Art of Sushi

by Pamela Robin Brandt

At an improvised kitchen station set up in the back of the sushi lounge Doraku, chef Hiro Terada cradled a cucumber in his hand and, with a knife sharp enough to slice through a bank vault alarmingly close to his wrist artery, carved the veg into one continuous paper-thin maki-roll wrap, in thirty seconds flat. “Lucky we’re close to Mt. Sinai Hospital,” muttered one of the other half-dozen novice maki makers at Doraku’s monthly “Art of Sushi” class.

That’s “sushi”, not “suicide”; the Mt. Sinai Maki was definitely a “DON’T Try This At Home, Kids!” demonstration, not part of the class’s Do It Yourself component. But by the end of the two-hour class, after a one-on-one session supervised by the chef, all beginners had turned out a respectable California, spicy tuna, Philly roll, or their own odder inventions.

Other treats included in the $40 price are a three-course chef-prepared meal (seared tuna with a tropical fruit-veggie salsa, salmon carpaccio dotted with creamy ginger and spicy chile sauces, and fried calamari with curry dip). There’s even a party favor to take home: an animé-cartooned aluminum lunch box loaded with DIY sushi works — bamboo mat, specialty rice, seasoned vinegar, instructions… everything but the fish. (Japanese Market stocks safe sushi-grade fish.)

Doraku’s classes are the first Wednesday of every month, plus two on Mothers Day.

Sushi Samba Dromo also offers monthly classes in sushi rolling, plus sake pairing. The $70 tag includes a chef-made sushi sampler and five varieties of sake.

Japanese Market, 1412 79th Street Causeway, North Bay Village
Doraku, 1104 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. 305-695-8383.
Sushi Samba Dromo, 600 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. 305-673-5337

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