Pork ramen class with guests from Hamburg & Pescala

My guests for this pork ramen & gyoza class were couples from Pescala,  Italy and Hamburg, Germany. It was a terrible morning  as the huge typhoon was passing Japan the night before and our notorious rush hour trains were packed and crowded as ever!  Still they all managed to arrive at my place & I was very very grateful.

One of their favorite was  ‘Char siu’, grilled pork slices on top of Ramen. They showed me a few photos of Menya Musashi bowls and my goodness, their pork slice is so thick!  For sure, Ramen is evolving in various directions….

It was also very interesting to hear about various types of Ramens in Europe today. I love exchanging foodie informations!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Honeymooners from Tel Aviv cooking Japanese comfort food

Today’s class guests are happy sweet honeymooners from IT capital, Tel Aviv, Israel. We cooked Ramen with pork soup stock.

I also adventured to use simmered Konbu kelp in cabbage salad, which is our family’s favorite quick dish. Here we use Konbu like herbs and it goes really nicely with sesame oil. Please try if you have some left over Konbu after making Dashi broth.

The couple told me some very interesting stories about their culture & life, my favorite part of doing cooking classes for travellers!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Seafood Ramen class for a musical talent

Back to school, back to work and back to  cooking class in September!

My guest  was a music performer at literally the most famous and popular theme park in Tokyo. It was her last days when she visited us and she chose to cook Ramen with seafood and vegetables.

It was a private class so she prepared almost everything by herself but all turned out really yummy! I was happy she liked our smoked bonito. She dercribes the taste similar to Bacon. Yes, the smoky flavor and Umami from red meat!

Many thanks for coming & best of luck in LA!

Akiko

Pork Tonkotsu Ramen with a Canadian couple

The main dish was pork “Ton-kotsu” Ramen and Gyoza with pork & vegetables. It is amazaing how Ramen is so popular recently!

One of my guest has a Chinese family and he told me he used to wrap Gyoza once every week to help his busy Mum. He also worked for a restaurant in Vancouver for almost 10 years. No wonder he makes Gyoza and fried vegetables so effortlessly!

It was their first time to grate smoked Bonito fish but they both liked the flavor.  We made Dashi soup stock with Bonito and added into pork broth.

Of course everything turned out very yummy.

I hope my guests enjoyed our Japanese style dumplings and soup noodles.

I also enjoyed seeing him frying, Wow!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Gyoza & Karaage class for Canadian foodies

The menu for this class was;

Gyoza dumplings with pork and vegetables, Chicken karrage(Japanese style fried chicken), spinach with Tofu sauce, Miso soup and black rice.

My guests were from Montreal, Canada and they booked the class several months ahead of time! They informed me one of the gentlemen does not eat dairy products so I picked up a creamy white sauce made with Tofu as one of our side dishes.

I hope my guests enjoyed their time at my kitchen!

many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Sushi Roll & Karaage class for foodie Swiss boys

The main dish was Sushi Rolls with salmon, avocado, Shiso leaves, Takuan(pickled Daikon radish) etc. We also cooked some prawns, heads for Miso soup and the flesh for ball-shaped Temari Sushi.  

On this day, I welcomed two big Swiss guys who arrived at Tokyo just 2 days ago. For their body clock, it must be like cooking after midnight, but they were very happy and active, with lots of questions and fun talks! 

We also prepared Japanese style fried chicken, Karaage. Batter is not very thick and outside is crispy, inside of the chicken thighs so tender and juicy with good flavor of garlic, ginger and soy sauce. 

Of course, I asked my guests to shred our most important staple food, Katsuo bushi (smoked bonito fish), which we used in our Dashi soup stock for Miso soup. We Japanese are almost addicted to this Umami taste & aroma.  My Swiss guests found our home-made Miso soup very tasty, too.  He even took a very nice photo and send it to me. 

Our cooking classes are always REALLY hands on so I am afraid my jet lagged guests might go straight into bed afterwards… but I hope they enjoyed their first home cooking experience at Tokyo apartment. 

Many thanks for coming! 

Akiko

 

 

 

Double Main dish course of Tempura & Chicken Karaage

My guests from Canada requested;

Chicken Karaage, Japanese style fried chicken & Tempura with prawns and vegetables.

Summer is a great season to cook Tempura, as we have a variety of colorful vegetables perfect for this menu, such as Kabocha pumpkin, eggplant, Shiso leaves, and corn!

