Big lunch again with Mum & daughter from Singapore / June 2017

Sometimes I receive a very specific request on menus to cook at classes.

For this class in May, my guest, who turns out be a super woman (business executive & mother of 2 kids) from Singapore, asked me if we can try Oyako-don, Gyoza, Chicken teriyaki, Miso dengaku with eggplant and Japanese style potato salad.

That is a lot for one meal and the combination is not exactly what we normally do, but I understand it is a good chance to try different dishes for a visitor when time is limited. Obviously the lady has tried many Japanese dishes already so I was interested to hear her opinions on our food, too.

She visited me with her lovely young daughter who was a great help in the kitchen! She can slice and cut and stir with no problem.

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Among the menus my guest chose, I was curious to ask why she picked up a potato salad, as is a rather western menu to me.  She was after a Japanese style potato salad in particular, which her family tried before and became her son’s favorite.

What I think ‘very Japanese’ and what my guests like to learn at Japanese home cooking class may not be always the same. It is very interesting to discover what people are attracted in our food culture.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Swordfish Nanbanzuke class with lots of vegetables/ May 2017

Today’s guest was a couple from France visiting various plasces in Japan.

The lady turned out to be on the early stage of her pregnancy.  As a mother of 3 kids, I was really excited to hear that and thought maybe some of the food & nutrition we cook will be becomimg a part of her little baby’s body, who knows!

What we parepared on this class was; Swordfish Nanban Zuke, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, spinach with sesame sauce and miso soup with cabbage and potatoes. Lots of vegetables dishes using naturally fermented  seasonings like Miso, Mirin and Soy sauce.

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Since she was not feeling for a very strong taste, we decided to use less amount of rice vinegar and soy sauce for Nanban Zuke marinade. It is one of the good things about hands-on cooking experience. You can taste your sauce and dishes as we proceed and are always welcome to adjust some parts of the recipe.

Her husband was a keen cook and he was quite knowlegeble about Japanese ingredients, which helped a lot.

I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen and their baby was enjoying his/her first Japanese food,too!

Many thaks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

 

Ramen & Gyoza cooking with Aussie & French couples / May 2017

By late May, weather in Japan would get quite humid, with our rainy season approaching. Yet we still received quite a few inquiries for hot noodle dish with soup, Ramen.  Indeed it is surprising but I am well aware now that Ramen has truly become one of the most popular Japanese dish around the world. 

On this class, I welcomed two young couples from Australia and France.  I put my air conditioner on so it is cool enough in the room to enjoy hot foods.

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Besides Ramen, we prepared Gyoza, Japanese style pot stickers or dumplings. This dish is also originated from Chinese culinary but we pan-fry them with a lid, instead of boil or steam. When cooked, we dip them in soy sauce and vinegar. If you like it hot and spicy, maybe add a few drips of Chinese hot chili oil which we call La-Yu. 

At my family, whenever eating Gyoza for dinner, we cook them on the table. There is a popular kitchen item called ‘hot plate’, which is actually a big and flat electric frying pan.  

The beauty of using this on the table is;

1) it saves a lot of time for cooking,

2) everyone can enjoy eating Gyoza while it is sizzling hot.

The only problem is your room might be full of Gyoza smell afterwards. If the weather permits, have your windows open, or put your kitchen fan switched on. 

Gyoza is often chosen as a menu for family and close friends casual gathering. It is also fun to warp them together, while chatting various things, as we did on this class!

In Japan, Gyoza wrappers are available at any supermarkets so we don’t make them from scratch. I am not sure about the situation overseas but hope my guests can find them with no problem at their home towns. 

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Private class with an experienced IT cooker /May 2017

Today’s customer had already taken a Japanese home cooking class several years ago and he liked it so much that he wanted to learn more. He was on his business trip to Tokyo so the schedule was a little difficult to sort out but we managed to make it happen! 

His request included mackerel with Miso sauce, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, and we made miso soup, too, along with a few other dishes.

Too much miso? No worries Miso is like cheese for Europeans. There are a great variety of Miso in different regions throughout Japan and even ingredients differ, some uses more rice, others add wheat, or only use salt and soy beans. Each family has its own favorite type of Miso I guess. 

