Dried seaweed was probably the least popular item on the serving table last month when Nina Howard taught a class in Morenci on sushi making.
Howard, who coordinates the Japanese exchange program for the Lenawee Intermediate School District mentioned at a meeting of school art teachers that she’s taught LISD staff members how to make sushi.
When she offered her services to the teachers, Morenci Area High School instructor Kym Ries jumped at the opportunity. Her Art Club members were involved in a series of programs called “Food as Art” and she knew that sushi would fit right in.
“I doubt if any culture in the world is more serious about the food/art connection than the Japanese,” she said.
People hear the word “sushi” and they think of raw fish, but that’s not accurate. Sashimi (raw fish) is often used in sushi, but sushi doesn’t necessarily include fish.
It doesn’t have to include seaweed, either, although the dried sheets help hold the creation together and when placed inside a layer of rice, the dark seaweed adds the important element of color variation.
Food as art, Howard says.
Students learned to make an ultra thin omelet that can be cut into strips and used as decoration or stuffed with ingredients and tied to look like a gift package.
They also tried their hand at using a sushi forming box—a good choice for beginners—and at making maki, the traditional rolled sushi.
And if the seaweed is a tough concept to swallow, there’s always the pickled ginger. A bite of that acidic item serves as a palate cleanser to prepare for the next variety of sushi.