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

Japanese cooking class on Jul 13th

It is Ramen Class today!

Menus

Miso Ramen with sautéed ground pork and simmered pork on top

Gyoza

Crushed Cucumber marinated with soy- ginger

Rice

Matcha cake

Welcome to my kitchen, wonderful family from New Zealand and food lover Spanish man!   They loved Miso Ramen. The class was a lot of fun and I laughed a lot during the class. Thank you everyone to make the class delightful!

 I’m glad to hear that the family cooked Ramen after they got back to their home in New Zealand.

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This is Miso Ramen we cooked at the class.

I prepare  chicken soup and simmered pork hours ahead and we will finish wish season the soup, stair fly vegetables and sautéed ground pork  and preparing ramen noodle together at the class.   we made Gyoza in the class. everybody like to wrap the gyoza, and did very well!

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The places we shared at the class….

When there are more than two groups in a class, we often share the trip information.  I often realize that there are many aspect of Tokyo even Japan, like food, hot springs and  amusements but I haven’t know a lot of things. Now I learn a lot from my gests.  I appreciate that very much!

This is a nice sushi restaurant.  The price is super, but believe it worth.

Kyu bei 

http://savoryjapan.com/travel/tokyo/kyubey.html

 

sushi shou   in yotsuya  Alain Ducasses favarite, pricy too

http://www.yelp.com/biz/%E3%81%99%E3%81%97%E5%8C%A0-%E6%96%B0%E5%AE%BF%E5%8C%BA

 

 

This is not that so expensive but really nice sushi. There is a brunch in tsukiji outside of the market.  “Sushi-sei”

http://www.sunnypages.jp/travel_guide/tokyo_restaurants/sushi/Tsukiji+Sushi+Sei%E3%80%80/796

 

This is Okinawa shop in Ginza. The shop might have sea grapes.

https://travel.sygic.com/Japan/Tokyo-Prefecture/Tokyo/Ginza-Washita-Shop/

 

 

This is a website for taco rice in Tokyo  written in Japanese but pics are nice.

http://www.hotpepper.jp/food/KEY0016/f1600594/SA11/

 

 

Many thanks!

Kisshy

 

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

 

Seafood and Sashimi lovers from Germany, Oct 2017

Many of my German guests prefer meat dishes to seafood… that was my narrow perception until I welcomed this couple from Northern Germany.

In fact, the lady told me that she does not eat much sausages nor Sauerkraut but loves Sushi and Sashimi.  So the main dish for her and husband was Sushi rolls with fresh quality salmon and tuna of course!

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I have also suggested a few choices for side dishes and here again, she preferred vegetable and fruit dishes rather than meaty ones. It was mid Autumn and Kaki, persimmon was in season. So I really liked to introduce one side dish of Kaki, Shimeji mushroom and greens with creamy Tofu sauce.

But why Kaki is so special?

Today we have a great variety of fruits available at super market in Japan and many of them are domestic  harvest.  However, when you look back the history of Japan, most of our fruits were brought to our islands from overseas at some stage.

Yet Kaki is considered to be one of few indigenous species that have been around the land of Japan for years and years.

If you have a chance to travel around Japan in Autumn, you may notice the trees with almost no leaves but some ripe, orange fruits in gardens and even in some wild fields, that are Kaki trees and it is a loved symbol of Autumn for us.

It makes a nice salad, or simple dessert as it  is, or you may put a slice of prosciutto on top of a small cut of Kaki and serve as a starter.

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I hope my guests enjoyed their Autumn taste as well as our quality seafood!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramen & Gyoza cooking with Aussie & French couples / May 2017

By late May, weather in Japan would get quite humid, with our rainy season approaching. Yet we still received quite a few inquiries for hot noodle dish with soup, Ramen.  Indeed it is surprising but I am well aware now that Ramen has truly become one of the most popular Japanese dish around the world. 

On this class, I welcomed two young couples from Australia and France.  I put my air conditioner on so it is cool enough in the room to enjoy hot foods.

