Karaage with a foodie lady from HK

My family’s all time favorite menu, “chicken Karaage” today!

Side dishes are; aubergine with sweet & savory white Miso sauce on top, spinach with sesame sauce, Miso soup with Dashi broth & black rice.

My guest lady is from Hong Kong, so I asked her a lot of questions about Cantonese style Ramen noodles, especially what kind of ingredients are used to make soup broth. It was very interesting to hear her stories!

“Itadaki-Masu” means something like “Bon appetit” in our language.

Some people think it is said to show appreciation towards the chef,  but more importabtly it is meant to show respect towards all ingredients and food, as their precious lives (vegetables or fish or meat…) are taken to keep our lives and we should always be aware of that.

Many thanks for coming!

 

 

Ramen for Xmas? Why not!

My guest from Paris, France were a mother and daughter , eager to try some home cooking Ramen & Gyoza, so here we are!  We cooked chicken based soup broth flavored with Miso.

This was during Christman holiday season. have you noticed a decorated tree in this photo?

Parisian madame et mademoiselle tasting Ramen noodles with chopsticks!!

Many thanks for coming!!!

Akiko

Ramen & Gyoza class for an Aussie couple & Swedish café owner

“Oishi-!”  do as Japanese do when photo-shooting in Japan!?

The main dish for this class was Pork Ramen, with pork broth & Japanese Dashi soup stock, with toppings of Miso flavored pork and meat sauce with Japanese seasonings.

For Gyoza, we chopped cabbage, garlic chives (Nira), leek etc. Add a little bit of grated garlic if you like.

Both are served sizzling hot and full of rich meaty flavors, so I recommended something cold and fresh as a side dish. I would like my guest to try something different while they are at Tokyo apartment kitchen so here it is, fresh cabbage torn into one bite size with hands, marinated with sesame oil, salt and pickled Kombu! If you like soy sauce & vinegar flavor, try this easy side!

My Swedish guest owns a cafe near Stockholm serving some menus inspired by Japanese taste such as Maccha, while my guests from wine country Adelaide were big fans of anime.

I hope they all find our home cooking dishes as good!

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Honeymooners from Tel Aviv cooking Japanese comfort food

Today’s class guests are happy sweet honeymooners from IT capital, Tel Aviv, Israel. We cooked Ramen with pork soup stock.

I also adventured to use simmered Konbu kelp in cabbage salad, which is our family’s favorite quick dish. Here we use Konbu like herbs and it goes really nicely with sesame oil. Please try if you have some left over Konbu after making Dashi broth.

The couple told me some very interesting stories about their culture & life, my favorite part of doing cooking classes for travellers!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Pork Tonkotsu Ramen with a Canadian couple

The main dish was pork “Ton-kotsu” Ramen and Gyoza with pork & vegetables. It is amazaing how Ramen is so popular recently!

One of my guest has a Chinese family and he told me he used to wrap Gyoza once every week to help his busy Mum. He also worked for a restaurant in Vancouver for almost 10 years. No wonder he makes Gyoza and fried vegetables so effortlessly!

It was their first time to grate smoked Bonito fish but they both liked the flavor.  We made Dashi soup stock with Bonito and added into pork broth.

Of course everything turned out very yummy.

I hope my guests enjoyed our Japanese style dumplings and soup noodles.

I also enjoyed seeing him frying, Wow!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Ramen and Karaage class for a family

I have welcomed a family from Philippine for cooking class. Their request was Chicken Karaage and ramen.   The kids LOVE  chicken karaage, which is Japanese fried chicken, and they want to learn how to cook to cook at home.

I strongly recommend to cook chicken fry at home. You can use fresh vegetable oil for frying which is healthier than dinning  out.

I was so impressed that the boys have great cooking skill.  They often cook at home and I heard the older brother baked cup cake for mom’s day by himself, wow!

They have wonderful knife skills!

 

I’m sooooo glad to hear they loved the Karaage which was made by themselves.  I’m so proud of you guys!

 

Hope you cook Karaage at your kitchen.

Thank you for coming our cooking class!

Kisshy

Vegetarian & pork Gyoza gathering with couples from Israel & USA

This was another Gyoza class but we prepared 2 kinds of fillings, one is our regular pork & vegetable Gyoza, then Vegetarian version with Tofu, mushrooms and vegetables.

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Tofu, or bean curd,  is widely known around the world but I have noticed Tofu available in other countries are not always the same as ours in Japan.  Not a few of my guest were surprised to see our Tofu and told me that their Tofu were harder in texture, not as fresh as the ones we normally get here.

Good fresh Tofu has an earthy flavour of soy beans. It is tasty as it is but also makes  a great substitute for pork meat when you prepare Gyoza fillings.  It  is also super easy to mix with other ingredients. Sometimes our Tofu is too fresh so just make sure to drain it a little before you use.

It was the beginning of Autumn in Tokyo, the perfect season to use mushrooms in home cooking!  We have a big variety of reasonable  mushrooms in Japan, such as Shiitake, Maitake, Enokidake, Shimeji, Hiratake etc.

Sun dried Shiitake mushrooms make a great soup broth, which is an ideal  substitute for our famous smoked bonito fish .  I use this dired Shiitake broth as Dashi for 100% vegetarian miso soup and it is very tasty, both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians!

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At the class, non-vegetarian guests also tried vegetarian Gyoza and they seemed to like it as well.

The only concern was if my guests could find the ready-made Gyoza wrappers at the supermarkets in their neighbourhood…. I am crossing my fingers that they did in Tel Aviv and Boston.

Many thanks for coming to my kitchen!

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

 

 

Ramen without Dashi broth, still yummy! /June 2017

At this class, one of the guest preferred not to use any seafood. I usually make Dashi stock and pork /chicken stock for making Ramen soup. As you may have heard, Dashi stock  is the backbone for Japanese culinary but it uses smoked bonito fish flakes etc., thus not recommended if you do not like seafood.  But don’t worry, Ramen without Dashi turned out absolutely gorgeous with other seasonings. 

In fact, there are many recipes of Ramen around Japan and the variety just keeps growing all the time.  There are not a few bloggers in Japan who enjoy Ramen shop-hopping and report on each Ramen they tasted.

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Talking about blogs, another guest lady was a food blogger and her page was full of yummy photos. It was a pity I cannot read Spanish or Italian, the language she is writing, but all the photos are really mouth-watering. 

Her lovely daughter was also joining my cooking class. As a youngest participant, she was naturally appointed to hand-mixing of sticky Gyoza fillings, the most tiring part of Gyoza making but she has completed her mission very well.

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The whole family were such foodies that the father, a very skilled vegetable chopper, explained to me some interesting stories about Italian Ravioli making. It was a fun class with lots of food information exchange!

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I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen.  Many thanks for coming,

 

Akiko

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