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

 

 

 

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

Shrimp & clam Ramen & Gyoza class

 

The menu was;

Seafood Ramen with shrimp, clam & Japanese Dashi soup stock

Seafood Gyoza with shrimp & vegetables

spinach with sesame sauce

No chicken, pork but lots of seafood!  My guest couple from Ohio, USA,  really surprised me that they are enjoying various fish including Bonito & Hamachi (young yellow tail tuna) as Sashimi back home, thanks to a local seafood market with a good selection of seafood.

But it was their first time to handle the Katsuo bushi,  Smoked Bonito in a whole piece. Here they are shredding a piece of dry Bonito at my place. It looks like a wooden kitchen utensil but it is a half body of Bonito, who could have weighed more than 2kg when he was in the ocean.

My guest couple also tried another very Japanese ingredient called Niboshi/ dried sardins.  For soup stock, I rip off the head and soaked them in water, then simmer.  But we also enjoy eating them as it is, a very good snack for your bones if you care. My guests crunched a piece of Niboshi and actually liked them OK, which pleased me a lot of course!

It was a gloomy rainy day but just perfect for a cookig class event, inside home and lots of good smells!

I hope my guest liked their experience at my kitchen.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Three miso dishes class

 

Menus

Swordfish and vegetables cook in miso sauce

Summer vegetables with sweet miso sauce

Egg omelet

Edamame rice

Miso soup

 Mochi dessert

 

I’ve welcomed one group of two  families at the class.  They came from different places, Colorado and Melbourne, and they are really close. It is their annual  reunion trip. Thank you very much for choosing our cooking class!    There are lot of laughing and fun during cooking and lunch  time.

They did good job for making mochi for dessert.

See their all beautiful smiles!

Hope you have wonderful trip trough Japan and more wonderful food experience!

 

Kisshy

 

Ramen cooking report from our students

I was so glad to hear  from a couple from Sydney,  just took  my Ramen class weeks ago.

They are  real foodie and Japanese food lovers. I had great time with them cooking together and I learned a lot from them too.

Surprisingly, I got email from them this week and they already cooked Ramen using a recipe what we cooked at the class. A bowl of ramen looks just like the ramen in my class!

The cha-shiu, braised pork, seems soft and juicy and the runny egg is perfect.  They said the runny egg yolk was littile challenging, but I can’t find any problem??

I’m so glad to know you enjoy the ramen at home.

 

Thank you very much for sharing   such a wonderful experience!

 

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!

 

 

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