Making sushi with Madame Saito

Posted by in Sushi

A few months ago,  I received the most awesome LivingSocial deal in my inbox: 54% off Madame Saito’s 3 hour sushi making class.  Being the avid sushi eater that I am, I bought the deal without hesitation.

I made my way to HeadHouse (one of Madame Saito’s restaurants) after work today, where the lessons were held.  I sat at the bar waiting for others to arrive and ordered a drink.  Several minutes later, Madame Saito introduced herself and brought us to the individual sushi making stations.  Everything needed to prepare sushi was neatly arranged on the table for us.  We were given a cutting board, a saran wrapped bamboo mat, a wet towel to clean our sushi knives on, and water to dip our fingers into so that the rice wouldn’t stick to our hands.  Once we got confortable, Madame Saito gave us a brief lesson the basics of sushi and told us a little bit about herself.

Madame Saito instructing students in the class

For those of you who haven’t heard about Madame Saito, here are a few cool facts that I learned about this amazing woman:

  • She has been teaching eager students how to make sushi in Philadelphia for over 25 years
  • Saito also has formal education at the Le Cordon Bleu and the Ritz Escoffier in Paris.
  • After eating lox and bagel with some of her Jewish friends, she was inspired to create the famous Philadelphia roll (smoked salmon and cream cheese) that is now available on most sushi menus

For more interesting information about Madame Saito, click here.

In this six-part, three-hour course at The HeadHouse restaurant, I created two hoso (regular) maki rolls, two ura (reverse) maki rolls, two temaki (hand) rolls, a shrimp tempura roll, and approximately 15 pieces of nigiri (sushi on rice).

Here’s a step by step process on how to make a maki:

Start with a sheet of nori

Add sushi rice

Add wasabi

Add cucumber


The result! A kappa maki!

I had SO much fun learning about the history of sushi and how to make sushi.  I highly recommend this course to anyone who loves sushi.

The Philadelphia roll - invented by Mme Saito

My first handroll, made with tuna