Teriyaki Chicken Class on April 10th.

One of the characteristics of Japanese cooking is that we use a lot of sugar even for savory dishes,  including Teriyaki sauce for chicken. 

To make a good Teriyaki sauce, Mirin plays an important role. This is actually a kind of Sake, with alcohol content of nearly 14%.  Mirin used to be drunk for certain ceremonial occasions but today mostly used as a seasoning.   

Mirin’s sweetness comes from a natural aging of Mochi rice, some over 60 days, others over 1 ~ 3 years. Like balsamic vinegar or cheese, taste is more complex when aged longer and price higher. Its sugar content is as high as 47%.

Mochi rice would get saccharized when mixed with the Koji (rice malt) mold. Mochi Rice is often used for sticky dumplings. It is rich in a special kind of starche (amylopectin)  that helps to produce more delicate sweetness.

Sometimes you may find a cheap alternative named ‘ Mirin-taste’ seasoning etc. At many cases they are using Sake or other alcohol with added sugar. They are not properly matured so its sweetness is nothing like Mirin’s. I would rather use Sake & sugar instead of such unkown sweet something. 

For cooking Teriyaki chicken, simply grill your piece of chicken and when the skin is crispy enough, add Mirin, soy sauce, sugar etc. Make sure your sauce is  nicely caramelized.

This sauce goes really nicely with steamed rice, too. Sometimes my kids love to eat just rice and Teriyaki sauce, leaving their chickens!  That is no good for nutrition so I will be cross with them, but I understand why they do thatIMG_5633. 

I hope my guest from UK also enjoyed their Teriyaki chicken and rice.

Many thanks for coming!

 Akiko

Ramen class in Cherry blossoms season, April 7th.

During the cherry blossoms season, we at the Musubi Cooking Tokyo receive much more customers than winter months. On this April 7th . class for Ramen cooking, I welcomed 3 groups of people from Sweden, Israel and Swiss.  

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For one of the ramen toppings, we cooked minced pork meat flavored with Miso and vegetables. You may add finely chopped ginger, leek, garlic, carrot or coriander as you like. This was a good accent to add to ramen as Miso is probably the most popular Japanese seasoning among my guests.

When you hear Miso, I wonder what type of miso you are thinking in your mind. Miso is a very old seasoning made with fermented soy beans. It was already used before century in China. In Japan, the oldest record of Miso is found in the writings of 8th.C and it has been used in cooking till today. There are many variety of Miso throughout Japan. We will let you taste some of them at our classes so find out your favorite one! 

All of my guests were talking about how gorgeous cherry blossoms were on this day, as they were in time for the full bloom. One of the questions I received was, do we eat cherry blossoms. Well we actually do!  We use salted leaves for wrapping sweet dumplings. We also salt pink flowers of cherry trees and make preserves. This salted cherry flowers look pretty but the taste is.. quite salty! You may also notice a faint touch of cherry blossoms fragrance.

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I happened to have a small jar of this salted cherry blossoms in my fridge so I let my curious guests taste some of this, expecting not much Wows. Yet I got a very interesting idea from my Swedish guest that it will make a great companion for a shot of rum and other hard liquors. Looks much prettier than salt, too! 

It is always so inspiring to cook and chat with food lovers from around the world!

Many thanks for coming to my kitchen. 

Akiko

Vegetarian tempura class

We have Vegetarian tempura class today. The guests came  from the Michigan,  US and an expats who lives in Nagoya.

There are two sweet and cute young girls, tried to cook tempura and other dishes together.

Tempura seems not easy to fly as crispy.  People ask the questions how to cook proper way to cook.

I would say, tempura is common home cooking, so the preparation shouldn’t be so complicated. However I would say not expect as crispy as in the restaurant.

When I’ve lived in the U.S, I used to use all purpose flour and sparkling water for tempura batter. And I still use those ingredients when I cook at home.

I’ve been subscribing Japanese traditional cooking class every week and I’ve learned how to cook tempura in proper way.  The recipe in the cooking class contains flour, rice flour, egg and water. All the ingredients should be chilled enough.  The mixture shouldn’t be mixed too much, so mix them with chopsticks gently. and the consistency should be lumpy.

