The main dish was chosen as Vegetarian Ramen for a guest lady from Israel who has been vegetarian for many years. Side dishes include cold fresh cabbage with Konbu marinade, Gyoza dumplings with lotus root, Kaki (persimmon) & greens dressed with creamy Tofu sauce etc.
My guest was very interested in Japanese Dashi soup stock with dried Shiitake mushrooms & Kombu kelp. Both are essential products for Umami in our cooking.
Kombu is very rich in glutamate or glutamic acid, which is contained in most vegetables but by far the most in dried Kombu. Another ingredient known for richness in glutamate is dried tomato.
Dried shiitake is known for its richness in guanylic acid or GMP, like many kinds of mushrooms around the world including dried porcini. This may be explaining why many Japanese people are deeply in love with Italian food!?
My guest lady was a medicinal food professional with a vast knowledge about Chinese herbal medicine & dietary, so it was very inspiring to share some time with her in the kitchen cooking and talking about various vegetables and foods!
Many thanks for coming!
Today’s class guests are happy sweet honeymooners from IT capital, Tel Aviv, Israel. We cooked Ramen with pork soup stock.
I also adventured to use simmered Konbu kelp in cabbage salad, which is our family’s favorite quick dish. Here we use Konbu like herbs and it goes really nicely with sesame oil. Please try if you have some left over Konbu after making Dashi broth.
The couple told me some very interesting stories about their culture & life, my favorite part of doing cooking classes for travellers!
Many thanks for coming!
This was going to be another pork Ramen and Gyoza class for an American couple from San Diego, until I receive a request from a family from Israel, one of whose daughters is Vegetarian but the rest of the family love Japanese pork Ramen. So we ended up making both together!
For vegetarian Ramen, I used dried Shiitake mushrooms and Konbu seaweed for a base soup stock. Then we also cooked fresh mushrooms and garlic with leek, soy milk, sesame paste and miso. For many vegetarian dishes, sesame does a great work but Miso is another very ideal seasoning.
This vegetarian version of Ramen soup turned out very rich and creamy, in fact my other guests also enjoyed tasting this soup.
For vegetarian Gyoza, I usually use Tofu and another kind of mushroom called Maitake. The only thing you need to mind is that Tofu will not be as sticky as meat when mixed, so the ingredients tends to fall apart and it may be a little harder to tack the filling inside Gyoza wrappers. A few drops of sesame oil might help.
The only issue was that there were a lot more preparations than usual and I did not take any photos of our yummy accomplishments (tears in my eyes)…
Many thanks for coming!
I have welcomed close father and daughter from Israel for ramen cooking class. The cooking day was the last day of their 45 days trip in Japan for them. I appreciate to choose our cooking class for their important day.
I had a request for cooking ramen and gyoza with chicken. I usually use pork for ramen toppings and cook braised pork in advance of the cooking class since braised pork need long time to cook.
However, chicken for ramen topping doesn’t need so much time and I can show how to cook it in the class. It is very easy, soft and moisture with little technique, moreover it goes with ramen.
The father and the daughter did a great job for cooking, at this time making gyoza. They picked up how to fold gyoza dumplings and made good shape.
They enjoyed cooking with long chopsticks.
Thank you for coming my ramen class!
Many of my guests are really passionate about Japanese food and it is always a great honor to get a chance to meet up with such people. This honeymoon couple from Israel was definitely one of them. They were fascinated to try a Japanese style vegetarian meal, including Tofu.
So the main dish was Sushi rolls with green vegetables, pickles and sesame. The couple chose a private lesson so we also did a few vegetable side dishes with three different sauces; sesame sauce, sweet miso sauce and creamy tofu sauce, as well as miso soup with vegetable stock.
They were also very knowledgeable about Japanese history and interested in some antique plates and traditional earthenwares, too.
One of my favorite Japanese earthenware is Oribe-yaki, old potteries in Gifu prefecture and known for its dark green colored glaze. I used my Oribe plates for our eggplant dish at this class and my guests kindly told me that they liked them as well as various food we prepared together.
