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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Many Thanks for coming!
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
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.