As a result, the tempura is thin battered and very crisp, and the vegetable has still moisture and very fresh texture.

It is absolutely fine recipe to skilled Japanese cook, but  the recipe doesn’t suit people who cook tempura fist time in my class. Sparkling water and flour make good batter for crispy enough tempura.

So I’ve kept teaching my easy recipe in the class. I heard some people tried my tempura recipe in their country and satisfied them. Believe me!

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The popular tempura in this season is spring onion kakiage. kakiage means mixed julienned vegetable fly. The onion contains moisture and has sweet flavor.  I usually add baby dried shrimp into tempura batter for non-vegetarian tempura, and people love it. I didn’t add shrimp at this time, but added julienned carrot. The guests liked the onion tempura.

Hope they enjoy cooking easy tempura for family!

 

Many thanks!

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ginger pork and Japanesepotato salad

I had a request of cooking ginger pork at this class. There are a couple from London.

Ginger pork is quite easy and common home made cooking in Japan and I often cook this dish for my family.  The seasonings  of soy sauce, ginger and sweet go with thin sliced pork.

I always serve ginger pork  accompany with potato salad and shredded cabbage for dinner. Potato salad is must- item with ginger pork for me.

Therefore, At this class, I offered to cook ginger pork, potato salad, shredded cabbage, spinach with cream sesame dressing, rice and miso soup. It looks many dishes, but each of them are easy preparation.

Then I knew, there are many variation of potato salad through the world. My potato salad recipe consists of potato, ham, cucumber, sliced onion season with mayonnaise.  today’s guests originally came  from Vienna, Austria and the US. They said the ingredients are simple but their own potato salad recipe from their mother sounds yummy!

This is my favorite accept of cooking class the guests came from many countries. I could hear what they eat in general as everyday food i. We also talk about what we eat in breakfast, too.

We enjoyed cook those menus with joyful talking.

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Finally we cooked all the recipes and glad to hear they liked them all include potato salad.

Many thanks!

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for spring vegetables! Tempura class on March 16th.

Spring has come !  It means fresh and yummy spring vegetables only available at this time of the year and of course we won’t miss this opportunity at our cooking classes. One of my favorite is what we call ‘new onion’-very fresh onions harvested during March and April.

On this class of Tempura, I welcomed a university student son studying at Munich and his father from Wellington, NZ. They were flying into Japan from different corners of the world and somehow ended up at my kitchen.

They were here for skiing but they were also just in time for the new onion season and of course we cooked it as Tempura along with other vegetables and prawns.

What is the difference? Onions are available throughout a year but they are the ones dried for about a month after harvest for the sake of better storage. But only in spring months, fresh onions are available for reasonable prices. They arrive right after the harvest so the surface of the skins are not completely dried like regular ones.  We call them ‘Shin(new) Tamanegi(onion)’ in Japanese.

Shin Tamanegi contains much more moisture than regular ones and its taste is so sweet, not tangy or pungent at all. It is not good for stews or simmering dishes but it makes great fresh salad, and great Tempura,too!

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My guest said his Tempura of new onion was so yummy that he will forget about all freid onions he ever tasted before!  If you are an onion lover, please consider visiting Japan during March and April next year.

We have so much to offer other than Cherry Blossoms!

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Many Thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maguro steak with teriyaki sauce on March 13th Class.

I have received a request from a German couple visiting Tokyo that they would like to try Japanese Maguro (tuna) cooked as a steak. They also wrote that they are interested to see how to prepare Teriyaki sauce. So the menu was decided to be Maguro steak with Teriyaki sauce for their cooking class. 

My son and daughters all love to eat Maguro but we mostly eat it as Sashimi, so our Maguro is always rare, or more precisely un-cooked. Therefore, to me,  Maguro is naturally something to be tasted as rare as possible and even as a steak, it was to be done very rare or medium rare, with bright rose pink colour inside.  If it is cooked well-done, then it would taste like canned tuna, which is not really something for guests travelling all the way from Europe to Japan! 

