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!

 

 

Heard about Nuka-Zuke? -Private class on October 2017

Sometimes my experience with visiting guests reminds me of good old day’s memory with my grandmother, who was always busy in her kitchen.

Prior to this class in early October, I received a very interesting request from  a Canadian lady, who is keen to learn about fermented vegetables, if I can show her an active Nuka bed for Nuka-Zuke.

Nuka is the rice bran, looks and smells like wheat. After rice harvest, the bran is taken away from rice and we eat only the white core part of rice. But this rice bran can be used for fermented vegetables, or Japanese pickles, called Nuka-Zuke.

We add a little salt and some water to rice bran powder, which makes a perfect bed to culture lactic acid bacteria.  Once the condition is settled, you may add your favorite vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, radish etc.

The problem with this fermented pickles making is that you need to stir the Nuka bed at least once every day, or the good bacteria die out and bad ones become more active, in other words your vegetables would get rotten. My grandmother used to do all these works for her family and I enjoyed eating her beautiful works as a kid.

Yet it was so much work in modern days when you have a job outside your house, so my mother did not keep it going, nor did I, util I received this inquiry from my guest lady.

Suddenly I remembered what I used to be eating and wondered if I can do something. Thanks to our internet age, I found a Japanese pickles company who sells Nuka-bed for fridge!  You don’t need to take care of your Nuka every single day but once in a week with this product.

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So here we are at the class, with my Nuka-Zuke works of carrots and cucumbers, as well as mackerel with Miso sauce.  As is well known, Miso is  one of our traditional seasonings and it is made by fermenting steamed soy beans with salt.

I hope my guest liked my home made Nuka-Zuke.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Ramen & Gyoza class for a future food business owner -September 2017

This was a calss for a solo traveller from Australia who is willing to cook Ramen and Gyoza. At first I thought he is one of many Ramen & Gyoza lovers but as we talk preparing our lunch, I learned that he is already working at an Asian food business and hope to be independent some day.

In fact he is so serious that he took 3 cooking classes during his short stay in Tokyo! I was honored to be a little part of  these opportunities during his limited time in my country.

I love good food but never worked as a chef by the way, still I  hope he found his experience with Japanese Mum & home cooking at my kitchen worth his time & effort…

The way he mixed the chopped vegetables and minced pork meat for Gyoza filling was super!  It requires a good strong pressure so each separate ingredients become together.

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One thing he liked very much was our Japanese style eggs.  As one of the Ramen toppings, we often prepare flavoured boiled eggs. it is tasty as a topping for simple steamed rice, too.

For its flavour, I use soy sauce, Mirin and smoked bonito if my guest is OK with seafood. You need to keep it in a fridge for a few days so the eggs turn brown outside but inside is till bright yellow. They add a nice colour in a Ramen bowl.

I hope my guest had a good time and wish him the best of luck for his future in Asian food business, I am sure he will be very successful!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

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

sushi roll class : Sushi is Japanese daily meal?

Today is my 4th Sushi lesson in Jul. The participants came from UK and Australia. The lady from UK is an enthusiast for learning maki-zushi, and she brought newly met her friend to the class. Both ladies are lovely and I had great time with them.

Rolling sushi seems difficult that  students in my class say before practice. However, everyone makes beautiful rolls once they get some tips.

People often asks me if  sushi roll is made for daily family meal?  It is depend on the each family but I answer sushi roll is mainly  made for occasional meal, such as celebrating birthday, festivals and ceremonies. Also sushi is convenient for outside meal since you can eat with fingers, without chopsticks. Making Maki-zushi is not a daily meal, too much tasks.

Embarrassingly, I haven’t made sushi roll before I began to teach Japanese cooking for tourists since my culinary background is French cooking….poor excuse!  However, once I get to make rolls it is easier than I expected.  I failed time to time then I got how to make visually nice rolls. I did same experience with the students in my class, so I understand what is difficult points for the first tries.

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I’ m always happy to see the students made great rolls!

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Many Thanks!

Kisshy

Seafood Ramen & Gyoza class / June 2017

I received an inquiry for Ramen & Gyoza cooking class from a guest whose fiancee does not eat any meat. She preferred seafood and there were also other participants who liked regular ramen and gyoza with pork, so we prepared 2 types of soup, toppings and fillings at this class. 

I used clams for ramen soup, shrimps & scallops for Gyoza fillings instead of pork. The rest of the recipe is almost the same as regular ones.  If you are a seafood lover, this ‘marinara’ version of Ramen & Gyoza are also very delicious so please try! 

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The only concern was that everybody would be a little busier than usual with more tasks for each, yet all participants were very good at chopping vegetables and measuring seasonings etc.  Two little girls accompanying their Mum also helped us a lot, mixing 2 types of Gyoza fillings using their lovely little hands. IMG_5907

 

I hope my guests liked their food and cooking experience at my kitchen.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Swordfish Nanbanzuke class with lots of vegetables/ May 2017

Today’s guest was a couple from France visiting various plasces in Japan.