The next day, the couple surprised me with a news that they bought a rice cooker to take home after my class!
I hope they are now enjoying cooking Japanese food at their sweet home…
Many thanks for coming!
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.
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!
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!
I welcomed three participants today in the class ; a couple from Israel and a man from Mexico, who visited for annual Food Show exhibition.
We made ramen, gyoza and a cucumber dish today for lunch time. I’m glad our ramen class become popular and we can share many people to cook home made ramen without MSG.
We prepare so much vegetables, so our ramen and gyoza menus are quite healthy.
In my class, I cook braised pork and seasoned egg the day before. Because it is too short time to cook pork, we call it char shu, in 2 hours our cooking time. I tried to cook it in 2 hours, hopefully I could show how to make the pork from scratch, in the result it is still chewy, the meat is not enough to soft. So I decide it to prepare the day before. So far the people understand it and enjoy soft and moisture braised pork on ramen noodles.
Today’s participants enjoy cooking ramen, also making gyoza wrapping. Every body try to make nice shape of gyoza, which is fun.
Look at his well done gyoza flairs and super smiling!
Then the participants have ramen together with chatting. Lunch time become social time, the participants enjoy to talk about their different food culture.
During the cherry blossoms season, we at the Musubi Cooking Tokyo receive much more customers than winter months. On this April 7th . class for Ramen cooking, I welcomed 3 groups of people from Sweden, Israel and Swiss.
For one of the ramen toppings, we cooked minced pork meat flavored with Miso and vegetables. You may add finely chopped ginger, leek, garlic, carrot or coriander as you like. This was a good accent to add to ramen as Miso is probably the most popular Japanese seasoning among my guests.
When you hear Miso, I wonder what type of miso you are thinking in your mind. Miso is a very old seasoning made with fermented soy beans. It was already used before century in China. In Japan, the oldest record of Miso is found in the writings of 8th.C and it has been used in cooking till today. There are many variety of Miso throughout Japan. We will let you taste some of them at our classes so find out your favorite one!
All of my guests were talking about how gorgeous cherry blossoms were on this day, as they were in time for the full bloom. One of the questions I received was, do we eat cherry blossoms. Well we actually do! We use salted leaves for wrapping sweet dumplings. We also salt pink flowers of cherry trees and make preserves. This salted cherry flowers look pretty but the taste is.. quite salty! You may also notice a faint touch of cherry blossoms fragrance.
I happened to have a small jar of this salted cherry blossoms in my fridge so I let my curious guests taste some of this, expecting not much Wows. Yet I got a very interesting idea from my Swedish guest that it will make a great companion for a shot of rum and other hard liquors. Looks much prettier than salt, too!
It is always so inspiring to cook and chat with food lovers from around the world!
Many thanks for coming to my kitchen.
We have a ramen class today.
I accepted special requests as “No sea food”, ” no pork” for the menus. Usually I use sautéed minced pork as well as braised pork for the ramen garnish. unique pork flavor produces savory umami taste so that it is one of the fundamental ingredient for the bowl in most of ramen shop.
*However, there diverse population from different countries visit Japan now a days so some ramen shop produce ramen without pork.
I prepared ground chicken and braised chicken for those guests and we cooked both chicken and pork in the class. I usually very careful to serve specific religion food and allergy food for each requested guests and I also ask all the participants to cooperate do the process securely. I appreciate the guests all the time they are cooperative with kind.
Ramen menu on Oct 7th ’16
Pork/chicken Miso ramen ( garnish with sautéed vegetables, sautéed minced pork/chicken, braised pork/chicken, simmered egg)
Pork / Chicken Gyoza
Cucumber sweet sour sesame dressing
Green tea pudding/agar-agar
I’m always glad when the guests say “good taste” for the ramen since it takes many times of practice for making recipe.
Many thanks for today’s guests from Australia and Israel!