The beloved Japanese food sushi is often thought to be dauntingly difficult to make, so can one of our reporters figure it out with a little help from the pros?

With a worldwide reputation, sushi is considered a gastronomical cultural treasure in Japan. However, a surprising number of people here never actually try to make the food at home. Despite nigiri sushi’s simple appearance and composition, it is often thought to be the work of true craftsmen and not us common folk.

Obviously the sushi that comes from Japan’s greatest restaurants is delicious, but really, even the mass-produced stuff found in convenience stores or conveyor-belt sushi restaurants is pretty tasty. So how hard can it be to make ourselves?

To find out, we sent P.K. Sanjun to take part in the Nigiri Unlimited Sushi Lesson held by the Tokyo Sushi Academy and open to the general public. He jumped at the chance as well since, in addition to the guidance by the Academy’s faculty, students get all the sushi they can eat in 90 minutes for 4,320 yen (US$41).

P.K. is no stranger to a kitchen, but admits that he was one of the many who never even considered attempting to make sushi. As he traveled to the lesson, he wondered if he could keep up with his instructors demands or if he would just end up with sushi that resembled a pile of vinegared vomit.

Luckily, the instructors were very patient and easy-going with the class. They began by explaining how to add the right amount of vinegar to the rice and some advice on toppings. After that, they quickly moved onto shaping the rice for nigiri sushi.

The detail in their explanation was impressive and they emphasized that the size is especially important in that it should be generous in proportion but also easy and comfortable to slide in the mouth.

Our reporter was impressed with how quickly his skill improved. In just 30 minutes, he was crafting something that he felt some people might consider to be the kind of thing that resembled a proper piece of sushi. He also felt strangely scared while making it…like he was doing something forbidden.

Then the time came to test his creations. After popping the first one in his mouth, he was blown away. It was delicious — every bit as delicious as real sushi! He knew he couldn’t open a restaurant based on his sushi, but they definitely rivaled the mass-produced stuff you might find in a convenience store.

With this new-found confidence, P.K. could enjoy the remaining hour to make and consume as much sushi as he wanted. Over 10 kinds of toppings were available freely from the topping box.

Also, staff were on-hand to provide some searing to toppings if the students wished.

As P.K. made piece after piece, he began to feel even more comfortable crafting this once-intimidating food. In the end he even looked like a pro as this video demonstrates.

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These lessons are available to anyone but are held irregularly, so if you like to attend, you should keep an eye on their website for future dates. It’s in Japanese, so if that’s an issue, you probably wouldn’t get much out of the lesson.

Otherwise as we have seen, with the right guidance, anyone can make some tasty sushi in the comfort of their own home. Either that, or P.K. had actually been a dormant sushi prodigy this whole time!

Source: Nigiri Unlimited Sushi Lesson (Japanese)
Original article by P.K. Sanjun
Photos: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]