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

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

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

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

 

Nikujaga class

Today’s students are lovely ladies from Hong Kong and Australia.

Main menu was Nikujaga!

Very trafitional, one of my favorite main dishes “Nikujaga” is like Japanese stew with Beef and Potatoes. Normally I make this the day before because it’s better taste if it keep in the soup longer.

“Sesame spinach salad”Here is she is making Japanese sesame sauce and we put boiled spinach in it. Taste so good !

Here is also one of side dishes called AGEDASHI-Tofu (Fried Tofu with Japanese sauce) and I recommend to eat with graded daikon (Japanese radish).

We exchanged the culture different between Japan,Hong Kong and Australia. It’s always fun and can’t stop talking!

Thank you so much for coming today!

Yuki

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

 

 

Sushi Roll & Karaage class for foodie Swiss boys

The main dish was Sushi Rolls with salmon, avocado, Shiso leaves, Takuan(pickled Daikon radish) etc. We also cooked some prawns, heads for Miso soup and the flesh for ball-shaped Temari Sushi.  

On this day, I welcomed two big Swiss guys who arrived at Tokyo just 2 days ago. For their body clock, it must be like cooking after midnight, but they were very happy and active, with lots of questions and fun talks! 

We also prepared Japanese style fried chicken, Karaage. Batter is not very thick and outside is crispy, inside of the chicken thighs so tender and juicy with good flavor of garlic, ginger and soy sauce. 

Of course, I asked my guests to shred our most important staple food, Katsuo bushi (smoked bonito fish), which we used in our Dashi soup stock for Miso soup. We Japanese are almost addicted to this Umami taste & aroma.  My Swiss guests found our home-made Miso soup very tasty, too.  He even took a very nice photo and send it to me. 

Our cooking classes are always REALLY hands on so I am afraid my jet lagged guests might go straight into bed afterwards… but I hope they enjoyed their first home cooking experience at Tokyo apartment. 

Many thanks for coming! 

Akiko

 

 

 

Double Main dish course of Tempura & Chicken Karaage

My guests from Canada requested;

Chicken Karaage, Japanese style fried chicken & Tempura with prawns and vegetables.

Summer is a great season to cook Tempura, as we have a variety of colorful vegetables perfect for this menu, such as Kabocha pumpkin, eggplant, Shiso leaves, and corn!

When I do Tempura with corn, I take all corn pieces off the cob with my fingers. This is a rather tiring process when I cook alone but my guests did it beautifully! So I could enjoy some yummy Tempura of corn at lunch table with my guests, thank you for my team!

If you are a fan of coriander/cilantro, chop a bunch of fresh green ones and add to corn. For this Tempura, I recommend to eat just with salt simply. Or maybe with some thick creamy Greek yoghurt with a pinch of salt & your favorite spices.

If not, our Japanese traditional Tempura sauce will do just as great. We use our Dashi(soup stock), soy sauce and Mirin. Mirin is a kind of Sake and very, very sweet but not a spoon of sugar added. We use this liquor mainly for cooking nowadays.

This traditional Tempura dip sauce works amazing with sweet seasonal Kabocha pumkin Tempura. That is one of my kids favorites but be careful when you cut kabocha, as its green skin is quite tough.

My young guests at this class were also really sweet and I enjoyed cooking with them a lot.
Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Tempura & Gyoza class

The main dish was… well, some of my guests liked Gyoza dumplings with pork, others Tempura with prawns and vegetables, so we ended up making both and share. Fortunately there were 6 guests in total at this class and everybody was really good at cooking, thus everything went so amazingly smooth! 

The  ingredients I chose for Tempura at this class were prawns, eggplants, Maitake mushrooms, Shiso herbs and pumpkins. I cannot miss Maitake as that is my favorite Tempura item.

For Tempura dipping sauce, our regular recipe uses Dashi soup stock, soy sauce, Mirin etc. But I also recommend to go simple ways especially in hot summer days, with salt and lemon wedge.

My guests were a famimly from Houston, USA and a couple from Gold Coast, Australia. One of the ladies pointed out that we don’t need to visit Asian food stores for any special supply if we try Tempura with salt and lemon. I absolutely agree!

As one of our side dishes, we prepared Edamame, green fresh soy beans simply boiled and salted. This is one of our typical summer snacks. At Japanese bars and taverns, Edamame will often appear with a glass of beer. It is one of the healthiest snack to go but only in summer. 

I hope my guests liked their home cooking experience at my kitchen!

Many thanks for coming,

 

Akiko