Vegetarian & pork Ramen/Gyoza class

This  was going to be another pork Ramen and Gyoza class for an American couple from San Diego, until I receive a request from a family from Israel, one of whose daughters is Vegetarian but the rest of the family love Japanese pork Ramen. So we ended up making both together!

For vegetarian Ramen, I used dried Shiitake mushrooms and Konbu seaweed for a base soup stock. Then we also cooked fresh mushrooms and garlic with leek, soy milk, sesame paste and miso. For many vegetarian dishes, sesame does a great work but Miso is another very ideal seasoning. 

This vegetarian version of Ramen soup turned out very rich and creamy, in fact my other guests also enjoyed tasting this soup.

For vegetarian Gyoza, I usually use Tofu and another kind of mushroom called Maitake. The only thing you need to mind is that Tofu will not be as sticky as meat when mixed, so the ingredients tends to fall apart and it may be a little harder to tack the filling inside Gyoza wrappers. A few drops of sesame oil might help.

The only issue was that there were a lot  more preparations than usual and I did not take any photos of our yummy accomplishments (tears in my eyes)…

 Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Chicken ramen class

I have welcomed close  father and daughter from Israel for ramen cooking class. The cooking day was the last day of their 45 days trip in Japan for them.   I appreciate to choose our cooking class for their important day.

 

 

I had a request for cooking ramen and gyoza with chicken.  I usually use pork for ramen toppings and cook braised pork in advance of the cooking class since braised pork need long time to cook.

However, chicken for ramen topping doesn’t need so much time and I can show how to cook it in the class.   It is very easy, soft and moisture with little technique, moreover it goes with  ramen.

The father and the daughter  did a great job for cooking, at this time making gyoza.  They picked up how to fold gyoza dumplings and made good shape.

 

They enjoyed cooking  with  long chopsticks.

Thank you for coming my ramen class!

 

Kisshy

Ramen class for mother and daughter a private class

I’ve welcomed close mom and daughter from Indonesia this morning for ramen class.

They requested a fish dish besides the ramen course, and we cooked additional swordfish dish.  I’m glad they liked all the food, and hope they cook them back in their kitchen.

 

Making Gyoza, they made great shape of gyoza!

Miso ramen with Char-shiu, pork miso, runny egg,  sauteed vegetables, corn.

Thank you for coming ramen class!

 

Kisshy

 

 

Chicken & Gyoza class with Aussie Danish foodies, Oct 2017

The main dish for this early October class was  Chicken Teriyaki, side dishes as a small portion of  Gyoza with pork & vegetables, as well as spinach with sesame sauce.

It was a lucky class as one of my guests happened to be a cooking teacher at primary school, so everything proceeded very smoothly. Lucky for me too, as I could exchange some interesting recipes with her after the class! My twin daughters are looking forward to trying  them very soon during their winter vacation.

People gathered at my kitchen on this day were a lovely family from Denmark and a talented couple from Perth, Australia. So naturally the conversation got started about the Danish royal family and a bride from Australia! What a small world.

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Chicken Teriyaki dish was a request and the Dad  was particularly patient to learn the recipe. With authentic Mirin and Shoyu simmered together, Teriyaki sauce would naturally turn thick and shiny.

If you like it sweeter, you may add more Mirin or sugar. If you prefer savory, maybe reduce the amount of these sweet seasonings. Home cooking is always simple once you understand the  basic formula.

I hope my guest enjoyed their experience at my kitchen as much as I did.

Many thanks for coming!

 

 

A ramen class for 2 families from Canada and US

I welcomed  a family from Florida and mother and daughter  from Vancouver. The daughters are almost same age and both work in elementary schools, what a coincidence!

It was fun class, obviously, all they enjoyed cooking, exchange their travel tips and talking each other.

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We cooked ramen, gyoza and cucumber dish. IMG_5878

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I’m glad that they mingle together and become closer.

Thank you for coming!

Kisshy

 

 

Gyoza & Nanban Zuke Class in August, 2017

It was a mid-summer day and we are all sweating but sizzling hot Gyoza on grill pan tasted good as ever! 

I welcomed a newly engaged couple and a foodie mother & daughter, both pairs from Australia.

They all worked hard at my kitchen and prepared 2 main dishes at this class, Gyoza and Nanban Zuke of swordfish.  These menus require a lot of fine chopping of vegetables but the team was quite experienced cookers so we had no problem at all. 

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The most part of the menu for this class were actually requested from another guest, a young lady who has taken my class back in May this year. She liked Nanban Zuke and our side dishes so much that she recommended the same menu to her family visiting her in Tokyo. 

