I had the pleasure of going to a sushi making class on Saturday and man, was it incredible. Bottle Rocket is a cozy restaurant in south Atlanta that is trendy and serves extremely fresh ingredients. The restaurant was set up for the class, with plates of ingredients that were chopped and ready to be rolled up in seaweed. Our instructor was Chef Jen and she made the class such a fun and enjoyable experience.
After being served fresh crab rangoons as an appetizer, we began our sushi making adventure. The first type of sushi we made was salmon nigiri, which consists of rice as the base and a piece of fresh salmon on top. What enjoying this piece of delicate fish actually consisted of was getting our hands drenched in sticky rice – of course this was our own fault, as we did not put the correct amount of water on our hands. So sticky rice hands it was! After enjoying this masterpiece it was time to move on to the next round: California Rolls.
The California Rolls were an absolute blast to make. We layered our nori sheets with the sticky rice and then placed the filling in the middle of the rice-covered seaweed. The first bite of these rolls proved to be better than most sushi I have ever tasted. The ingredients to California rolls are simple: avocado, cucumber, and crabsticks. California rolls occasionally become redundant, but these were the complete opposite. The ingredients are incredibly fresh at Bottle Rocket, which makes it unique to most sushi restaurants in Georgia. This aspect makes their sushi taste so incredible, it truly melts in your mouth.
Pictured: California Roll
After a quick break of the class taking a Sake Bomb in unison, we started on our final roll. The Aloha Roll is one of Bottle Rocket’s original rolls. This one consisted of avocado, cucumber, shrimp, fresh tuna, mango, red onion, and a drizzle of spicy aioli to top it off. I suppose what was most impressive about this one is that I made it myself. I fully expect sushi to be amazing when made by someone else – but my lack of sushi making knowledge had me expecting the sushi to be subpar. However, with the help of the staff at Bottle Rocket, my sushi was excellent.
Overall, this experience was something I will never forget. I give so much credit to sushi chefs on a Saturday night. When making my sushi, I could only imagine what it would be like to have orders of several rolls for multiple tables at a time – the process takes patience and skill. Every sushi lover needs to take this class, it is the best way to spend any afternoon. Plus, who doesn’t love to eat multiple sushi rolls within just a few hours?! Bottle Rocket is offering the class again January 23rd as well as Valentine’s Day weekend – talk about the perfect Valentine’s Day date!
The making of the Aloha Roll in pictures:
Pack everything in without it all collapsing, it is not as easy as it looks.
Roll it up – trust me, in person step-by-step instructions really help with this part.
Cut it up – there is a process to this part too.
Layer it like stairs – also not as easy it seems.
The best way to top off any sushi roll: Spicy Mayonnaise!
By: Chelsea Barbee
Chelsea Barbee is a third year student at Georgia State University. As a child, she loved to help her mom in the kitchen, whether it was sautéing mushrooms or baking chocolate chip cookies. After being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in 2009, Chelsea began her true exploration into the world of food. Throughout the years, her food exploration slowly became her passion and is presently what makes her world spin. Now a resident of the ever-evolving foodie city of Atlanta, Georgia, Chelsea has the opportunity to make each day taste incredible. She enjoys learning and eating her way through the Atlanta food scene, one bite, crunch, and sip at a time. She spends her free time practicing yoga, eating way too much sushi, and wandering around Trader Joe’s for hours on end. Follow Chelsea On Social Media @chelsabarbee13.