US Family gathering over Ramen & Gyoza

Family and friends came from west and east of USA and got together in Tokyo apartment kitchen for Ramen & Gyoza cooking class.  Wrapping the Gyoza with pork and veggies filling. Fun!

Mixing the Gyoza filling ingredients requires good pressure with both hands.  ARIGATO for a great job!!

Slicing a lump of pork done by the great father of the family!

I hope my guests all had a memorable time in Japan…

Many thanks for coming!!

Akiko

Ramen & Gyoza class for an Aussie couple & Swedish café owner

“Oishi-!”  do as Japanese do when photo-shooting in Japan!?

The main dish for this class was Pork Ramen, with pork broth & Japanese Dashi soup stock, with toppings of Miso flavored pork and meat sauce with Japanese seasonings.

For Gyoza, we chopped cabbage, garlic chives (Nira), leek etc. Add a little bit of grated garlic if you like.

Both are served sizzling hot and full of rich meaty flavors, so I recommended something cold and fresh as a side dish. I would like my guest to try something different while they are at Tokyo apartment kitchen so here it is, fresh cabbage torn into one bite size with hands, marinated with sesame oil, salt and pickled Kombu! If you like soy sauce & vinegar flavor, try this easy side!

My Swedish guest owns a cafe near Stockholm serving some menus inspired by Japanese taste such as Maccha, while my guests from wine country Adelaide were big fans of anime.

I hope they all find our home cooking dishes as good!

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Seafood but No Sushi Class

The main dish request for this class was “something seafood, but not Sushi” as the couple has already learned how to make Sushi before. So we did our popular seafood main dish Nanban style marinade of fried salmon & swordfish.

For side dish choices, my guest picked a menu using Kaki, the seasonal fruit of autumn and one of few indigenous kinds for land of Japan. Plus sweet & savory Miso sauce with grilled eggplant.

My guest couple told me they were living in a motor house and I was as curious as always, so they showed me some photos, and it was way beyond my imagination, truly gigantic! Their kitchen in the motor house is much bigger than mine in Tokyo apartment, with every nice equipment.

I am sure they can cook anything at their beautiful kitchen. Hope they have tried out our Japanese home cooking recipe back home.

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Private Class for Vegetarian Dishes with Autumn harvests

 

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!
Akiko

Chicken Karaage & Chicken Lotus Meat Balls class

The main dish request was Chicken Karaage, one of our best sellers & very popular home cooked food all over Japan!

We also cooked chicken meat balls with our autumn/winter vegetable, lotus root, seasoned with Miso.

When I cook these chicken menus for my family, I usually pile them up on a simple big plate and tell my kids ‘Help yourself!’ But for my guests from Australia, I chose a little bamboo basket to serve our chickens to add a touch of Japanese taste and welcoming feeling.

In our rice, we added some Black Rice. This type of rice is popular among Japanese ladies lately as it is rich in fiber, vitamin B, minerals etc. In short, good for your health & beauty!

As we enjoyed our lunch, we talked about various social & cultural topics of Japan as well as Australia. Very relaxing moment with yummy food after a few hard working hours at kitchen!

I hope my guest ladies form Australia enjoyed their time at my place as much as I did.

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Lots of seafood for a US athlete couple

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.

Many thanks for coming!

Gyoza & Karaage class for Canadian foodies

The menu for this class was;

Gyoza dumplings with pork and vegetables, Chicken karrage(Japanese style fried chicken), spinach with Tofu sauce, Miso soup and black rice.

My guests were from Montreal, Canada and they booked the class several months ahead of time! They informed me one of the gentlemen does not eat dairy products so I picked up a creamy white sauce made with Tofu as one of our side dishes.

I hope my guests enjoyed their time at my kitchen!

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

Ramen and Karaage class for a family

I have welcomed a family from Philippine for cooking class. Their request was Chicken Karaage and ramen.   The kids LOVE  chicken karaage, which is Japanese fried chicken, and they want to learn how to cook to cook at home.

I strongly recommend to cook chicken fry at home. You can use fresh vegetable oil for frying which is healthier than dinning  out.

I was so impressed that the boys have great cooking skill.  They often cook at home and I heard the older brother baked cup cake for mom’s day by himself, wow!

They have wonderful knife skills!

 

I’m sooooo glad to hear they loved the Karaage which was made by themselves.  I’m so proud of you guys!

 

Hope you cook Karaage at your kitchen.

Thank you for coming our cooking class!

Kisshy

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