When I do Tempura with corn, I take all corn pieces off the cob with my fingers. This is a rather tiring process when I cook alone but my guests did it beautifully! So I could enjoy some yummy Tempura of corn at lunch table with my guests, thank you for my team!

If you are a fan of coriander/cilantro, chop a bunch of fresh green ones and add to corn. For this Tempura, I recommend to eat just with salt simply. Or maybe with some thick creamy Greek yoghurt with a pinch of salt & your favorite spices.

If not, our Japanese traditional Tempura sauce will do just as great. We use our Dashi(soup stock), soy sauce and Mirin. Mirin is a kind of Sake and very, very sweet but not a spoon of sugar added. We use this liquor mainly for cooking nowadays.

This traditional Tempura dip sauce works amazing with sweet seasonal Kabocha pumkin Tempura. That is one of my kids favorites but be careful when you cut kabocha, as its green skin is quite tough.

My young guests at this class were also really sweet and I enjoyed cooking with them a lot.
Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Tempura & Gyoza class

The main dish was… well, some of my guests liked Gyoza dumplings with pork, others Tempura with prawns and vegetables, so we ended up making both and share. Fortunately there were 6 guests in total at this class and everybody was really good at cooking, thus everything went so amazingly smooth! 

The  ingredients I chose for Tempura at this class were prawns, eggplants, Maitake mushrooms, Shiso herbs and pumpkins. I cannot miss Maitake as that is my favorite Tempura item.

For Tempura dipping sauce, our regular recipe uses Dashi soup stock, soy sauce, Mirin etc. But I also recommend to go simple ways especially in hot summer days, with salt and lemon wedge.

My guests were a famimly from Houston, USA and a couple from Gold Coast, Australia. One of the ladies pointed out that we don’t need to visit Asian food stores for any special supply if we try Tempura with salt and lemon. I absolutely agree!

As one of our side dishes, we prepared Edamame, green fresh soy beans simply boiled and salted. This is one of our typical summer snacks. At Japanese bars and taverns, Edamame will often appear with a glass of beer. It is one of the healthiest snack to go but only in summer. 

I hope my guests liked their home cooking experience at my kitchen!

Many thanks for coming,

 

Akiko

Maguro and more! Sushi class on hot summer day

The main dish was Sushi rolls with fresh Maguro(tuna) and salmon, as well as avocado, Shiso herbs, cucumber, pickled Daikon radish, sesame seeds etc.  My guests were also big fans of Tempura so we decided to cook a small portion with prawns, eggplants and Maitake,  my favorite mushroom. 

For ingredients of our Miso soup, I chose another kind of Japanese mushroom Enoki (very thin and white ones) and fried Tofu called Abura-Age or Oage, which has a spongy texture and great to be in soup. Not to forget the finishing touch, a few finely chopped scallions as we like to put something green on top of our Miso soup. 

My guest couple was from Washington D.C. USA, so they told me they are used to humidity. Still it was such a hot and humid day in Tokyo, unusual for late June. Sushi was a very good choice as it uses a lot of rice vinegar. I think it helps to understand the way of our cuisine if you actually visit Japan and taste things in our climate.

Both of them have very interesting professions. It was so nice to know that they manage to make a vacation to Tokyo out of their busy schedules and chose our cooking class out of so many great places out here!  

Many thanks for coming!

 

Akiko

 

Vegetarian & pork Ramen/Gyoza class

This  was going to be another pork Ramen and Gyoza class for an American couple from San Diego, until I receive a request from a family from Israel, one of whose daughters is Vegetarian but the rest of the family love Japanese pork Ramen. So we ended up making both together!

For vegetarian Ramen, I used dried Shiitake mushrooms and Konbu seaweed for a base soup stock. Then we also cooked fresh mushrooms and garlic with leek, soy milk, sesame paste and miso. For many vegetarian dishes, sesame does a great work but Miso is another very ideal seasoning. 

This vegetarian version of Ramen soup turned out very rich and creamy, in fact my other guests also enjoyed tasting this soup.

For vegetarian Gyoza, I usually use Tofu and another kind of mushroom called Maitake. The only thing you need to mind is that Tofu will not be as sticky as meat when mixed, so the ingredients tends to fall apart and it may be a little harder to tack the filling inside Gyoza wrappers. A few drops of sesame oil might help.

The only issue was that there were a lot  more preparations than usual and I did not take any photos of our yummy accomplishments (tears in my eyes)…

 Many thanks for coming!

Akiko