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Publication Date : 30-01-2013
For Jakartans, food blogging is a fun way to spend one's time while documenting the sushi how-to's
We have all been acquainted with Japanese food for a long time now, and surely are also aware that fusion sushi is one way of approaching sushi, by mixing different ingredients to create new types of the delicacy.
Food blogs are now also typical, with bloggers visiting restaurants and documenting in words and with expert photos the many types of food available.
But what happens when you combine the two?
Ichi no Ichi, a new restaurant located in Alam Sutera, is one of many that offer sushi-making classes that participants can enjoy with friends and family. The class includes information about making sushi and the food’s health aspects. Chef Mulyana led one class by instructing participants in the right way to select salmon and the right way to serve it.
At the sushi class The Jakarta Post also spoke with the food bloggers in attendance, as food blogging is becoming more and more popular in Jakarta.
Everyone who was interviewed said blogging was more of a hobby than an occupation. And, they said they had begun way before the hysteria over blogs started.
“At first I was writing about anything but then because of this hobby, I started to focus more on food. Some friends and me would just go to new restaurants, trying food, and then [I thought I] might as well put it on my blog. It was probably only two years back that restaurants started to invite bloggers to eat for free. Before that it was just like a normal eating out and I paid for the food myself,” said Cindy from urukyu.wordpress.com.
The first food the chef introduced to participants was nigiri salmon sushi. The rice was mixed with a type of rice vinegar (which was previously mixed with salt and sugar and heated in a pan) in a big bowl called a hangiri. During the explanation, one blogger asked about alternatives to hangiri and the vinegar, as the blogger wanted to be an informational source for readers.
“Rice vinegar is good for destroying cholesterol in the body,” said the chef. In making sushi, first it is important to wet a bit of our palm so that the rice does not stick to it in the process. Then take a palmful of rice and squeeze it in your hands, then shape it using two fingers to create a square. Of course most of the participants had rice all over their hands at this point.
After that, chef Mulyana instructed participants to take the already-cut salmon and a little wasabi to put under the sushi. Adding wasabi was to kill bacteria in the fish in order to prevent potential future disease. In Japan, this is done to sushi when production is on a massive scale so that it can last longer.
To create a bit of variation, one could add mayonnaise or smelt roe (masago) to the top. Some bloggers snapped pictures right after their creations were complete, some even tweeting their photos.
Since the beginning of the class, the bloggers were active participants and documented every element of the event. From what was visible from a number of bloggers there, blogging is a fun way to spend your time while providing information through their writings.
But it is still very hard to consider blogging an occupation because of the meagre income, if any. But this varies, some with no income at all from blogging, some making a little extra from advertising on their blogs. But it is always only enough for some money on the side.
The euphoria about blogs, according to those interviewed, only emerged in Indonesia around 2010,when a lot of people began to understand the usefulness of blogs and started using them for many purposes, including commercial promotion.
However, according to Selba from selbyfood.blogspot.com, since the popularity of blogging has increased, there are now more unreliable blogs emerging that take advantage of restaurants’ free dining invitations.
When asked about other recommended sushi places in town, considering this was a sushi-themed event, Selba said Sushi Tei.
“Because they provide authentic as well as fusion sushi. Besides for a reasonable price, they have fresh and tasty seafood.”
Blogs themselves of course vary in content, but most food bloggers are writing reviews of restaurants and other places.
“Many people use the Internet nowadays, so when there’s a new restaurant in town, people will find reviews first before making their decisions, so I think our job is to help them in making that decision,” said Jeny who has the blog jenzcorner.net. She said around 500 to 1,000 visitors a day visit the blog.
For fusion sushi classes at Ichi no Ichi, a booking of between five and 10 people is required. The food discussed varies and can be adapted to requests.