For Teriyaki sauce, I usually use Sake, Mirin, soy sauce and sugar. This sweet & savory sauce is well known for chicken. But as a companion for Maguro, a little bit of Wasabi paste may also be good as it helps to reduce the fishiness. Of course Sashimi quality Maguro is never really fishy (at least for us Japanese) but just in case, as some of my guests are not used to eating lots of seafood.

 Before serving, we sliced Maguro steak like a modest sized roast beef so its nice rosy meat is visible on the plate. Then we chopped some green onions and sprinkled them on top of our Maguro.

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The couple said they do not eat much seafood at home but finished all of their very rare Maguro steak. It is always my pleasure to see empty plates at the end of the class! 

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Seafood ramen class on April 14th ’17

Our ramen class is popular and everybody enjoy cooking together and eating as well.

I usually cook ramen with  pork, since pork produces nice flavor and savory taste to the ramen soup.  Pork bones and meat are  necessary common ingredients for making ramen in many ramen shop/bar.

However, I have some request from people  if we can offer  ramen without pork. Some people don’t eat pork because of the  food restrictions and preferences.

So I sometime offer seafood ramen for the class.  I use chicken stock, Japanese dashi and a stock from shrimp shells and that make the soup flavorful and containing savory taste “Umami” without pork.

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Japanese dashi stock,  kelp, dried shiitake, dried sardine soaked in water for over night.

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Combine dashi stock, chicken stock, miso and other ingredients to make  ramen soup.

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Cook salmon, shrimp and vegetable with miso sauce.

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Cook ramen and now assembling for a ramen bowl.

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Well done!

We cook gyoza and cucumber dish at the class and the menu contains tons of vegetables!

Hope you enjoy seafood ramen at the class.

 

Many thanks

Kisshy

 

 

 

Ramen class for 6

I’ve welcomed a family from New Zealand and a couple from US.    The participants enjoyed cooking each process of task of ramen.

We cook below  for a bowl of ramen.

Sautéed vegetables, Making pork miso, making ramen soup, cook ramen noodle.  Also I prepare chicken stock, braised pork and seasoned eggs the day before.

I divided each tasks to everyone to work together. Then assemble for a bowl of ramen at the end. Everybody did very well on their own work so eventually we could eat nice ramen for lunch.

After ramen and gyoza lunch, we celebrated one of the participant’s 17th birthday!

I served cherry blossom mochi-dessert with candle. Of cause we sang happy birthday song to her.

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Hope she liked it!

Many thanks

Kisshy

sauteed salmon with spring cabbage on March 29th

I’ve welcomed wonderful  two families from Korea and England.

I was thinking if we can bring food we cook to outside as bento- box and  have lunch under cherry blossoms for today’s class. However, the weather is not so good, too chilly to stay for lunch outside.

Eventually I decided to have a class as usual in my home .   We cook

                                        Sautéed salmon with spring cabbage

                                    Creamy tofu salad

                                       Crushed cucumber with sesame dressing

                                              Rice and miso soup

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Salmon is a convenient ingredient, easy to obtain most of the countries.  we cook salmon and spring cabbage, onion and carrot in a big  cooking plate on a dining table.  Today’s participants enjoyed cooking and eating the menu.

Hope you bring the recipe back to your country and cook salmon dish at your kitchen.

 

Many thanks

Kisshy

Miso Ramen and Gyoza class on March 27th

Tokyo has been almost full bloom cherry blossom season, however this year is little chillier than former years so the tree blooms little by little. Good thing is we could enjoy to see the blooming longer than usual. Many people cannot wait to enjoy eating and drinking under the trees in full bloom.

I gave a miso-ramen and Gyoza class for 6 people.  There are  4 people from Florida US and a couple from Australia.  They are all open minded and caught up their trip tips each other.

when we cook gyoza, wrapping time is a fun part.   I show how to wrap it first, then the participants tries to make themselves.  Some people like and good at wrapping, and some people tries hard.  Eventually, everybody make nice gyoza wrapping.

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After wrapping, we steam and cook on a big cooking plate on a dining table.  The participants sit around the table and  could eat warm gyoza for lunch.

Thank you everyone to make the class fun!

Many Thanks again,

Kisshy