Some guidebooks say Tokyo is too hot and humid so not a good place to visit in August.  But for foodie travelers, cooking class is always fun and we are always ready to welcome you with something seasonal. 

I hope my Aussie guests liked Japanese style cooking experience at my place.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

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

Big lunch again with Mum & daughter from Singapore / June 2017

Sometimes I receive a very specific request on menus to cook at classes.

For this class in May, my guest, who turns out be a super woman (business executive & mother of 2 kids) from Singapore, asked me if we can try Oyako-don, Gyoza, Chicken teriyaki, Miso dengaku with eggplant and Japanese style potato salad.

That is a lot for one meal and the combination is not exactly what we normally do, but I understand it is a good chance to try different dishes for a visitor when time is limited. Obviously the lady has tried many Japanese dishes already so I was interested to hear her opinions on our food, too.

She visited me with her lovely young daughter who was a great help in the kitchen! She can slice and cut and stir with no problem.

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Among the menus my guest chose, I was curious to ask why she picked up a potato salad, as is a rather western menu to me.  She was after a Japanese style potato salad in particular, which her family tried before and became her son’s favorite.

What I think ‘very Japanese’ and what my guests like to learn at Japanese home cooking class may not be always the same. It is very interesting to discover what people are attracted in our food culture.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Maguro steak with teriyaki sauce on March 13th Class.

I have received a request from a German couple visiting Tokyo that they would like to try Japanese Maguro (tuna) cooked as a steak. They also wrote that they are interested to see how to prepare Teriyaki sauce. So the menu was decided to be Maguro steak with Teriyaki sauce for their cooking class. 

My son and daughters all love to eat Maguro but we mostly eat it as Sashimi, so our Maguro is always rare, or more precisely un-cooked. Therefore, to me,  Maguro is naturally something to be tasted as rare as possible and even as a steak, it was to be done very rare or medium rare, with bright rose pink colour inside.  If it is cooked well-done, then it would taste like canned tuna, which is not really something for guests travelling all the way from Europe to Japan! 

For Teriyaki sauce, I usually use Sake, Mirin, soy sauce and sugar. This sweet & savory sauce is well known for chicken. But as a companion for Maguro, a little bit of Wasabi paste may also be good as it helps to reduce the fishiness. Of course Sashimi quality Maguro is never really fishy (at least for us Japanese) but just in case, as some of my guests are not used to eating lots of seafood.

 Before serving, we sliced Maguro steak like a modest sized roast beef so its nice rosy meat is visible on the plate. Then we chopped some green onions and sprinkled them on top of our Maguro.

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The couple said they do not eat much seafood at home but finished all of their very rare Maguro steak. It is always my pleasure to see empty plates at the end of the class! 

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Japanese Cooking Class Jul 9th ’16

Cooking class as a birth day gift

I had a request  to book from a mom for her daughter’s birthday.  She lives in UK and her daughter lives in Japan.  She wanted to invite her daughter’s friends as well.

What a nice idea to give  a cooking class as a gift!

It seems not easy to handle all four students who were busy for their final term in this season.   Finally we could scheduled on Saturday the 9th.

They are maturated, very polite, lovely young people.

 

Menu on Jul 9th

 Horse Mackerel sashimi and *namerou

Shiitake *namerou tempura

Fried vegetable marinated in soy sauce dashi

Cucumber sesame vinegar dressing

Edamame rice  and Miso soup

Desserts

The birthday girl’s request for the main menu was sashimi.    After the birthday girl and I  exchanged email several times, then I decided to give sashimi class, but I couldn’t have them eat sashimi, why?

I was afraid the existence of anisakis,  food poisoning. Anisakis is a parasitic worm, and there is possibility to live in even sashimi grade horse mackerel.

According to wiki….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisakis

You don’t need to scare too much to eat raw horse mackerel. Fresh horse mackerel is sold as sashimi, and I do eat sashimi at home with my family. However, I can’t take risk a risk for just in case of very rare case of the food poisoning.

 

Anisakis is killed by cut up, so it is safe if horse mackerel is chopped up finely by knife. Therefore, I decide cut horse mackerel sashimi up for other dish instead of eating as sashimi.

We made fillet from whole horse mackerel , then prepare as sashimi.  Sashimi was chopped up  and mix with miso and Japanese herb, myoga, shiso leaves and grated ginger.   We call the dish as Namerou. This dish came from fisher man’s idea.

The participants did well filleting of horse mackerel. Then they enjoy cooking  with chatting and laughing.  I believe the birthday girl enjoyed a lot in the class!

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Happy Birthday Ms. E, and have a great summer!

 

Many thanks!

Kisshy