Gyoza and various side dishes

This was a class filled with happy voices for a group of French girls reunion.

Their choice was a perfect food for intimate gathering; Gyoza with home made filling of pork, leek, garlic chives etc.

We also prepared a several side dishes includig salmon & avocado etc. One of their favorite was Miso soup using potato. Yes, potato is something from Americas and often used in European cooking, but it is actually a popular ingredient for our Japanese Miso soup as well.

My guest girls successfully mastered how to make nice and even frills on Japanese style dumplings. I am hoping maybe they are making Gyoza again on their next occasion together.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Sushi-making & Sake-tasting for Nike

In early December we welcomed a group of 20+ people from Nike!

This was the 2nd time to organize a gathering for this huge global company in Tokyo. We were very happy to hear that participants liked their team building lunch back in August, so they decided to contact us again for an evening function.

 

We planned Sushi roll & Temari Sushi cooking class. All ingredients for fillings and toppings were prepared in advance, but the guests had to make their own Sushi seasoning and mix with steamed rice, then start rolling & shaping their own Sushi for dinner.

 

Although this cooking class was held after a long day at their global meeting, everybody did a great work and everything went so smoothly that all results were beautiful and delicious!

 

After enjoying our tasty Sushi and other food including chicken Karrage, spinach with sesame sauce, fresh colorful veggies with Miso-Mayo dip, pork slices, sweet egg rolls etc., it was time for Sake tasting quiz! There are lots of types and brands of Sake in Japan.  It was hard for us to choose just a few kinds, but we hope it turned out a good opportunity for our guests to try something different.

 

We would be very happy if we could be of a little help to discover some new charms of Japanese gastronomy!  

 

Yuki & Akiko

 

 

Swordfish Nanban and more ~May 2018~

The menu for  the class was;

<Main dish>

Swordfish & Salmon  Nanbanzuke sauce (fried and marinade with soysauce, vinegar & fresh vegetables)

<Side dish>

Eggplamt with sweet Miso sauce

Spinach with sesame sauce

chicken Karaage

Miso soup with clams & rice

I tend to spend a lot of time explaining about basic ingredients we use for Japanese cooking, such as Katsuo Bushi (Smoked Bonito fish), Konbu, Mirin etc.  Sometimes the tastes of them  are too different for first timers to my country but my two beautiful guests on this day were doing very good.

With Katsuo and Konbu, we made soup stock and used it for Miso soup, as well as spinach sauce and swordfish marinade. They all worked out nicely  &  my guest completed our delicious and authentic lunch!

Later  I learnd that one of my guests was a professional model, another was a title-holder of marathon ( in business suit!?!?  )

Japanese food are rich in nutrition, low in calories so isn’t our food just perfct for them?

I hope they will enjoy cooking our food again in US.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Seafood and Sashimi lovers from Germany, Oct 2017

Many of my German guests prefer meat dishes to seafood… that was my narrow perception until I welcomed this couple from Northern Germany.

In fact, the lady told me that she does not eat much sausages nor Sauerkraut but loves Sushi and Sashimi.  So the main dish for her and husband was Sushi rolls with fresh quality salmon and tuna of course!

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I have also suggested a few choices for side dishes and here again, she preferred vegetable and fruit dishes rather than meaty ones. It was mid Autumn and Kaki, persimmon was in season. So I really liked to introduce one side dish of Kaki, Shimeji mushroom and greens with creamy Tofu sauce.

But why Kaki is so special?

Today we have a great variety of fruits available at super market in Japan and many of them are domestic  harvest.  However, when you look back the history of Japan, most of our fruits were brought to our islands from overseas at some stage.

Yet Kaki is considered to be one of few indigenous species that have been around the land of Japan for years and years.

If you have a chance to travel around Japan in Autumn, you may notice the trees with almost no leaves but some ripe, orange fruits in gardens and even in some wild fields, that are Kaki trees and it is a loved symbol of Autumn for us.

