Tempura Class with MBA youngsters on March 10th.

Tempura is one of my family’s favorite menus for gathering. Depending on the season, a variety of ingredients changes but the common ones I eat often are eggplants, Kabocha pumpkins, mushrooms like Shiitake and Maitake, Onions, Carrots, Okura(Gambo), Shiso leaves and prawns.

It may be similar to fish & chips or fritto, fritter, or beignet. I think the difference exists in what ingredients are used for batter. The best Tempura should be crispy outside and juicy inside. Ingredients must be fully covered with batter but as thinly as possible. If the batter is too rich and thick, Tempura will be too filling and you cannot eat much.

There are some tips to cook tasty Tempura. One of which is to chill the batter in the fridge before you start frying or simply use a chilled water for your batter. If you use a soda water, Tempura will be very crispy and I like that.

And of course, we use Dashi for Tempura, too! Dashi is a soup stock we make with Konbu seaweed and smoked Bonito fish. It is used in the savory sauce you dip your Tempura. Sometimes grated Daikon radish and ginger can be also put in this sauce. Daikon has a nutrition that helps to digest food well, so when you eat a lot of fried food, it can be a good companion.

My favorite way to eat Tempura is with lemon and salt, especially for Maitake mushrooms this is definitely the way to try!  Some gourmet people prepare Matcha green tea or Yuzu lime flavored salt and that is elegant for entertainig. You must come to Tokyo and find out your favorite way to enjoy Tempura!

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On March 10th, I welcomed a group of MBA students from east-coast USA for Tempura class.  Some of them had very interesting information about Indian cookery so I wished I could have them talk more about Indian food instead of me showing how to prepare Tempura but we ran out of time.  I hope they liked our food too and enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as I did!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Roll Sushi Class on March 9th.

One of the best seafood dishes on earth is Sushi, at least, for me. It takes so many years of training to become a decent sushi master but thankfully there are alternative ways to enjoy sushi at family dinner or gathering with friends, that is, Roll Sushi.

Roll sushi is like sandwich.  You can roll anything except sand & witch!?  Well maybe.  But if you are visiting Japan, I think you should definitely try rolling our beautiful fatty tuna and salmon.

All you need to cook is some short grain rice.  Usually you put as much rice as water when you start boiling rice. But for sushi rice, water should be a little less than rice, as you are going to add some vinegar, salt and sugar later when it is cooked. 

For some stuff to roll, sashimi quality tuna(Maguro) or salmon, greens such as cucumbers, shiso leaves, spring onion or avocado. Avocado was never used in traditional Japanese sushi cooking before but it is changing. I honestly  respect the person who discovered the combination of raw tuna and avocado. It is just so delicious in roll sushi!

You  need a little bamboo mat to shape your roll sushi into a nice log figure. It may seem a little complicated process but once you start rolling, rice naturally sticks to each other and a sheet of black seaweed will cover up everything beautifully. 

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Here is my class of sushi rolls on March 9th . I welcomed 4 guests from USA. Some of them are already visiting Japan many times and some are 1st timers but ALL sushi rolled up perfectly. It was literally a hands-on experience (lots of rice on your fingers!) and tasted good, too, as you can see on their big smiles!

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Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Swordfish Nanbanzuke class with a Foodie family from Sydney(Mar.8th. 2017)

The name ‘Nanban-zuke’ may sound unfamiliar but this is one of our popular seafood dishes. Nanban indicates that the dish has its origin from 16C Europe. Considering the history of Japan, ‘Europe’ in those days means Portugal and Spain at many cases.

I assume the process of deep frying and marinating afterwards with leek and other vegetables may be the ‘Nanban’ character. But this is a typical home cooking food for us today and it goes nicely with white rice or a glass of Sake!

I often use swordfish for Nanbanzuke. It is a white meat fish, tender like chicken breast but also is easier to handle, because you don’t need to pinch tiny bones.

First you deep fry the pieces of swordfish powdered with potato starch. Then marinate them in soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin etc. Lots of vegetables are also put in this marine sauce, such as carrot, celery, leek, spring onion etc. So it almost looks like a salad with fried fish.

You may be afraid that anything deep fried is not good for your health, but I think if you eat them with lots of vegetables, no need to be scared at all.

