Deco- style Sushi Rolls with Singaporean artist couple, Nov. 2017

This late November class was a bit tough one for me, as I received a request for a special Sushi Roll.

It was the beginning of winter season when everybody would start thinking about Christmas and new year holiday, so my young guest from Singapore suggested me if we could challenge to make a sushi rolls with Xmas tree or snow man patterns!

I have never tried Xmas tree nor Snow man sushi, but I knew one very pretty pattern called ‘star’, with an egg-roll inside. No fresh seafood inside so a little disappointing if you are a Sashimi lover, but her husband does not eat Sashimi so in this case, it worked out even better.

So the menu for this class was fixed as follows;

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Deco Sushi Rolls ‘Star’

Chicken Nanban (sweet and sour, Japanese fusion style deep-fried chicken)

Spinach with sesame sauce

White Miso soup with potato & cabbage

At the kitchen, my guest was very patient and she never got tired until we finally made everything successfully, including home-made egg roll and sweet & sour Nanban sauce ! Her husband also liked the taste of chicken Nanban and the sauce for it, made with mayo, fresh chopped onion & boiled egg.

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Deco Sushi Rolls with star was a time-consuming recipe and it takes a lot of hand works, then you would end up eating a lot of rice, colored and seasoned with a few different ingredients, but it really had an appealing look. Truly ideal for your gathering tables.

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After a few weeks, I heard from my guest that she had made Deco Sushi Rolls back in Singapore! It was such a huge joy to hear and she even created her own design this time, I would call it a plum flower maybe. Here is her photo!

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Isn’t it just gorgeous!  I was so happy to hear that her guests also loved this Maki(Rolls).

Many thanks for coming and your photo!

Akiko

 

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Ramen class; what really are inside this irresistible bowl? Nov 2017

Our beautiful season of Autumn was almost gone and the request from my American guest on this day was a bowl of Ramen, a perfect hot noodle dish for a chilly day.

He explained  that he was not really planning to prepare Ramen on his own after returning home, but he loved this food so much that he was curious to find out what ingredients and cooking method are used.  He said he wanted to understand what Ramen is exactly.

I was impressed that is a very nice approach and happy to share what little knowledge I have learned about Ramen.

We also made Gyoza, everybody’s favorite companion with Ramen, as well as simple cucumber & sesame oil salad.

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I buy my noodles from supermarket but soup stock is 100% home made. Pork leg bones are the main ingredients for my base soup stock and  some chicken wing tips and seafood Dashi stock are combined together. Then of course finish up the soup with soy sauce &  Mirin  used for simmering pork slice.

My American guest has been travelling several Asian countries such as Cambodia, Korea etc.  Japan was his final destination before flying back home and the day he visited my kitchen was his final full day in Tokyo so I really  hope he was happy  spending  his last hours cooking with us.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Vegetarian & pork Gyoza gathering with couples from Israel & USA

This was another Gyoza class but we prepared 2 kinds of fillings, one is our regular pork & vegetable Gyoza, then Vegetarian version with Tofu, mushrooms and vegetables.

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Tofu, or bean curd,  is widely known around the world but I have noticed Tofu available in other countries are not always the same as ours in Japan.  Not a few of my guest were surprised to see our Tofu and told me that their Tofu were harder in texture, not as fresh as the ones we normally get here.

Good fresh Tofu has an earthy flavour of soy beans. It is tasty as it is but also makes  a great substitute for pork meat when you prepare Gyoza fillings.  It  is also super easy to mix with other ingredients. Sometimes our Tofu is too fresh so just make sure to drain it a little before you use.

It was the beginning of Autumn in Tokyo, the perfect season to use mushrooms in home cooking!  We have a big variety of reasonable  mushrooms in Japan, such as Shiitake, Maitake, Enokidake, Shimeji, Hiratake etc.

Sun dried Shiitake mushrooms make a great soup broth, which is an ideal  substitute for our famous smoked bonito fish .  I use this dired Shiitake broth as Dashi for 100% vegetarian miso soup and it is very tasty, both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians!

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At the class, non-vegetarian guests also tried vegetarian Gyoza and they seemed to like it as well.

The only concern was if my guests could find the ready-made Gyoza wrappers at the supermarkets in their neighbourhood…. I am crossing my fingers that they did in Tel Aviv and Boston.

Many thanks for coming to my kitchen!

Akiko

 

Sushi roll class with couples from Ireland and Canada-September 2017

I received a request for Sushi Rolls from a Canadian couple, then another couple on honeymoon from Ireland joined our class.

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Since Sushi Rolls are widely eaten overseas now and all of my guest for this class seemed pretty accustomed to eating seafood, I wanted to try something different as Sushi fillings.  At the nearby supermarket I decided to pick up SUJIKO, along other regular ingredients such as tuna, salmon, cucumber, Shiso leaves etc.

Sujiko is salmon eggs, protected in thin membranes inside salmon mother’s belly. When salted as it is, we call it Sujiko. When membranes are removed and each eggs are separated like cavier, we call it Ikura.  Both are  scarlet in colour, full of rich oily taste,  and quite salty.

They are one of my favorite Sushi ingredients but I was not sure if my guests from overseas would like Sujiko or not.  Still I thought  its colour and taste gives a nice twist to Sushi rolls so I showed them my Sujiko.  I was very happy that my guests were all adventurous enough to accept my recommendation.  Actually some of them  have already tried them  before and found them just fine.  Small world !

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So I failed to surprise my guests but we all enjoyed our hand made Sushi rolls and other side dishes, including miso soup of course.

