Ramen and Curry have a lot of things in common. Both are not traditional Japanese cuisine and originated from overseas, China and India respectively. Both introduced to our country fairly recently but now the most popular menu among Japanese people of all generations!
Somehow, Ramen has grown so well-known as someting typically Japanese & we receive many requests from visitors at our cooking class, yet not so much for Curry so far.
So I knew my guest lady from Calgary, Canada, must be very familiar with our local food culture and maybe lived in our country when she mentioned Curry & rice, with pork Katsu (cutlet or côtelette)!
Japanese style Curry can be easy if you use a box of ready-made paste or roux. But it can also be a long recipe if you like to create your own roux from scratch and add your choice of spices.
If you have time, keep stiring chopped onoin over low-middle heat until golden brown, which is going to be the base for your Curry sauce. This process is similar to making French onion soup. Just be VERY careful not to burn your onion!
My guest lady turned out to be a Japanese sweets chef and cafe owner. In fact she was visiting Tokyo at this occasion to deepen her expertise. I suppose menu choice of Curry was more for her personal memory and her boyfriend, who loved our home made Curry very much that he went for a full second serve, which made me super happy of course!
My favorite menu, seafood Nanban style for a main dish!
Since my guest family from England, UK & a couple from Germany were all willing to try some seafood dish cooking experience, I have prepared a mix of ingredients including a little bit of prawns, salmon, swordfish, and a side dish using salt-and-chilli flavored cod roes (Mentaiko).
If you wouldn’t fancy ‘fish eggs’ on your holiday, imagine something like ‘pink caviar’ and that is our Mentaiko, except being a lot saltier and spicy. For Japanese cooking, it plays a role like anchovy, I think. At this class, we made a salad of lightly boiled lotus root & Mentaiko.
My guests were ready for some new culinary adventure & I was very happy to see they all liked what we cooked together. Such a delight to see all plates empty after the class!
I must add one more thing my guest liked, Mugi-cha, or toasted barley tea. It is something everybody drinks here during summer as it has no caffeine contained. There are a variety of barley tea bags available at supermarkets so easy to make as well!
My guest couple was from Germany and Holland, beautiful performing artists and another people attracted by our comfort food, Ramen & Gyoza.
Both of them were very knowledgeable about Japanese cuisine, enjoying seeing a whole piece of smoked Bonito and dried Kombu seaweed etc. They are very important ingredients for our cooking.
Hot sizzling Gyoza was also something they loved while travelling in Japan. It is so simple and easy to prepare, once you hear a few tips! I hope they are now making Gyoza dumplings at times back in Europe.
Congratulations on your 50th anniversary and many thanks for choosing our home cooking class on such a special trip to Japan from London UK!
Main dish choice by my guest couple was Chicken Teriyaki, all time favorite at my family. We also prepared Japanese style potato salad, which uses a lot of Mayo instead of butter, as well as thinly sliced onion, cucumber etc.
The most important ingredients for nice & flavorful Teriyaki sauce would be Mirin, a type of Sake. Its beautiful amber colour is a sign of good maturity and complex sweetness.
If you have a good bottle of Mirin, Teriyai sauce is simple and easy! My guest couple prepared a shiny golden brown sauce with no problem. This sauce goes really great along with plain white rice, too!
Welcome to our home cooking class at Tokyo apartment kitchen !
Main dish was one of the most popular menu these days, Pork Ramen plus Gyoza dumplings and a small simple side dish of fresh vegetable & pickled Kombu seaweed.
My guest was a happy couple from Isarael, travelling all around Japan for one month and loved Ramen so much that they decided to find out how we are making this yummy bowl of hot noodle.
AND as usual, my guest was overwhelmed that you need to go through a lot of steps to prepare this looks-simple-but-not-so-simple dish….Hope I did not make them too tired after my class. But believe me, our result was quite amazing I am sure my guests loved the lunch they prepared themselves!
You can cook Ramen with beef bone & meat if that is an easier option. Or chicken, clams, shrimps and more, as long as your ingredients create great broth.
This was a class filled with happy voices for a group of French girls reunion.
Their choice was a perfect food for intimate gathering; Gyoza with home made filling of pork, leek, garlic chives etc.
We also prepared a several side dishes includig salmon & avocado etc. One of their favorite was Miso soup using potato. Yes, potato is something from Americas and often used in European cooking, but it is actually a popular ingredient for our Japanese Miso soup as well.
My guest girls successfully mastered how to make nice and even frills on Japanese style dumplings. I am hoping maybe they are making Gyoza again on their next occasion together.
My family’s all time favorite menu, “chicken Karaage” today!
Side dishes are; aubergine with sweet & savory white Miso sauce on top, spinach with sesame sauce, Miso soup with Dashi broth & black rice.
My guest lady is from Hong Kong, so I asked her a lot of questions about Cantonese style Ramen noodles, especially what kind of ingredients are used to make soup broth. It was very interesting to hear her stories!
“Itadaki-Masu” means something like “Bon appetit” in our language.
Some people think it is said to show appreciation towards the chef, but more importabtly it is meant to show respect towards all ingredients and food, as their precious lives (vegetables or fish or meat…) are taken to keep our lives and we should always be aware of that.
In early December we welcomed a group of 20+ people from Nike!
This was the 2nd time to organize a gathering for this huge global company in Tokyo. We were very happy to hear that participants liked their team building lunch back in August, so they decided to contact us again for an evening function.
We planned Sushi roll & Temari Sushi cooking class. All ingredients for fillings and toppings were prepared in advance, but the guests had to make their own Sushi seasoning and mix with steamed rice, then start rolling & shaping their own Sushi for dinner.
Although this cooking class was held after a long day at their global meeting, everybody did a great work and everything went so smoothly that all results were beautiful and delicious!
After enjoying our tasty Sushi and other food including chicken Karrage, spinach with sesame sauce, fresh colorful veggies with Miso-Mayo dip, pork slices, sweet egg rolls etc., it was time for Sake tasting quiz! There are lots of types and brands of Sake in Japan. It was hard for us to choose just a few kinds, but we hope it turned out a good opportunity for our guests to try something different.
We would be very happy if we could be of a little help to discover some new charms of Japanese gastronomy!
This was a 2 main dish course request from an American couple. We cooked Salmon Nanbanzuke marinade and Okonomiyaki pancake as our main dishes, plus a few side dishes with vegetables and seasonal fruits.
My guest couple was both very fit as regular climbers and bouldering experts, so salmon was a good choice for their muscles. We also chopped some squid and put in our Okonomiyaki, as well as pork, cabbage, leek and Naga Imo potato, which is exactly how I make it for my family.
When I asked him if there is any favorite Japanese ingredients, he replied
” Unagi and Uni (eel and sea urchin)!! ”,
so I knew he is quite familiar with our dietary, then it turned out his Mum is Japanese!
Obviously he has been eating yummy Japanese home made dishes all his life, and I do hope that he & his girlfriend liked what we prepared together at my kitchen.