Sushi Grade Fish in Chicago

Last week the boy and I took our first ever Sushi making class at the Chopping Block in Lincoln Square. I brought my camera along to snap some shots and was a little nervous to document everything for fear of my sushi being absolutely horrid.

Luckily my sushi didn't turn out horribly. I actually tried to google a picture of badly made sushi and apparently these kinds of pictures don't exist. Then again, I'm pretty sure no one would ever want to advertise their poorly made sushi....

Here is a sneak peek of how mine turned out!
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Our class began by Chef Mario telling us a little bit about sushi history. It was definitely interesting to hear the evolution of sushi and how it came to be today. He dispelled quite a few sushi myths for us along the way and I learned that sushi didn't really originate in Japan, but China instead. It wasn't until sushi was brought to Japan that is started to take on the look it has today though. We also learned that while sushi is a real "dining experience" in this country it started as more of a "fast food" over in Japan.

We learned to make three different kinds of rolls in the class: regular rolls, inside out rolls and hand rolls. At my favorite sushi restaurant in Chicago Toro, I usually get a lot of inside out rolls so I was really excited to learn how to make those.

Here are some rolls before being cut that Andrew and I made
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Mine are on the left, Andrew's on the right

In my regular roll I added spicy tuna that Chef Mario had prepared, avocado and cucumber. In my inside out roll I had cucumber and shrimp tempura. And in my hand roll I put regular tuna, cucumber and Sriracha and Kewpie mayo. Let me tell you a little bit about this mayo, it is AMAZING!!! I am not a huge mayo fan but this stuff is awesome! I bought some at the Chopping Block and plan on making an epic BLT with it. And another fun fact is that recently Sriracha recently overtook Ketchup in the most worldwide sales of any condiment!

One of the best parts of the class was that Chef Mario gave us a few good location tips for purchasing sushi grade fish. And I'm going to share those with you as well!

Dirks on Clybourn came highly recommended by Chef Mario as well as the Fish Guy on Elston. Chef Mario also recommended for starting sushi chefs tuna is a good fish to use as it can easily be found in the "sushi or sashimi grade" variety and is pretty safe.

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