It makes a nice salad, or simple dessert as it  is, or you may put a slice of prosciutto on top of a small cut of Kaki and serve as a starter.

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I hope my guests enjoyed their Autumn taste as well as our quality seafood!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Salmon Nanban-zuke class on August 25th

I welcomed beautiful couple from Munich in German.   The lady speaks and understand Japanese little. Both of them are Japanese food lover.

After our communication by email, we decide to cook Salmon nanban-zuke for the main dish.

Both of them are home cookers, so we cooked very fast and efficiently.

I usually prepare Japanese broth, using sea kelp and bonito flakes. Those ingredients only use for infuse the flavor, so i usually discard the left overs after simmered ingredients.  I knew, this is kind of against Japanese culture, mottai-nai .

*Mottainai from wiki

Mottainai (もったいない[mottainai]) is a Japanese term conveying a sense of regret concerning waste.[1] The expression “Mottainai!” can be uttered alone as an exclamation when something useful, such as food or time, is wasted, meaning roughly “what a waste!” or “Don’t waste.”[2] In addition to its primary sense of “wastefulness”, the word is also used to mean “impious; irreverent” or “more than one deserves”.[3]

Mottainai is an old Buddhist word, which has ties “with the Shinto idea that objects have souls.”[2] Mottainai has been referred to as a tradition,[2] a cultural practice,[4] and an idea which is still present in Japanese culture,[2] which has become an international concept.[5]

 

Then I decided to cook furikake, using leftover of Japanese broth, which is go with cooked rice.  See in the middle of the plate in white little dish.

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We cooked Salmon nanban -zuke, cucumber with creamy sesame dressing, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, Japanese style egg omelette, furikake, edamame rice and miso soup.

Both of them loved those dishes, and I’ m so glad they enjoyed.  The lady sent me Japanese meal cooked by herself. It looked so gorgeous and much better than my work.

Thank you for remind me of Mottainai!

Many thanks,

Kisshy

 

 

Sushi class for a family from Netherland

I welcomed a family of 4 for sushi class.  Yes, cooking sushi is popular than cooking ramen in this season since it’s been very warm in Japan!?

The temperatures in Tokyo these days are almost 30’s Centigrade and almost 70 %  of humidity. If you walk outside, you may sweat even though  just staying still or walking slowly.

Anyway, I’m always good relieve when I see  the customer shows up at the meeting point for cooking class. Everybody looks great, and exciting for the class, that is I expect for people. I am always exciting to meet new people who love cooking, too!

I sincerely enjoy sharing  cooking with people who like Japan, Japanese culture and Japanese food.

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When the time for rolling sushi, I become very serious to teach how to roll it. It is necessary to use both palms and fingers fits on the mat to make round shape of the roll.

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Yes! everyone did a great job!

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Every family member liked sushi rolls!  Hope you will make sushi roll again in your country.

 

Many thanks

Kisshy

 

 

 

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

 

 

Potato cooking, German ways and Japanese ways / April 17th.

I have received a request for Teriyaki chicken again and this time from a German couple visiting Tokyo. As one of the side dishes I chose a Potato Mochi, as it is also finished with Teriyaki sauce so I figured out my guest may also like it. This is a local specialty from Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan known for its good potato harvest. 

At the cooking class, Potato Mochi recipe turns out to be very German by the way. Of course Germans are professional to cook potatoes and my guest showed me how she finds out if your potatoes are boiled enough or not ready yet.  

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First you hold your knife upside down, pointing to potatoes in the pot, then simply loosen your grip a bit and see if the knife cut into your potatoes or not!  I used to poke into my potatoes with chopsticks and make many holes but not any more! 

After adding some starch and making putties with boiled & mashed potatoes, my guest told me that Germans would boil them but we grill them on frying pan, then we finish up with sweet & savory teriyaki sauce. 

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I hope my guests liked our Hokkaido style potato dish, too.

Many thanks for coming! 

Akiko

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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