If you choose more vegetables for side dishes, such as spinach with sweet sesame sauce (another very popular dish at our classes), accompanied with Dashi soup of mushrooms & rice, your meal would be rich in fiber and quite nicely balanced.

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On this March 8th cooking class of Nanbanzuke, I welcomed a family from Sydney. Mama (means Mum in Japanese) is obviously a very good cook so everyone in the family loves to cook, too.  It was actually a lot of fun to exchange some interesting information on ingredients and cookery with this foodie family!

I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as I did.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Ramen making experience at home kitchen (March 7)

Did you know ramen is not actually a very traditional menu for us Japanese? Yet it is so popular now throughout Japan. Each region and shops has its original recipe for soup, noodles and toppings.

It is originally from Chinese cookery so the base soup stock is often made with chicken. But the variety keeps growing. Kyushu region (southern island of Japan) is famous for its thick pork soup stock called ‘Ton-kotsu(i.e. pork bones)’ and now this is everybody’s favorite  even around Tokyo area.

Many shops like to add Japanese Dashi soup stock, too, as it brings more complex aroma with seafood ingredients. Or there is a shop famous for its Italian ramen in my neighbourhood, using tomato etc. But spaghetti has its origin in Chinese noodles so this makes sense.

At Musubi Cooking Tokyo, we also receive quite a few inquiries for ramen cooking and here I challenged to cook our home-made ramen with my 3 guest from Philipine and Brazil.

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I have prepared chicken & pork soup stock in advance, as it takes many hours to prepare, mostly simmering. At the class, we made Dashi soup stock with smoked bonito flakes and Niboshi (dried sardins), then mix with the other stocks.

Toppings for ramen could be anything but the most popular choice may be pork slices. Again, it takes a few hours simmering on low heat to prepare nice and melty smooth pork so I showed my guests how to prepare it until you come to the final process of simmering.

Once the ramen is ready, you really must start eating it right away, no bother talking or socializing with others at the table, because the ramen noodles get soggy very soon and that ruins the whole effort.  Slurping is just fine, as that is the only way to taste both noodle and soup together while everything is still hot!

Ramen is our comfort food and it made everybody feel much more relaxed and closer. We had a lot of fun talk after finishing our ramen bowls, even some secret stories how the couple met etc. I hope my guest enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as I did. Thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

Seafood ramen class on March 22nd

I welcomed a couple from England to have a ramen cooking class.

Menu on March 22nd

Miso ramen, sautéed salmon and fresh vegetables, egg, corn with chicken-shrimp based soup

Tofu gyoza

crushed cucumber salad

sakura-mochi  ( cherry blossom flavored sticky rice cake)

I had a request of non-pork ramen / gyoza at this time from them.  So we cooked salmon ramen and tofu gyoza instead of pork garnished ramen and ground pork gyoza. This menus are my first trial, and both dishes turned out perfect; today’s guests liked them vey much.

Regretfully, I didn’t take any food picture at this time, always though. Since I’m busy when the ramen cooking has done and also I want the guests eat ramen  as early as possible.  It shouldn’t take time to eat ramen so long because the noodle get soggy in the soup after certain time.

Tofu gyoza is good option for vegetarian, made with ingredients you can get anywhere in the world and taste good!

 

 

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Using chop stick for cooking. Yes you can!

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Wrapping gyoza is a fun part!

 

Many thanks

Kisshy

Japaneses home cooking in Marh 17th ’17 and Ramen place in kagurazaka

I had a lovely guest from Portugal  today.She likes  cooking and wants to learn Japanese home cooking. We exchanged email in advance about the menu what we cook for the class. She prefers cooking which she can recreate them after she’ll come back to her country.

Eventually we decide to cooked

 

       Menu on March 17th

Mackerel cooked in miso sauce,

Shira-ae ( blanched vegetables mixed with tofu sauce),

Pumpkin cooked in sweet soy sauce,

Rice and miso-soup.

Well balanced!

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As I expected, she has  great cooking skill, cutting / chopping fast and tide. I enjoyed cooking with her and wanted to share all my cooking knowledge.

People who take the cooking class are interested in ingredients, cookery, habit and culture.  I’d always love to answer and share those questions as much as possible in the class. If I couldn’t give the answer I’ll get back to them by email later. It is such delightful to hear when the attendees in my class go  back to their country then have chance to cook Japanese food.