The lady turned out to be on the early stage of her pregnancy.  As a mother of 3 kids, I was really excited to hear that and thought maybe some of the food & nutrition we cook will be becomimg a part of her little baby’s body, who knows!

What we parepared on this class was; Swordfish Nanban Zuke, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, spinach with sesame sauce and miso soup with cabbage and potatoes. Lots of vegetables dishes using naturally fermented  seasonings like Miso, Mirin and Soy sauce.

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Since she was not feeling for a very strong taste, we decided to use less amount of rice vinegar and soy sauce for Nanban Zuke marinade. It is one of the good things about hands-on cooking experience. You can taste your sauce and dishes as we proceed and are always welcome to adjust some parts of the recipe.

Her husband was a keen cook and he was quite knowlegeble about Japanese ingredients, which helped a lot.

I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen and their baby was enjoying his/her first Japanese food,too!

Many thaks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

 

Private class with an experienced IT cooker /May 2017

Today’s customer had already taken a Japanese home cooking class several years ago and he liked it so much that he wanted to learn more. He was on his business trip to Tokyo so the schedule was a little difficult to sort out but we managed to make it happen! 

His request included mackerel with Miso sauce, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, and we made miso soup, too, along with a few other dishes.

Too much miso? No worries Miso is like cheese for Europeans. There are a great variety of Miso in different regions throughout Japan and even ingredients differ, some uses more rice, others add wheat, or only use salt and soy beans. Each family has its own favorite type of Miso I guess. 

Miso is salty but rich in nutrition and minerals, sich as vitamins, calcium, lactic acid bacteria, oligo saccharide, dietary fiber etc. which help to keep your digestion system in good condition. Some centuries ago, Miso was an important food to carry around for Samurai warriors on expedition, as it keeps for many months without freezing. And most of all, it is yummy! 

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My guest was such an experienced Japanese culinery cooker. He said at his home in UK, he cooks Oyako-Don, a chicken and egg on rice bowl frequently and  his girlfriend (non-Japanese by the way)  loves it, too.  How nice to hear that!

He works for a gigantic IT company so after all our dishes are completed, it was my turn to ask him a lot of questions about latest happenings in his industry.  

I hope he is now enjoying cooking some mackerel and eggplant with various Miso sauces for his loved ones.  Many thanks for coming! 

Akiko

Japanese cooking class for Tokyo expats

I’ve welcomed 3 young expats came from Australia  today for Japanese cooking class. I had a request to cook Japanese dish with local ingredients since the guests have been in Tokyo for several month for their work.

I’m curious how does the people came from foreign country live in Tokyo.  In my experience, I’ve lived in the US for 10 years with my husband  and sometime missed  food in my country. Groceries in stores are different and didn’t figured out right away how to cook and how to eat.

Especially Japanese grocery doesn’t show the name in English on the package. I believe it is not easy for the expats to find out what to buy and how to cook the ingredients.

Youngsters are sweet and motivated so I enjoyed cooking with them and  had really good time to talk.

We cooked Salmon Nanban-zuke ( salmon marinated in soy sauce based sweet sour seasoning with veggies), cucumber with cream sesame dressing and eggplant with miso sauce.  Those menus are common dishes at home cooking and you can substitute other ingredients, that I explained.

All they enjoyed the cooking and the taste.  Thank you for the great review in TripAdvisor.

 

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All they like the traditional Japanese dishes.

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Thank you for coming my class. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your duty in Tokyo.

 

Kisshy

 

 

Japanese cooking Oyako-don and Tempura

There are two groups, one party of 4 from Florida US and the other party of 2 from Australia in the class.  All they are delightful and polite people so the class went very well, and nice socialized class.

Two women used to live in Japan for years ago, so they speak and understand some Japanese.  I’m always glad someone speak, someone tries to communicate in Japanese, that make me feel closer to them.

We cooked Oyako-don, tempura, spinach goma-ae ( spinach withcream sesame dressing), rice and miso soup.

Oyako-don is a rice bowl which is made of chicken and egg.  “oyako” in Japanese means parents and child (ren), you know, that is why this bowl is called as this name.

Pouring dissolved eggs into the pot for the finishing oyako-don cooking.

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We also cooked tempura for the side dish. I had a request from a couple from Australia how to cook tempura in advance, and  they learned my easy tempura recipe and I believe they brought back to heir home kitchen.

The participants get turn one by one to cook tempura.  They did great! Also had fun!

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After tided up kitchen, I participate to the lunch and having chat with the participants. Now I’ve relaxed and I really like this time!

Thank you for sharing your experience when you were in Japan.

Many thanks to write your review on TripAdvisor!!

 

Best,

Kisshy