While my mother-in-law was in town, she and I attended a cooking class here in Tokyo. I can’t believe it had taken me four years to take the plunge into Japanese cuisine. Thankfully my MIL found an awesome cooking school on TripAdvisor and organized an amazing sushi-rolling day, and we both learned a ton. Check out the details below in the article I wrote for Savvy Tokyo.

Going out for Japanese food is always a treat, but have you ever tried to duplicate your menu favorites at home? Apart from broiled fish and maybe simple Udon dishes, Japanese cuisine can be intimidating for non-Japanese natives.  If you are in the market to expand your skills in the culinary arts, Buddha Bellies Cooking School in Jinbocho is the perfect resource to learn how to make and roll sushi, design pretty bento box meals and even master the skill of fish cutting.
 

Me and the instructor Ayuko in her cooking studio

The owner and instructor behind Buda Bellies Cooking School is an English speaking, Japanese Native named Ayuko. She is a certified sushi instructor and trained professional cook specializing in Japanese fine dining. Her mantra, “I believe that good foods and nice conversation will make the world peaceful�, is translated through her exceptional customer service, passionate demonstrations and hands on approach with her students.
 

The variety of knives used for cutting the fish used for sushi

Ayuko gives an explanation of all the different types of “sushi” and their history in Japan.

Ayuko meets you in her red apron at the train station exit, conveniently located right next to the school.  She walks you into her intimate classroom, filled with a library of Japanese cooking books, a large table and her kitchen tucked away in the back.
Ayuko’s classes cover almost every Japanese cuisine including Sushi, Bento boxes, Nabe, Udon and Chicken teriyaki steak, Suki-yaki and even specialized classes such as decorative sushi and vegetarian meals. The classes welcome all levels, from beginner to advance and teach the basic fundamentals of preparation, cooking and descriptions of utensils used for Japanese food. A special fish cutting class is offered prior to each sushi class, where she explains the different knives used for cutting sushi grade fish as well as a demonstration on how to fillet and debone a whole fish.
 

The most labor intensive step in the sushi making process?  Preparing the rice. 

Sushi Rolling

 There is definitely a reason Buda Bellies Cooking School ranks as the number one cooking school on trip advisor. The cozy atmosphere and small class sizes provide a personal and one on one experience with a profession chef  with a wealth of knowledge. This is a great idea for a date with the hubby, a ladies get together or a fun surprise treat for an out of town guest.

Cucumber and Egg Roll. (Design Sushi)

VOILA!



Here are the details:
       They ask participants to book at least 24 hrs in advance so they can prepare the ingredients. (Although, classes fill up rather quickly so the sooner you book a class the better).
Lesson Schedule: Check the website for the course descriptions and dates.  All classes start at 11:00 am or 11:30 am. However the Fish cutting class begins at 10:30 am and there is one evening class at 6:00 pm.
Price: The costs vary depending on which class you book, however most classes range between 6500 JPY- 7500 JPY. All payments are required to be paid via Paypal in advance. The booking will be confirmed after your payment is received.
Address:  2-4-3 Kanda-Jinbocho, Uekuri Bldg. 2F
Chiyodaku, Tokyo, Japan 101-0051
Access: Via Subway: Jinbocho station Exit A2, the street level is our meeting point
Website: http://buddhabelliestokyo.jimdo.com/

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