In honor of Hina Matsuri (雛祭り, Girls' Day or Doll Festival), Komaki International Association had a cooking class featuring hamaguri no osuimono (clear clam soup), chirashi sushi, and strawberry mousse. We made the dishes in reverse order beginning with the mousse (strawberry puree, gelatin, whipping cream, sugar, sliced strawberries and kiwi as garnish), then the chirashi sushi (shaped in empty square cartons), and finally the clam soup. The chirashi sushi was the most labor-intensive, as it required creating several different layers of sushi rice (one with diced cucumber and sesame seeds, one with chopped cheese and avocado), sweetened pink (!) fish flakes, and canned tuna in soy sauce topped with an elaborate garnish of sashimi salmon "rose" filled with salmon roe, cooked shrimp, and slivers of shiso leaf.
The class lasted around three hours and was entirely in Japanese (but many thanks to Mitsuko-san for translating!), recipes included. However, it only cost 500 yen, and just the ingredients must have cost much, much more as there were vast quantities of fresh seafood (raw salmon, salmon roe, shrimp, and clams), cheese, avocados, fresh fruit, etc. It was a lot of fun, and the finished dishes looked professional. We all sat down to eat the fruits of our labors, and then it was back home for a quick nap before heading to Japanese class.