Miso is salty but rich in nutrition and minerals, sich as vitamins, calcium, lactic acid bacteria, oligo saccharide, dietary fiber etc. which help to keep your digestion system in good condition. Some centuries ago, Miso was an important food to carry around for Samurai warriors on expedition, as it keeps for many months without freezing. And most of all, it is yummy! 

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My guest was such an experienced Japanese culinery cooker. He said at his home in UK, he cooks Oyako-Don, a chicken and egg on rice bowl frequently and  his girlfriend (non-Japanese by the way)  loves it, too.  How nice to hear that!

He works for a gigantic IT company so after all our dishes are completed, it was my turn to ask him a lot of questions about latest happenings in his industry.  

I hope he is now enjoying cooking some mackerel and eggplant with various Miso sauces for his loved ones.  Many thanks for coming! 

Akiko

Japanese cooking class for Tokyo expats

I’ve welcomed 3 young expats came from Australia  today for Japanese cooking class. I had a request to cook Japanese dish with local ingredients since the guests have been in Tokyo for several month for their work.

I’m curious how does the people came from foreign country live in Tokyo.  In my experience, I’ve lived in the US for 10 years with my husband  and sometime missed  food in my country. Groceries in stores are different and didn’t figured out right away how to cook and how to eat.

Especially Japanese grocery doesn’t show the name in English on the package. I believe it is not easy for the expats to find out what to buy and how to cook the ingredients.

Youngsters are sweet and motivated so I enjoyed cooking with them and  had really good time to talk.

We cooked Salmon Nanban-zuke ( salmon marinated in soy sauce based sweet sour seasoning with veggies), cucumber with cream sesame dressing and eggplant with miso sauce.  Those menus are common dishes at home cooking and you can substitute other ingredients, that I explained.

All they enjoyed the cooking and the taste.  Thank you for the great review in TripAdvisor.

 

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All they like the traditional Japanese dishes.

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Thank you for coming my class. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your duty in Tokyo.

 

Kisshy

 

 

Ramen class for solo travelars

There are 2 guests from US today.

It is sometime not easy to make a class who is booked by one person since the class opens for 2 participants at the least.

This class was miraculously offered by two girls who had been in different county and almost same time.  They both offered ramen cooking, wow!

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I’m glad they enjoyed cooking ramen, the toppings and gyoza.  One of the girl had been in China and learned how to wrap gyoza ingredients with wrappers.  She shared how to make beautiful shaped gyoza.

Although they are early 20ish, they both often cook at their home and well done in the class as well.  Me,  “wait!  slow down, I can’t catch up for  tidy up, haha!”

They are so lovely girls. After we talked many things during lunch time,  I felt like I’m their mom in Japan, since I’m their mom’s age rather than their friend’s age.

I  wish their trip safety and great fortune in their future!

 

Thank you for giving me such a precious time! I appreciate your review on TripAdvisor.

Many thanks,

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

Japanese cooking Oyako-don and Tempura

There are two groups, one party of 4 from Florida US and the other party of 2 from Australia in the class.  All they are delightful and polite people so the class went very well, and nice socialized class.

Two women used to live in Japan for years ago, so they speak and understand some Japanese.  I’m always glad someone speak, someone tries to communicate in Japanese, that make me feel closer to them.

We cooked Oyako-don, tempura, spinach goma-ae ( spinach withcream sesame dressing), rice and miso soup.

Oyako-don is a rice bowl which is made of chicken and egg.  “oyako” in Japanese means parents and child (ren), you know, that is why this bowl is called as this name.

Pouring dissolved eggs into the pot for the finishing oyako-don cooking.

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We also cooked tempura for the side dish. I had a request from a couple from Australia how to cook tempura in advance, and  they learned my easy tempura recipe and I believe they brought back to heir home kitchen.

The participants get turn one by one to cook tempura.  They did great! Also had fun!

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After tided up kitchen, I participate to the lunch and having chat with the participants. Now I’ve relaxed and I really like this time!

Thank you for sharing your experience when you were in Japan.

Many thanks to write your review on TripAdvisor!!

 

Best,

Kisshy

 

Ramen class and seasoned eggs

I’ve welcomed a couple from Australia.

