University Programs hosts sushi night

University Programs hosts sushi night

CW / John Palmer

Kelly Viall, sushi class instructor and former restaurant chef, taught a class on how to make sushi in the Presidential Village Community Room on Monday night.

All participants were served a Thai roll consisting of tuna and cream cheese at the beginning of the class. Students were informed on the components of different sushi ingredients such as sticky rice, nori (seaweed wrap) and sauces, as well as how to prepare them. They were also told where to buy the highest quality ingredients while saving money.

As part of the class, Vialli addressed the widespread misconception that parasites are in sushi by explaining that freezing the fish kills any parasites, similar to how cooking it would. However, she did recommend avoiding raw fish that has not been frozen, as well as using certain fish such as mackerel in sushi, as they are much more likely to contain parasites than salmon or tuna.

Viall recommended buying ingredients from Asian grocery stores, like Mr. Chen's, to save money. She added that "sushi-grade" salmon bought from supermarkets such as Publix, is nothing more than a marketing ploy to sell frozen fish at a higher cost.

"Saying sushi grade tuna sounds a lot better than frozen tuna," Viall said.

Viall also gave tips on ordering sushi at restaurants, saying that you should ask for the sushi chef to "hook you up." She explained that if one does this, the chef will often make the dish they are best at.

"If you go to the same sushi place often, the sushi chef should know you by name," Viall said.

She insisted that if you are ordering sushi, it is best to sit at the sushi bar and watch your order being prepared so that you can learn from the chefs.

At the end of the class, everyone was provided fresh ingredients to make a California roll under Viall's instruction.

The class was well received by attendants such as Ashley Jeeter, who had never tried sushi before.

"This is my first time having sushi, and I'm glad I got to make it myself," Jeeter said.

Josh Mokwa, another participant, was pleased to learn a new skill.

"It isn't something that I realized I could do at home," Mokwa said.

The class was sponsored by University Programs as part of their monthly "late night alcohol-free experience," according to Melanie Rodriguez. Rodriguez was in charge of orchestrating the event.

Vial teaches Monday night classes at Black Warrior Brewery in Tuscaloosa, as well as classes at Cahaba brewery in Birmingham, Al and Blue Pants brewery in Huntsville, Al.

She can be followed on Twitter @sushi_classes and Instagram @sushiclasses.

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