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Besides Ramen, we prepared Gyoza, Japanese style pot stickers or dumplings. This dish is also originated from Chinese culinary but we pan-fry them with a lid, instead of boil or steam. When cooked, we dip them in soy sauce and vinegar. If you like it hot and spicy, maybe add a few drips of Chinese hot chili oil which we call La-Yu. 

At my family, whenever eating Gyoza for dinner, we cook them on the table. There is a popular kitchen item called ‘hot plate’, which is actually a big and flat electric frying pan.  

The beauty of using this on the table is;

1) it saves a lot of time for cooking,

2) everyone can enjoy eating Gyoza while it is sizzling hot.

The only problem is your room might be full of Gyoza smell afterwards. If the weather permits, have your windows open, or put your kitchen fan switched on. 

Gyoza is often chosen as a menu for family and close friends casual gathering. It is also fun to warp them together, while chatting various things, as we did on this class!

In Japan, Gyoza wrappers are available at any supermarkets so we don’t make them from scratch. I am not sure about the situation overseas but hope my guests can find them with no problem at their home towns. 

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

What Japanese house wife buys in Tsukiji Fish Market? ( Inside market)

I’m so glad to hear that tsukiji inside market stay the place for more months.

Since my place, Yotsuya, has a bus stop to Tsukiji market I go for shopping there at least once a month regularly.   It takes about 20 min by bus to there.

After get off the bus, first I head to inside fish market. I strait go to buy fresh salmon in “Sanmasu”  . The store provides fresh thick cut salmon, those are very flavorful and juicy.  I can choose from  salted, light salted, non-salted . Also can get fatty part “harami” , salmon roe and smoked salmon. Those are inexpensive and never find such fresh salmon in the store near my area.

* Attention,  inside market allows to enter for visitor after 10 am. 

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Mimasu /  salmon shop

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There are not only seafood shops, but also exclusive meat shop inside the market.  I chose high grade beef from Hokkaido for special dinner. The butcher cut preference thickness for me. This meat could be cut as thin slice for Sukiyaki or Shabu shabu.  It is pricy, but worth to taste. When I want to have really nice beef for special occasion, I come here and ask the butcher what to buy.

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I also buy fresh seasonal seafood, like oysters, scallops, squids, shrimps and tuna.  I often go there with my friends, which is good we can share bulk of seafood, which usually wholesale for fishmongers and restaurants.

I’ll come back shopping later!

 

Kisshy

 

 

 

Japanese cooking Class on Aug 3rd

Tempura Class for a family of 6

I appreciated to have a class with delightful family from the US!

A young boy got in touch to book a class early Jul.   In my English mistake made him little confuse and eventually I took the family to a supermarket tour before the cooking class.

It was my first time  to go for grocery tour with my guests.  I showed produce section, fresh seafood section, meat area and whole areas of the typical Japanese grocery store.

I’m glad they liked to find the U.S products, such as Campbell’s canned soup, snacks and beers made in the US.   They bought Japanese beer and sake and headed for my place.

On the day of Aug 3rd was very hot and humid, ordinal Japanese summer day. The family looked little tired  because of the jet lug and the weather difference.

Before we cook, I gave them Japanese names,  Masa-san(father) Kaori(mother) Kyoko ( biggest sister) Ichiro ( biggest brother) Jiro (second brother) Sabro ( third broher) , and we call each other those Japanease name during the class. We enjoyed them very much.

They did cutting and mise en place very well, very smoth. They have a great team work!   However, gradually, some of the members get tired and couldn’t work very well.

It happens in my class sometime, don’t worry!    Please sit back and relax as you come back your home.    I prepare nice Japanese food for you so just enjoy Japanese home cooking.

Menu for   Aug 3rd

Tempura   ( horse mackerel and seasonal vegetables)

grated daikon and ginger

Cucumber with sesame dressing

Egg plant with sweet miso

Rice and Miso soup

Masa-san is very nice father of 4 children and good husband of gentle Kaori-san.  I liked to hear their daily life and their annual trip.  I really wish my family would be get along even my sons get bigger like this family.

Thank you very much Ichiro, such a great writing to the TripAdvisor. YOUR writing  was amazing!  Very intelligence expression for the class. Good luck to your new life in NYC!

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Many Thanks

Kisshy