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.

IMG_6350IMG_6351

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. 

IMG_6274IMG_6275

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.

IMG_5740

 

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

IMG_5753

 

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! 

IMG_5909

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.

IMG_5828

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! 

IMG_5781IMG_5783

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.

 

20170617_115758(0)

All they like the traditional Japanese dishes.

20170617_121446

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.

IMG_5382

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!

IMG_5376

IMG_5383

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

 

An Interview about Japanese food culture by Polish writers

I had an interview by book authors; Polish lady who is a Tokyo expats and a man who came from London.

This is the second time to come for the interview  following the last September.

She’s been researching Japanese food culture and food ways since she has started to live in Tokyo about 2 years ago.   She has already studied Japanese seasonal event and  festivals through hear experiences and readings.  Honestly it is embarrassing that she understands some of the cultural events and its origin better than me. wow!

She requested some recipes we, Japanese commonly eat in summer.    Then I offered “Hiyashi-chuka” , “mackerel in nanban marinade, Japanese style escabeche” “Eggplant nebeshigi“and  “Corn rice”.

Hiyashi-chuka means “Cold ramen noodle”.  I like this noodle dish during hot season rather than hot ramen noodle.  Most ramen shop, Chinese restaurant and some Japanese restaurant begin to offer this dish at this season with like those posters in front of the shop.

“Now we offer Hiyashi-chuka”  summer feature in Japan

冷やし中華始めました に対する画像結果  冷やし中華始めました に対する画像結果

This dish consists of julienned cucumber, julienned chicken breast or ham, julienned omelets, tomato wedges and  chilled noodle with soy sauce based sesame flavored dressing.

If you like ramen, this noodle is worth to try during the season.  It is not easy to find this dish during fall to spring seasons since we don’t feel like willing to eat this noodle when those cold seasons though.

 

IMG_5365

We also cooked nanban-zuke ( Japanese style eschabeche) and Egg plant nabeshigi ( cook with miso sauce), and rice cook with fresh corn.

They liked those menus as Japanese summer flavor.

Thank you very much to add my recipe to your book.

 

Many thanks.

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian & seafood sushi class on May 8th.

I had my first vegetarian guest and her husband from UK on May 8th class, as well as another fun couple of sushi lovers from USA.  

IMG_5769IMG_5770

Japanese culinary is well known for using lots of vegetables and vegetable-oriented seasonings. Our cultural background with Buddhism has a lot to do with this. Buddhist monks do not eat any animal oriented food during their hard ascetic practices. Food provided at temples had to be vegetarian in many cases, so a variety of cooking methods with vegetables have been developed over centuries. 

One of the ‘must’ ingredients for our vegetarian cooking is dried Shiitake mushrooms, called Hoshi Shiitake in Japanese. Well, more precisely, you don’t need to be vegetarian to appreciate the taste of this dried ingredient. I often use this stock to simmer chicken etc. 

Like many other dried ingredients used for stocks, this needs to be soaked in water overnight before start cooking. 

If the room temperature is above 20, it is better to put the water and dried Shiitake in a fridge. It is said dried Shiitake extract comes out better when the water is around.10. If you are in a hurry, you may use hot water to extract dried mushroom quickly but the taste is always better when you use cold water and take some time. 

We cooked our miso soup with Shiitake and Kombu stock at this class. It was a season for sweet spring cabbage and tender new potatoes. They made perfect ingredients for fine vegetable soup stock. 

IMG_5758

For vegetarian sushi rolls ingredients, I picked up avocado, cucumber, Shiso leaves and some thinly sliced Takuan (salty pickled Daikon radish). 

I hope my guest enjoyed their food and cooking experience at my kitchen.

Many thanks for coming!

 Akiko