Last weekend my Austrian friends Michael and Anja asked me to teach them how to make sushi. They especially love Maki sushi and really wanted to know how to make it.
I always remember my first job in a hotel was working in cold kitchen for a buffet restaurant and we always had to make lots of different kinds of sushi. There are lots of people in Taiwan who absolutely love Japanese food and especially sushi. We’ve been influenced by Japanese culture and fashion in many different ways and Taiwan was under Japanese rule for fifty years, so sushi is not that unfamiliar a dish for all Taiwanese people.
Michael and Anja learnt to make sushi for the very first time and and I’m so proud of their sushi. It is a wonderful experience for me to practice teaching cooking. We went to our local Chinese supermarket together where I showed them what ingredients are necessary then we went to their home where we made the sushi.
So, here are the photos we took on the day and I hope you enjoy them.
I was demonstrating sushi :
Michael was making his first sushi :
Anja was making her first sushi :
Michael and Anja’s first sushi!
There are two very common rice wines that we use in both Chinese and Taiwanese cooking of which you can buy both of them easily in Chinese supermarkets in the United Kingdom.
One is “rice wine” (米酒) which has no colour and looks like water. We use it in most of our Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. It’s made by normal rice while the other is “Shaoxing rice wine” (紹興酒) which usually has brown colour. It’s made by glutinous rice.
These two wines have a different taste and flavour but they both can be used in different dishes. It depends on personal taste. I personally use rice wine for most of my eastern dishes because it tastes mild with a refreshing fragrance and use Shaoxing rice wine when I cook drunken chicken, drunken prawn, Dongpo pork and other slow cook meat dishes. Shaoxing rice wine usually has a stronger taste and flavour. It tastes a little bit spicy so not every dish is suitable for Shaoxing wine.
Here is a true story about Shaoxing wine to share with everyone. Shaoxing wine is from a city in China called Shaoxing. Shaoxing wine has many different variations and one of these is called “nu’er hong” (女兒紅). Every family in Shaoxing will make Shaoxing wine when their daughter is one month old and bury it underground until the day their daughter’s wedding date when they will open it and drink it to celebrate. “Nu’er” means daughter in Chinese and “hong” means red. Because red is a very lucky colour in both Chinese and Taiwanese culture and this wine is used to celebrate, so using “red” in the name adds a lucky meaning to it.
I remember the first time I saw “superior Dark” (also called lao chou 老抽 and “superior light” (also called sheng chou 生抽) soy sauce that I felt very confused. So, I asked my mother: “What’s different between Dark and light soy sauce?? How to use it?”
My mother basically said: superior dark soy sauce is for enhance the colour of food. It will make the colour of our dishes have more caramel kind of colour. We often add some dark soy sauce when we cook stew type of dishes in Chinese cooking.
Normally, just use couple drops of dark soy sauce to enhance your dishes if you put too much dark soy sauce will cause your dishes looks too dark and damage the presentation.
“How about light soy sauce? How we use it for our dishes?” Well, normally we use light sauce for season our dishes, especially stir-fry, making chinese style salad, marinating and dipping. So, you must be careful when you use light soy sauce for your dishes because light soy sauce taste very salty.
Do you feel more confident to choose soy sauce yourself in Chinese supermarket now? I hope this article can help you in somehow.