Sushi Rolling class on April 25th.

I have welcomed a beautiful lady from Singapore and her friend from Thailand on this day for Sushi Rolling experience. As is often the case with our classes, one of my guests turned out to be a very experienced and keen cook, while another had hardly ever done anything at kitchen!? so I was told.

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But they both did a great job and we successfully prepared Sushi rolls, Miso soup and 2 side dishes of spinach and eggplants.

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I prepared too much rice on this day so we ended up with a lot of rolls.

My guests said they were happy to get to see the smoked bonito before it was grated into thin flakes and packed. This is an ingredient indispensable for Japanese cooking, as it produces a good Dashi soup stock.  

A piece of smoked bonito looks like a wooden stick or branch.  Not a few of my guests think it is a Japanese traditional utensil for cooking, made with wood. So I let them feel it and smell it, then taste some freshly grated bonito flakes.  

My guest told me that it has an aroma like whisky and I was very impressed. Bonito fish does get smoked after steamed, so it has a nice smoky flavor and maybe that is something in common with whisky aged in smoked barrels. 

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Flower bud as a spring delicacy on April 24th Tempura class

I welcomed a couple from Quebec, Canada and the lady turned out to be a professional working at the culinary institute. Her husband had lived in Tokyo for some years before and very knowledgeable about our food culture so I was quite nervous not to disappoint them with my cookings. 

Both of them were such lovely foodies, who really enjoy cooking. We were chatting and chatting about all kinds of foods and it was such a fun time!

They liked Tempura and my easy side dish of crushed cucumbers very much, while they told me that sweet egg roll omelet was a little strange taste for them, as French omelet is always savory. It is truly interesting to know what is appealing and what is not so.

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 For this Tempura occasion, I picked up our popular spring delicacy, called ‘Fuki no Tou’ as one of the ingredients for deep frying. I googled up the English translation of Fuki, which was ‘butterbur scape’ or Petasites japonicas.  Does it make sense?  Maybe it is not eaten much outside Japan.  Here is a photo of Fuki no Tou.

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Fuki is a kind of vegetable and it looks like Rhubarb but the taste is totally different. Only around spring time, buds of Fuki flowers are available and I like to eat them as Tempura. It has some bitterness along freshness, appreciated as a sign of early spring nutrition.

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My guests from Quebec liked Fuki no Tou, as well as prawns, eggplants, Shiso leaves, Okura, Kabocha pumpkins etc. I hope they enjoyed their cooking experience at my kitchen as much as I did.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Simple, fun and easy side dish with cucumbers on April18th.Class

On this class of Sushi Rolls, I picked up one of the easiest and fun side dish recipes. That is what we call Crushed Cucumber salad.IMG_5685

 As the name tells, the recipe is quite simple. You salt your cucumbers, crush them with a wooden pestle ( which we use for pounding tossed sesame etc.). The tip is DO NOT use a knife when you cut cucumbers.

Why? Because when you cut them with a sharp knife, the cut end will be very smooth. But if you crush them or break them with a good pressure, the cut end will be rugged and uneven, so the seasonings are likely to stay on surface and taste better.

I use fragrant sesame oil and salt for seasonings.  Maybe add a little bit of leek, finely sliced or chopped fresh coriander if you like. Toss them all and keep in a fridge for some time and that is the end of the recipe.

When you are looking for some cooking experience for small children but you are not sure to let them use knives, this recipe is ideal. But I have noticed big boys also love the cruching process of this recipe!

So simple that I feel sorry to call this a ‘dish’  but it is my family’s favorite menu specially in summer time after a hot and humid day. You will find this menu at many Izakaya (Japanese style bars) yet never at a classy restaurants.

The only concern is that cucumbers in Japan are quite thin, while some kind of cucumbers overseas are much bigger and thicker.  On April 18th. I welcomed guests form Australia, Swiss and USA.  I am wondering if my guests were able to crush their local cucumbers after getting back home and tried this recipe.

 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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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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Cooking class schedule Feb- April

If schedule is not opened below, please ask us whether we can open the class for you. The schedule would be updated  two months in advance.

