the credit for it. It is, after all, just a roll. But allow me this final nugget of truth: some of the students in my classes rock it, too.

Cassandra’s Sushi Bridal Shower

Congratulations to Cassandra and all her friends who made the trek from across the United States to celebrate her special day with her!

Toronto Date Ideas Checks Us Out

We had so much fun + would definitely recommend this class as an awesome date idea! 

-Toronto Date Ideas-
Sarina masters the California Roll
Kaley, Chef Sang, Sarina

Read the post HERE.

Mel’s Sushi Birthday Party

Mel celebrating her birthday with her best friends by making sushi, of course! #sushiwarriors

Adastra Team-building Sushi Workshop

The great #sushiwarriors from Adastra who just LOVE sushi!

Shirley’s Bachelorette Sushi Party in Muskoka

Can you ask for more than being surrounded by a group of immensely talented, funny, smart-witted #sushiwarriors?

Minto Group Team-building Sushi Workshop at The Four Seasons

This great organization knows how to build beautiful things, including properties and communities. Little did they know beautiful sushi was yet another thing on their long list of achievements.

U of T’s Rotman School of Management Culinary Club

Some of our future leaders of finance taking a stab at sushi. Check out their California Rolls! #SushiWarriors #JustRollWithIt


Interface Sushi Workshop in NYC

Corporate sushi workshop with some of the finest designers in NYC for Interface.


Thank you Sushi Warriors!

2018 was a milestone year for us. We surpassed the 20K participant mark. For ten years, we have been creating memorable team-building sushi workshops for some of North America’s great organizations. This video is a sampling of some of the 300+ we have been proud to serve. Thank you! #SushiWarriors #JustRollWithIt


FOODISM: Top 6 Best Cooking Classes in Toronto

Honoured to be on this list alongside some of Toronto’s best! To see the list, click here.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!

To each and every one of you who attended our classes in 2018- Thank You! 2018 was a milestone year for us because of you!

You have also played such a vital role in helping us pay it forward, especially to youth in vulnerable communities and with the help of so many of our city’s great institutions. Thanks for carrying us on your shoulders!

We hope you will continue your great journey by carrying peace and compassion in your hearts EVERY day of 2019. Let Du Lin’s face be a reminder of what peace and compassion looks like. Happy New Year!

As for those of you interested in attending the best party in town, we roll out the red carpet for you! Welcome!

When Chef Sang shares his favourite tofu recipes on The Social

TofuSegment

Sampling Tofu-Avocado Gratin and Mongolian Tofu with Lainey & Mel. Click here to watch the segment.

When Chef Sang Teaches Sushi Making on CTV’s Your Morning

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Fastest California Roll Ever With Ben Mulroney?

Check out the segment here.

When Chef Sang prepares cold noodle dishes on CTV’s The Social

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Here are the four most popular Asian cold noodle dishes for the summer

Chill out and check out the segment here.

When Chef Sang prepares kimchi on CTV’s national morning show, Your Morning

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Preparing traditional slow food kimchi in 5 minutes with hosts Anne-Marie Mediwake and Ben Mulroney. To watch the segment, click here.

CTV News on Chef Sang’s #GiftingKimchi Campaign

CTV Toronto News - Gifting Kimchi

CTV News covers our own Chef Sang on his #giftingkimchi campaign to the courageous civilian first-responders of the van attack in North York aka #NorthKoreatown. He did two drops of kimchi this day: one to the employees of Capital One (who held a private sushi class the very week of the attack); the other to Tiffany Jefkins, a CPR instructor, who was at the wrong place at the right time. #heroeswedeserve

When Chef Sang teaches Cynthia and Marci how to make sushi rice sandwiches on CTV’s The Social

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A first on national television! It’s called Onigirazu (Korean version – Samgak) and Chef Sang teaches the participants in our most popular sushi workshop, Making Makimonos, how to make it too!

Watch the segment HERE so you can see why it’s going to be the Next Big Thing in North American sushi.

Food Literacy Lessons By Chef Sang For Children From Low-Income Neighbourhoods

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Working with children in high-risk, low-income neighbourhoods is the raison d’être of Sushi Making For The Soul. It was founded by Chef Sang to raise awareness around childhood poverty in the GTA, as well as meaningfully engage children in the basics of culturally-relevant food literacy. Making sushi in a class environment was the vehicle to get the message out. During the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Chef Sang will conduct four workshops with children from Toronto’s Regent Park and Moss Park neighbourhoods. Each workshop will teach children how to make a healthy Korean dish on a tight budget, as well as discuss issues around food waste.

Click here to learn more about these workshops.

Chef Sang and YouTube Celebrity Veronica Wang create a giant spicy salmon roll

Giant Spicy Salmon Roll
Making a giant spicy salmon roll

This is an incredibly fun video of Chef Sang and Veronica assembling a gargantuan spicy salmon roll! It is simple to make and delicious, a party activity. Also, if you want to know how Chef Sang prepares his (no-longer-secret) sushi rice, the one he uses in his classes, watch this video.

When Chef Sang prepares Bibimbap with Ben Mulroney on CTV’s Your Morning

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To inaugurate the opening day of the Winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Watch the segment here.

When Chef Sang prepares bento boxes with hosts Lainey & Mel

Bento Boxes

http://www.thesocial.ca/food/side-dish?vid=1314447

Our own Chef Sang teaches the hosts a thing or two about making intricate bento boxes.

Toronto Life: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Nice to make it into this year’s guide. Gratitude to all you sushi warriors out there for your ongoing support!

