I do like a bit of experimentation in the kitchen, to expand my culinary repertoire and have a bash at something new. I was invited to try a cookery class at the Miele Experience Centre in Abingdon and there were so many to choose from I wasn’t sure where to start. I thought it would be a good idea to go to a class to learn to make something I’ve never even thought about attempting before (but very much enjoy eating): Dim Sum and Sushi.
The Experience Centre is a fabulously modern place; showroom downstairs and kitchens upstairs for the classes. I have to say that the coffee served downstairs before the class started has got to be one of the best I’ve ever had. There was a small group of six of us on the course which ran from 10-3 and run by their two home economists; Anne-Marie and Elspeth.
The class focussed on cooking with their steam oven but if you don’t have one there were plenty of tips and tricks for how to cook the same things in a conventional oven. We started with making the rice for the sushi which I thought was just cooked rice. Oh no, it’s far from plain rice. It’s cooked (steamed) and then mixed with a vinegar, soy sauce mix to make it glossy and give it some flavour. The cooling of the rice is of the utmost importance.
I was amazed at how sticky the rice was when it came to creating the sushi and we had all sorts of fillings to choose from; beetroot cured salmon, tuna, smoked mackerel, vegetables, wasabi and more. Rolling sushi is harder than it looks but I was quite pleased with my attempt even if I did end up finding rice all over me for the rest of the afternoon. Once it was all made we sat down to enjoy what we had made together; dipping into soy, sweet soy and various chilli sauces.
After the sushi we moved onto making the dim sum; some steamed buns with mushroom or chicken mix, steamed buns filled with custard and various dumplings: beef, pork and prawn or mushroom. I really liked folding the dumplings up; I don’t think it’s my forte in life but I was pleased with the shapes I made! Folding the dough for the steamed buns around the filling was really therapeutic, it was a lovely dough to work with.
The dumplings and buns went in to steam and once ready, we sat down again to feast on what we had made along with a few other things that Anne-Marie and Elspeth had made: sticky pork ribs, garlic and chilli crispy chicken and spicy tofu. What a feast.
It was great to have all this food after a hard days cooking but it wasn’t half filling! I’m not sure I’ve been to many places and left feeling that full. It was great as I didn’t need to have any dinner that evening. I blame all the rice! The flavours were fantastic and I will definitely be recreating some of the recipes at home. The most important thing I learnt from the course was that making your own sushi, dim sum and dumplings is actually not that daunting. For something I thought I could never be bothered to attempt myself I certainly will be trying these again.
The cost of the course I went to is £60 and you can find more information here.
Thank you to Miele for the invitation. All opinions expressed are my own.