She also tried to visit ramen place “Kimino” in kagurazaka. I always recommend this to attendees to try ramen there.

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The ramen there doesn’t contain MSG-food additives. It is not easy to complete making soup for ramen without MSG, since the compound  produces UMAMI, and that make the ramen taste nicer.

At the beginning of  making ramen recipe for my class, I’ve struggled for making the soup avoiding MSG for a while. I heard the ramen place in kagurazaka by chance which doesn’t contain any food additives.

I visited the place right after I heard. The tiny ramen restaurant is located on cozy, narrow street in Kagurazaka.  Inside of the bar is clean and well hygiene,  and has warm-welcomed atmosphere.

The ramen there was just impressive. The madam there recommend me to have all the soup.  She said the soup doesn’t contain so much salt, ( and of course no chemical added) so it’s good for you.  The madam is warm, open minded lady. She also gave me a plenty of advise to make nice soup at home.

Although I haven’t herd the recipe in the ramen bar, I appreciate her that she is my big help for the ramen class nicer, people come to cook and said  delicious eventually.

Today’s guest was the first who visited the place. She had a good time, good ramen there according to her report.  I appreciate it, very much!  I’m looking forward to hearing your Japanese cooking report in Lisbon again.

P.S Thank you for the wonderful review on Trip Advisor!

Ciao!

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramen clas on Feb 24th ’17

I am happy to see people came from different countries and  meet in my class and cook together.  Most of the time they get along with each other during the class.

At the end of the class we eat together what we cooked in the class. At this time the participants are relaxed and open their mind to other participants.

All the attendees today are cheerful and open minded, and they seemed became friends right after met each other at the meeting point.

The class went very well in happy mood.  Can you believe they just first met 1 hour before!?

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We cooked ramen, gyoza and cucumber side dish. We enjoyed cooking and enjoyed having ramen, of cause!

 

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They exchanged the travel information and the experience. We all had a great time.

 

Many thanks!

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese cooking menu on Feb 22nd

I’ve welcomed 6 people today.  There are two parties from Australia in different region.

We cooked salmon nanbanz-zuke ( Japanese style escabeche),

winter spinach dressed with creamy sesame dressing,

grilled-fried tofu with sweet miso sauce)

Rice and Miso sauce.

 

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In this winter I use winter spinach for the side dish.  This spinach can be obtain only cold winter season February to middle of March.

The leaves climb on the ground when it grows, and the chilled ground make the spinach sweet and thicken the leaves.  The spinach has a great flavor and sweetness. This kind of spinach goes with creamed sesame dressing perfectly.

Hope everyone enjoys this seasonal flavor in winter class.

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Many thanks

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese cooking class on Feb 10th

I’ve welcomed a couple from England in today’s class.

We cooked salmon nanban-zuke, spinach with sesame cream sauce ( Goma-ae), pumpkin cook with sweet soy sauce, egg omelet and miso soup.

At this class, the couple who cooks daily did their work very quickly, I was impressed their team work!  We had a time to cook Japanese omelets for extra. Otherwise we finished cooking too early!

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She did well at rolling up egg omelets.

 

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Her husband worked well for grinding sesame for spinach dressing.

Eventually we had a very “Oishii” delicious lunch together.

 

Thank you for coming and hope you’ll cook Japanese dishes in your country.

 

Many thanks

Kisshy

 

 

Ramen class on Feb 8th 2017

I had two participants in the class; a man from Guatemala and a lady from  Holland.

Both of them had a culinary background and  they were very curious to cook ramen.

To know cooking ramen from the scratch, it is important to know “umami”.  what is “umami”?

 

According to Wiki, it is briefly  written as…..

Umami (/uˈmɑːmi/), or savory taste, is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness).[1] It has been described as brothy or meaty.[2][3]

I show the traditional ingredients for ramen soup to the participants in the lecture and would like them to understand before start to cook.

Both of them are good cook and the class went very well. We’ve done prep quickly, So I  could take time to taste and adjust ramen soup.  This is the most important part of Ramen cooking.

 

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Thank you very much for such nice reviews for TripAdvisor!

I really enjoyed cooking with you!!

Many thanks

Kisshy