Rendezvous Korean Cuisine 2017: Hangawi (한가위)

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Songpyeon (송편) – rice cakes traditionally consumed during Hangawi or Chuseok (credit: Visit Korea)

It has always been my favourite time of the year.

Hangawi, also known as Chuseok (추석), falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, an important national holiday in Korea. To second-generation Korean-Canadians, it is simply referred to as “Korean Thanksgiving”. This year, Hangawi runs from October 3rd-5th, when the moon comes into full bloom.

As a child, I remember extended family members gathering at my grandparents farm, near Suwon, bearing gifts, platters of half-moon rice cakes (송편), and a year’s worth of stories. It was a festive time, with plenty of activities to keep the children busy, but also a time when the spirit of our ancestors were honoured in elaborate ceremonies, with everyone donning elaborately vibrant hanboks (한복).

Immigration to Canada, with its familiar and urgent contingencies, brought an abrupt halt to all that. Assimilation meant the end to those sweet and savoury rice cakes, and the lunar calendar, in favour of a curiously oversized fowl with its legs poking the air, and precisely at dinnertime every second Monday of every October. For the first five years in the new country, rubbery turkey meat and globs of tepid gravy from a can is what awaited us at our cousin’s house.  Each year we exercised our imaginations to avoid attending that dreaded meal.

But times change. With practice, we learned how to keep the turkey moist, but by then some of us kept turning our heads back. The Prodigal Son was homesick.

Rendezvous Korean Cuisine 2017 (한식과의 만남) Poster

The fifth annual Rendezvous Korean Cuisine 2017: Hangawi was held within walking distance of Toronto’s original Koreatown, where so many of the first wave of Korean immigrants to our country sought refuge and some semblance of collective remembering. Artscape Wychwood Barns, a multi-faceted community hub, is, like the event itself, a unique merging of the old with the new. Hosted by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto, it was a lavish celebration of both traditional Korean cuisine (한식) and Korean-inspired contemporary dishes – a meeting of the landed-first and born-second generation Koreans.

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The Honourable Consul General Jeong-sik Kang

Music, with one eye looking back and the other looking forward, accompanied the festivities. From a traditional drum disruption and the formal 12-stringed gayageum (가야금), to a Canadian version of K-pop, vaguely nostalgic sounds filled the halls.

Traditional Korean Music
Members of the Korean Traditional Music Association of Canada

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Members of the Korean Traditional Music Association of Canada

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The next generation of K-Pop

But it was the main course that the 350+ guests came for: Korean food. And lots of it. Staples including bibimbap (비빔밥) and kimchi (김치) and japchae (잡채: sweet potato starch noodles) were offered in abundance by the three major Korean supermarket chains in the GTA (P.A.T, Galleria, HMart), as well as a spectacular buffet of some of Korea’s finest traditional dishes by Seoul House Restaurant.

Over the years, there has been a welcome increase in the numbers of non-Korean guests attending the annual event. The role of Korean cuisine has finally caught up to the other “soft technology” exports of South Korea, all of which came in the form of  Hallyu (Korean Wave), particularly from the K-Pop music, TV drama, and movies sector.

I gave a talk about Hangawi and demonstrated the preparation of seasonal apple-pear kimchi, sharing with the audience the true spirit of Korean cuisine: fermentation. Without this labour-intensive method of food preservation, it is virtually impossible to imagine what a Korean dining table would look like. Fermentation has become the latest go-to word in health and wellness circles, but it has served a unique function and purpose in Korean cuisine for thousands of years. Yes, it is good for your digestive tract. Yes, capsaicin, the active ingredient in the most recognized of Korean seasonings – the red chile pepper – is an effective remedy for pain, not to speak of obesity; but it’s sole purpose has always been to produce nutrient-rich food during the long Korean winters, when fresh ingredients were scarce – mothers over hundreds of generations have understood this. And this idea has moved many of us to pass these traditions along while also looking for methods and ingredients in our backyards to harmonize with it.

I invited two talented second-generation chefs to join me at the event, both of whom have been pushing the envelope on Korean-Canadian cuisine over the past few years. Jane Jhung of Lee Nam Jang Restaurant, reimagined kimchi pancakes (전) with good ole fashion Canadian bacon; and Jongwan Kim of The Korean Kitchen, took a torch to his bulgogi (불고기) and gave it a classic French baguette twist to it. Both were huge hits and I am very proud of their continued efforts to move forward while gently tugging along our shared culinary history.

This was a memorable night, with all those in attendance intent on celebrating one of our significant moments. It did much to positively illuminate Korean culture, our people, and its food. Time to put down the daily papers, turn away from the internet news sites. Rendezvous Korean Cuisine 2017 revealed to those whose eyes may be clouded by current affairs, what the true spirit of being Korean looks like.

Honourable Consul General Kang and Consul Jeon, the Cultural attache, along with his assistant, Grace Ki, and their team of staff and volunteers, should be commended for creating an evening like no other in our city, our country. Because of this night, and thanks to them, we are all proud to be Koreans today.

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Consul Jeon, Me, Grace Ki, and some of the incredible volunteers of the evening

As for me, it’s a kind of homecoming, a return to my culinary and spiritual roots. Sure, if you wish…like Odysseus looking toward Ithaca. And like those Greeks of old, we Koreans speak our own variation of the proverb: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food.”

This extraordinary event has been a healing journey for many, especially for me.

 

When Chef Sang Kim makes Pho with the Mel & Lainey of CTV’s The Social

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With Mel and Lainey. Vegetarian, Beef, and Instant Pho

Click here to watch this pho-nomenal segment!

For Chef Sang’s vegetarian and beef pho recipes, click here.