  • 21-Feb-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 22-Feb-2017 Wed 10:00-1300 Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 23-Feb-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30, Meeting at Shibuya Main dish: Vegetarian Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 24-Feb-2017 Fri ,10:00-13:00, Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 27-Feb-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon St. Main dish: Swordfish Nanbanzuke( deep-fried and marinated in rice vinegar and soy sauce with vegetables)/ Dashi stock making Instructor: Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 28-Feb-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30, Meeting at Shibuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,

 

  • 1-Mar-2017 Wed ,10:00-13:00 Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 2-Mar-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: To be discussed, Dashi stock making Instructor: Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 3-Mar-2017 Fri ,10:00-13:00 Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 6-Mar-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: To be discussed,/ Dashi stock making Instructor: Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 7-Mar-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Main dish: ramen Instructor:Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 8-Mar-2017 Wed ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: Swordfish Nanban-zuke (deep-fried & marinaed in rice vinegar, soy sauce and vegetables) / Dashi stock making Instructor:Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 9-Mar-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: To be discussed,/ Dashi stock making Instructor: Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 10-Mar-2017 Fri ,10:00-13:00 Meeting at Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Yuki san & Kisshy san Price: 6000 yen,
  • 10-Mar-2017 10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: seafood (nanbanzuke) & Dashi soup stock making, sushi rolls Instructor: Akiko Price:6000
  • 13-Mar-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: To be discussed,/ Dashi stock making Instructor: Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 14-Mar-2017 Wed ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: Fish Nanbanzuke(Fish marinated in sour sauce) Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 15-Mar-2017 Wed ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 16-Mar-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: To be discussed,/ Dashi stock making Instructor: Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 17-Mar-2017 Fri ,10:00-13:00 Meeting at yotsuya Main dish: sabano miso ni Instructor: kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 20-Mar-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon st. Main dish: To be discussed,/ Dashi stock making Instructor:Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 21-Mar-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 22-Mar-2017 Wed ,10:00-13:00 Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 27-Mar-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Yostuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 29-Mar-2017 Wed 10:00-13:00 Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,

 

  • 3-Apr-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 4-Apr-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 6-Apr-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 7-Apr-2017 Fri ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon station Main dish: ramen (seafood and shellfish NG, fish is OK) Instructor:Akiko Price: 5000 yen,
  • 10-Apr-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 11-Apr-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 12-Apr-2017 Wed ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 13-Apr-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: Saikyo yaki(fish cooked with saikyo miso) Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 14-Apr-2017 Fri ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 17-Apr-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 18-Apr-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 19-Apr-2017 Wed ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Yotsuya Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 20-Apr-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 21-Apr-2017 Fri ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 24-Apr-2017 Mon ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Hanzomon Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Akiko Price: 6000 yen,
  • 25-Apr-2017 Tue ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 26-Apr-2017 Wed ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor: Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,
  • 27-Apr-2017 Thu ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Shibuya station Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor:Yuki Price: 6000 yen,
  • 28-Apr-2017 Fri ,10:30-13:30 Meeting at Main dish: To be discussed, Instructor  Kisshy Price: 6000 yen,

The Tsukiji relocation has been postponed

Good news for travelers!

Tokyo announced that Tsukiji will not relocate to new place on November 2016.   The fish market will stay the original place for months ( or longer?).

Tsukiji fish market relocation facing delay by new Gov. Yuriko Koike

The fish  market has been running  in Tsukiji, next to Ginza area, for more than 70 years.  The buildings for the wholesales are old now but the distinct atmosphere fascinates people from all over the world.

I am one of the big fan of Tsukiji inside market. There are vigorous fishmongers and  beautiful fresh seafood just arrived from their  littoral  regions can be seen  in  the 70 years-old atmosphere.

 

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Tuna auction

If you are planning to go to see tuna auctions, I recommend you to arrive before 2:30 am in Tsukiji.  According to the fish market security, the time for distributing ticket  is earlier and earlier depending on people who come to get ticket for the tuna auction entrance. this is the information on April 2016, so I’m not sure if 2:30 is early enough to get the ticket for now.    I tried to go to see the tuna market with my friend from New York and arrived at 3:30 pm, but it was too late and we needed to give up to see that!   We missed it!

I strongly recommend to check reliable website if you want to go, I apologize that I couldn’t find the website which is shown exact time you need to arrive there.

There are links of Tuna auction info.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3021.html

 

Tsukiji Fish Market Tuna Auction: Worth it to wake up at 3:45am?

Too late to wake up 3:45 though !

Kisshy