Ramen and Curry have a lot of things in common. Both are not traditional Japanese cuisine and originated from overseas, China and India respectively. Both introduced to our country fairly recently but now the most popular menu among Japanese people of all generations!
Somehow, Ramen has grown so well-known as someting typically Japanese & we receive many requests from visitors at our cooking class, yet not so much for Curry so far.
So I knew my guest lady from Calgary, Canada, must be very familiar with our local food culture and maybe lived in our country when she mentioned Curry & rice, with pork Katsu (cutlet or côtelette)!
Japanese style Curry can be easy if you use a box of ready-made paste or roux. But it can also be a long recipe if you like to create your own roux from scratch and add your choice of spices.
If you have time, keep stiring chopped onoin over low-middle heat until golden brown, which is going to be the base for your Curry sauce. This process is similar to making French onion soup. Just be VERY careful not to burn your onion!
My guest lady turned out to be a Japanese sweets chef and cafe owner. In fact she was visiting Tokyo at this occasion to deepen her expertise. I suppose menu choice of Curry was more for her personal memory and her boyfriend, who loved our home made Curry very much that he went for a full second serve, which made me super happy of course!
My guests were a US Airforce officer based in the suburb of Tokyo and his wife from Hong Kong, both big fans of Japanese Ramen, and their sister visiting from Seattle USA.
The couple was about to leave Japan and move on to one of their European bases soon. That is why they were interested to learn how to make their favorite Japanese food, Ramen & Gyoza before their departure.
It was very easy to spot them at the subway station, as she was wearing a Ramen museum T-shirt!
The family was expecting a baby at the time of our cooking class. It was a hot day and nice to have some chilled barley tea which has no caffeine & safe for our young mother and her baby.
They also loved my little sweets after lunch, made with mango, yogurt & coconut milk. The recipe is super simple but it tasts so good after hot Ramen and Gyoza in early summer.
Hope they are doing good and even happier with their new little family member,
My favorite menu, seafood Nanban style for a main dish!
Since my guest family from England, UK & a couple from Germany were all willing to try some seafood dish cooking experience, I have prepared a mix of ingredients including a little bit of prawns, salmon, swordfish, and a side dish using salt-and-chilli flavored cod roes (Mentaiko).
If you wouldn’t fancy ‘fish eggs’ on your holiday, imagine something like ‘pink caviar’ and that is our Mentaiko, except being a lot saltier and spicy. For Japanese cooking, it plays a role like anchovy, I think. At this class, we made a salad of lightly boiled lotus root & Mentaiko.
My guests were ready for some new culinary adventure & I was very happy to see they all liked what we cooked together. Such a delight to see all plates empty after the class!
I must add one more thing my guest liked, Mugi-cha, or toasted barley tea. It is something everybody drinks here during summer as it has no caffeine contained. There are a variety of barley tea bags available at supermarkets so easy to make as well!
My guests at this class were university students from Philadelphia, USA. They were travelling with some other friends but decided to go on different itinerary this morning to learn how to make Ramen, wow!
One is studying pottery, while the other in science field but they are long-time good buddies & I am happy to join their relaxed time together in Tokyo.
Both are very interested in not just Ramen but also Japanese ciusine in general including our various traditional seasonings and cooking tips.
I hope my guest girls enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as Studio Ghibli, where they were looking forward to visiting later during their stay.
This lovely couple from Florida, USA was another big fan of Naruto & Ramen!
I always ask my guests to taste a few kinds of Miso in my stock. Basically the differences come from the percentage of rice & soy beans, amount of salt, period of fermentation, as well as special Koji fungas each Miso makers are using.
At this class, my guest couple loved our Red Miso so much that we decided to adjust the composition of seasonings and add a lot of Red Miso. The result was a nice and spicy bowl of Ramen we all really enjoyed a lot!
In mid June, our climate starts getting wet and humidity goes up higher and higher each day, that maybe one reason powerful tasete of Red Miso works great.
They were here to learn how to cook Ramen & Gyoza, so when they return home, their souvenir for friends looking after their doggy and family would be a table of Japanese style dinner. I loved that idea very much & hope I could be of a little help.
My guest couple was from Germany and Holland, beautiful performing artists and another people attracted by our comfort food, Ramen & Gyoza.
Both of them were very knowledgeable about Japanese cuisine, enjoying seeing a whole piece of smoked Bonito and dried Kombu seaweed etc. They are very important ingredients for our cooking.
Hot sizzling Gyoza was also something they loved while travelling in Japan. It is so simple and easy to prepare, once you hear a few tips! I hope they are now making Gyoza dumplings at times back in Europe.
This was a private class with 2 x main dishes for a family from Indonesia. My guests’ choices were chicken Triyaki and pork Gyoza, plus a few side dishes including Edamame green beans.
The family had two boys, 7 and 5 years old. The eldest boy was the most passionate cook that day and he was so eager to learn everything including how to finish up a nice shiny Teriyaki sauce! It was so much fun to cook with this little chef.
His Mum and Gramma were kindly answering all my quesitons about Indonesian cuisine, including some recipe for rich and nutty Satay sauce. So we had a kind of chicken-dish sauce recipe exchange ! Satay is one of my children’s favorite menu so I didn’t want to miss this rare opportunity.
Pork Ramen & Gyoza class for friends & brothers from Poland & Belgium!
I have noticed quite a few of my guests have learned about Ramen by reading Manga comic books. Indeed, many characters in past and present Manga love eating Ramen and those scenes appear oftentimes in stories, with very tempting drawings.
Maybe you have heard about NARUTO, one of the most popular Manga characters these days. Actually this is the name of one ingredient used for topping of Ramen. Naruto is a slice of white-meat fish cake with pink swirl design.
My guests, specially boys turned out to be another fans of Naruto so I was very happy to show them our ‘edible’ Naruto at the class.
Now for tasting’s sake, this fish cake is not a must, at least for myself. I guess this is more of a decoration to brighten up the colours inside your bowl. Yet it does make your Ramen looks more like the ones in Manga.
Congratulations on your 50th anniversary and many thanks for choosing our home cooking class on such a special trip to Japan from London UK!
Main dish choice by my guest couple was Chicken Teriyaki, all time favorite at my family. We also prepared Japanese style potato salad, which uses a lot of Mayo instead of butter, as well as thinly sliced onion, cucumber etc.
The most important ingredients for nice & flavorful Teriyaki sauce would be Mirin, a type of Sake. Its beautiful amber colour is a sign of good maturity and complex sweetness.
If you have a good bottle of Mirin, Teriyai sauce is simple and easy! My guest couple prepared a shiny golden brown sauce with no problem. This sauce goes really great along with plain white rice, too!
Welcome to our home cooking class at Tokyo apartment kitchen !
Main dish was one of the most popular menu these days, Pork Ramen plus Gyoza dumplings and a small simple side dish of fresh vegetable & pickled Kombu seaweed.
My guest was a happy couple from Isarael, travelling all around Japan for one month and loved Ramen so much that they decided to find out how we are making this yummy bowl of hot noodle.
AND as usual, my guest was overwhelmed that you need to go through a lot of steps to prepare this looks-simple-but-not-so-simple dish….Hope I did not make them too tired after my class. But believe me, our result was quite amazing I am sure my guests loved the lunch they prepared themselves!
You can cook Ramen with beef bone & meat if that is an easier option. Or chicken, clams, shrimps and more, as long as your ingredients create great broth.