By far the most elaborate virtual sushi class and demo we’ve conducted since the lockdown. Thanks to Sora Ohm for organizing the event and the 62 #sushiwarriors who participated! Hope to meet you all in person at our Toronto studio when we open in the coming months!
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details and the ingredients list. (Taking up to 100 households). Gonna be a great workshop!
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.
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.)
3-4 sliced pieces of salmon (1/2” thickness)
Bowl of steamed rice (see earlier post on how to make the perfect rice)
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
1/2 cup minced onion
2 Tb white flour
1 Tb vegetable oil
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
(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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
#quarantinestories #sushimakingforthesoul #thetimestheyareachangin #soysauce #wasabi
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.
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 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.)
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
#covid19 #quarantinerecipes #greatmoms #wakame #seaweedsoup
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.
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!
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!
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;
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!
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.
Designers and Architects everywhere beware. Sushi Warriors from this fine firm are ready for battle!
Giving the gift of sushi-making and bonding with friends
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!
Some of the best first-time sushi makers Chef Sang has ever taught. Check out their work!
A surprise bridal shower sushi workshop for Kara
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!
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
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!
Check out the segment here.
Chill out and check out the segment here.