I got a reservation from the husband to cook ramen in the class. They are expecting their first baby, so the wife has some food restrictions.

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As for our ramen menu, including gyoza and cucumber dish, there are no special attention expect “a seasoned egg” for ramen topping.  I usually serve soft boiled seasoned egg, but I’ve served hard boiled seasoned egg at this time.

I offer the seasoned egg  for ramen, since this is one of the indispensable  topping ingredient for ramen bowl in my class. The texture of eggs go with other ramen topping ingredients, such as crispy sautéed vegetables and moisture braised pork.  Most of  the ramen shops offer their original seasoned egg on the menu.   We,  Japanese like soft  boiled and runny-egg yolk which is seasoned with soy sauce flavor for ramen topping.

Preparing seasoned egg is quite easy.  Get ready soft or hard boiled eggs, soy sauce, sugar and mirin.  Warm up soy sauce, sugar and mirin in a small pot until sugar has just dissolved.  After cool it down as room temperature, transfer to a Ziploc.

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Add cooked eggs into the back and marinated for over night in a fridge.

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I usually cook it the day before the class, otherwise the egg doesn’t absorb the seasoning that enough.   It is also important to be peeled nicely whether the egg boiled as soft or hard.

Today’s guests enjoyed cooking and tasting  ramen as well as seasoned eggs.

Many thanks!

Best,

Kisshy

Cooked a big lunch! Private Class on May 14th

I had an interesting inquiry from a young Australian couple living in Tokyo.

They were used to cooking with an oven back home, but here in Japan, we do not use it as often. Instead we use stove top and small, lined griller underneath it mainly. This young couple’s tentative house kitchen was not equipped with an oven and they were looking for an opportunity to learn some cooking with Japanese kitchen.

So here they are at my place and we made a big lunch together.

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 The menu includes; Swordfish Nanabanzuke with soy sauce vinegar and vegetables, Maguro (tuna) grilled medium rare with garlic Teriyaki sauce, eggplant with miso Dengaku sauce, spinach with sweet sesame sauce, crushed cucumber, Miso soup with clams and Mitsuba greens…

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Both of my guests were great seafood lovers and I was really happy to hear that they liked everything we cooked. They challenged to try black rice and liked it, too.

I also explained about our griller, which we mainly use for cooking salmon, mackerel and other fishes or chicken wings.

My guest told me she was using it for toasting a piece of bread in the morning!  Well it maybe a good idea but you need to watch your toast frequently to make sure not to burn it.

 I hope my guests are enjoying their life in Tokyo now and cooking at their Japanese kitchen.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

An Interview about Japanese food culture by Polish writers

I had an interview by book authors; Polish lady who is a Tokyo expats and a man who came from London.

This is the second time to come for the interview  following the last September.

She’s been researching Japanese food culture and food ways since she has started to live in Tokyo about 2 years ago.   She has already studied Japanese seasonal event and  festivals through hear experiences and readings.  Honestly it is embarrassing that she understands some of the cultural events and its origin better than me. wow!

She requested some recipes we, Japanese commonly eat in summer.    Then I offered “Hiyashi-chuka” , “mackerel in nanban marinade, Japanese style escabeche” “Eggplant nebeshigi“and  “Corn rice”.

Hiyashi-chuka means “Cold ramen noodle”.  I like this noodle dish during hot season rather than hot ramen noodle.  Most ramen shop, Chinese restaurant and some Japanese restaurant begin to offer this dish at this season with like those posters in front of the shop.

“Now we offer Hiyashi-chuka”  summer feature in Japan

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This dish consists of julienned cucumber, julienned chicken breast or ham, julienned omelets, tomato wedges and  chilled noodle with soy sauce based sesame flavored dressing.

If you like ramen, this noodle is worth to try during the season.  It is not easy to find this dish during fall to spring seasons since we don’t feel like willing to eat this noodle when those cold seasons though.

 

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We also cooked nanban-zuke ( Japanese style eschabeche) and Egg plant nabeshigi ( cook with miso sauce), and rice cook with fresh corn.

They liked those menus as Japanese summer flavor.

Thank you very much to add my recipe to your book.

 

Many thanks.

Kisshy