I hope my guests enjoyed their time at my kitchen,

Many thakns for coming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Pork Ramen & Gyoza class with TV crew! -September 2017

After my  summer vacation, this was the first class at my place and very memorable one indeed, as I hosted 2 fun  couples from NY and Paris.  We also received an inquiry from local TV in Tokyo that they wanted to film visitors coming from overseas for Gyoza making class!

I was very nervous but thanks to my cheerful & talented guests, everything went really nicely!

A young lady from Paris already had good skills for Gyoza making and her frills on Gyoza were just amazing! There were lots of Wow!s at her works during the class.

Another lady from NY is a professional voice actress so she’s got a beautiful & soothing voice,  and she was such a mood maker which helped a lot to make me feel confortable even with TV people with big camera etc.

TV  people asked many questions to my guest, such as “have you known Gyoza before coming to Tokyo?”,”why you wanted to try making Gyoza?”

I was curious to hear their answers and found out that there is a Gyoza bar in Paris now. In NY you often find Gyoza in Bento box with rice but these Gyoza are usually fried, not grilled.

My guests said that Japanese style Gyoza are crispy on the bottom, then the top part are tender, which is different form Chinese styles of steamed or boiled Gyoza.

I adore Chinese style dumplings and personally I think they are more authentic with a great variety, but requires much more skills & practices(at least to me…).  What I like about Japanese style Gyoza is simple; it is so easy to make, ingredients are very reasonable, and fun to eat with your families and friends!

By the way we made delicious pork Ramen,too! Here are some photos. Sorry Gyoza are almost gone at this stage but you must come and find yourself!

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Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon Nanban-zuke class on August 25th

I welcomed beautiful couple from Munich in German.   The lady speaks and understand Japanese little. Both of them are Japanese food lover.

After our communication by email, we decide to cook Salmon nanban-zuke for the main dish.

Both of them are home cookers, so we cooked very fast and efficiently.

I usually prepare Japanese broth, using sea kelp and bonito flakes. Those ingredients only use for infuse the flavor, so i usually discard the left overs after simmered ingredients.  I knew, this is kind of against Japanese culture, mottai-nai .

*Mottainai from wiki

Mottainai (もったいない[mottainai]) is a Japanese term conveying a sense of regret concerning waste.[1] The expression “Mottainai!” can be uttered alone as an exclamation when something useful, such as food or time, is wasted, meaning roughly “what a waste!” or “Don’t waste.”[2] In addition to its primary sense of “wastefulness”, the word is also used to mean “impious; irreverent” or “more than one deserves”.[3]

Mottainai is an old Buddhist word, which has ties “with the Shinto idea that objects have souls.”[2] Mottainai has been referred to as a tradition,[2] a cultural practice,[4] and an idea which is still present in Japanese culture,[2] which has become an international concept.[5]

 

Then I decided to cook furikake, using leftover of Japanese broth, which is go with cooked rice.  See in the middle of the plate in white little dish.

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We cooked Salmon nanban -zuke, cucumber with creamy sesame dressing, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, Japanese style egg omelette, furikake, edamame rice and miso soup.

Both of them loved those dishes, and I’ m so glad they enjoyed.  The lady sent me Japanese meal cooked by herself. It looked so gorgeous and much better than my work.

Thank you for remind me of Mottainai!

Many thanks,

Kisshy

 

 

Sashimi Class on Aug 4th

I had a couple from Scotland at the class and they requested preparing  Sashimi at the class.

I always ask how do you prepare sashimi, because we rarely prepare it from whole fish at home. Honestly, when I prepare sashimi for family meal, I usually buy precut sashimi and serve in plates, no effort.

After our communication, I found out the couple is interested in to cut the fish block nicely  and prepare rightly in plates,  which is capable for me.

Then I started researched how to plate Sashimi in certain way and had practiced cutting and slicing sashimi using salmon and tuna. My cooking teacher at Egami cooking school, authentic Japanese cooking school, gave  me advices, I really appreciated.   Even though I learned raw fish cutting techniques at French cooking class at NY, the way  is different because the cooking knife is different.  Eventually I learned a  lot about Japanese cooking and culture for preparing the Sashimi class.

The cooking class was wonderful with a couple who love Japanese food. The area they live don’t have grocery store, but they often order ingredients on internet. I’m impressed their effort to cooking Japanese food.

At the end, the couple did very well to cut sashimi and plating nicely. IMG_5821

I’m so glad to get email from them after they got back to heir home which includes the picture they plated sashimi with fresh Scottish salmon beautifully.

Hope you enjoy Japanese cooking!

Many thanks,

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork ginger and egg omelet for a man from Denmark in Jul

I had a request form a young Danish man to cook ginger pork as a main dish today.  Actually, he requested a recipe calls a few ingredients. Then I gave several dishes and he picked up pork ginger.

He found out there are many pork menus in restaurants in this country.  That is true, we eat more pork and chicken dishes than beef dishes since beef is an expensive ingredient  either  restaurants and grocery stores.

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He cooks egg omelet, tamago-yaki.  You might see tamago-yaki in Tsukiji fish market as a street food.  The recipe of Japanese style egg omelet calls mainly egg, sugar and soy sauce. If you have square pan, you can make nice square omelet, but even if you don’t have the pan, as long as you have spatula,  you can make nice shaped omelet  in a round pan.

It seems not easy to make square shaped egg omelet, but once you get it to roll the egg sheet you can do it by yourself.

Hope you bring the technique back to your home and show off to your family beautiful egg omelet!

Many thanks,

Kisshy