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

 

 

Temari Sushi class for friends’ reunion

The main dish was Temari Sushi. ‘Temari’ is a palm-sized ball for children, often decorated with fine colorful embroideries. As you can easily guess, Temari Sushi is shaped like this small ball. It is a one bite Sushi with a variety of toppings.

At this class, we used boiled prawns, thinly sliced cucumbers, fresh sashimi-quality maguro(tuna) & salmon, Takuan(pickled Daikon radish), Shiso leaves etc.

There were also Mentaiko(salted chilly cod roe) and salted cherry blossoms as a few challenge items but my guests tried everything and their plates are all empty after lunch hours. Yes, I love seeing empty plates after the class!!

We put the heads of prawns in our Miso soup and I think my guests liked it as well. Believe me it makes your soup amazingly delicious!

It was a reunion vacation trip of old friends from Maryland and Florida, US. I enjoyed being a part of their happy moments in Tokyo.

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

Tempura, Sushi and Gyoza class WOW

This was probably one of the most challenging class this year but we made it!
Thankfuly we had 5 very skilled participants from BC Canada and Michigan US at this class.

The main dish choices are Tempura of prawns, Maitake mushroom (my favorite!) and vegetables, plus Sushi roll with Maguro(tuna), salmon and greens. For side dishes we prepared a small portion of Gyoza with pork and shrimp & spinach with our flavorful sesame sauce.

We started grating smoked bonito for Dashi soup stock, then prepared Sushi rice with seasonings, chopped veggies and wrapped Gyoza, and finally deep fried Tempura and rolled Sushi!

And I was astonished that one of my guest lady was going to be a speaker at a medical conference held in Tokyo that same evening! Indeed some people are super talented.

I have also learned one new thing at this class. My guest told me that avocado in Sushi rolls are first created by a Japanese chef in British Columbia, although we often call it ‘California’ style. I must visit ‘Tojo’s’ in Vancouver one day.

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Seafood but No Sushi Class

The main dish request for this class was “something seafood, but not Sushi” as the couple has already learned how to make Sushi before. So we did our popular seafood main dish Nanban style marinade of fried salmon & swordfish.

For side dish choices, my guest picked a menu using Kaki, the seasonal fruit of autumn and one of few indigenous kinds for land of Japan. Plus sweet & savory Miso sauce with grilled eggplant.

My guest couple told me they were living in a motor house and I was as curious as always, so they showed me some photos, and it was way beyond my imagination, truly gigantic! Their kitchen in the motor house is much bigger than mine in Tokyo apartment, with every nice equipment.

I am sure they can cook anything at their beautiful kitchen. Hope they have tried out our Japanese home cooking recipe back home.

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Private Class for Vegetarian Dishes with Autumn harvests

 

The main dish was chosen as Vegetarian Ramen for a guest lady from Israel who has been vegetarian for many years. Side dishes include cold fresh cabbage with Konbu marinade, Gyoza dumplings with lotus root, Kaki (persimmon) & greens dressed with creamy Tofu sauce etc.

My guest was very interested in Japanese Dashi soup stock with dried Shiitake mushrooms & Kombu kelp. Both are essential products for Umami in our cooking.

Kombu is very rich in glutamate or glutamic acid, which is contained in most vegetables but by far the most in dried Kombu. Another ingredient known for richness in glutamate is dried tomato.

Dried shiitake is known for its richness in guanylic acid or GMP, like many kinds of mushrooms around the world including dried porcini. This may be explaining why many Japanese people are deeply in love with Italian food!?

My guest lady was a medicinal food professional with a vast knowledge about Chinese herbal medicine & dietary, so it was very inspiring to share some time with her in the kitchen cooking and talking about various vegetables and foods!

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Chicken Karaage & Chicken Lotus Meat Balls class

The main dish request was Chicken Karaage, one of our best sellers & very popular home cooked food all over Japan!

We also cooked chicken meat balls with our autumn/winter vegetable, lotus root, seasoned with Miso.

When I cook these chicken menus for my family, I usually pile them up on a simple big plate and tell my kids ‘Help yourself!’ But for my guests from Australia, I chose a little bamboo basket to serve our chickens to add a touch of Japanese taste and welcoming feeling.

In our rice, we added some Black Rice. This type of rice is popular among Japanese ladies lately as it is rich in fiber, vitamin B, minerals etc. In short, good for your health & beauty!

As we enjoyed our lunch, we talked about various social & cultural topics of Japan as well as Australia. Very relaxing moment with yummy food after a few hard working hours at kitchen!

I hope my guest ladies form Australia enjoyed their time at my place as much as I did.

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Ramen class!

Ramen and Gyoza class ! There are so many Ramen restaurants in Japan and all taste is different depending on soup stock. Yummy and not so expensive so it’s easy to eat Ramen at restaurant but “homemade Ramen” is always taste great!

If you never made Gyoza by yourself, please come to our class and learn how to make Gyoza! It’s always fun and so yummy!

normally I make around 100 when I make Gyoza, then I put in the freezer then I can eat Gyoza anytime I want!

We made 2 other side dishes. Pickled wakame(seaweed) and cucumber / and Turnip Pickled in soy sauce.

Itadakimasu! Thank you for coming!

Gyoza party with happy American foodie girls!

The requested main dish was Gyoza dumplings. I suggested my guests if they don’t mind putting shrimp as well as pork in the fillings, which they also liked very much and it turned out as a great success!

One of my guests lived in Japan when she was a little girl. She said her memory from those days weren’t very clear, but she certainly remembered the taste of our traditional Dashi soup stock.

Her friend also tried Katsuo bushi (Smoked Bonito) grating and both found it full of flavors, almost like bacon from the ocean!

We made Miso soup from Dashi soup stock of Bonito, adding some thinly sliced pork, potato, lotus roots and onion. With a small piece of left-over lotus root, we fried lotus chips, too. This is my favorite appetizer and nice if you are welcoming vegetarian guests or almost anybody.

Several days after the class, I heard from one of my guest girls that she was doing a Gyoza party with her friends back in US! What a happy news!!!

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

2 main dishes class

Today was “ 2 main dishes” class.

Okonomiyaki! “Japanese pan cake” is for the lunch or the dinner not for the dessert. We put pork, Shrimp and Cabbage and yam and one more ingredient which is secret:-).

Salmon-NanbanZuke. Salmon marinated in sour sauce which you can arrange with other white fish or Chicken too.

Itadakimasu! thank you for coming!