Today’s guest was a couple from France visiting various plasces in Japan.
The lady turned out to be on the early stage of her pregnancy. As a mother of 3 kids, I was really excited to hear that and thought maybe some of the food & nutrition we cook will be becomimg a part of her little baby’s body, who knows!
What we parepared on this class was; Swordfish Nanban Zuke, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, spinach with sesame sauce and miso soup with cabbage and potatoes. Lots of vegetables dishes using naturally fermented seasonings like Miso, Mirin and Soy sauce.
Since she was not feeling for a very strong taste, we decided to use less amount of rice vinegar and soy sauce for Nanban Zuke marinade. It is one of the good things about hands-on cooking experience. You can taste your sauce and dishes as we proceed and are always welcome to adjust some parts of the recipe.
Her husband was a keen cook and he was quite knowlegeble about Japanese ingredients, which helped a lot.
I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen and their baby was enjoying his/her first Japanese food,too!
Many thaks for coming!
I had my first vegetarian guest and her husband from UK on May 8th class, as well as another fun couple of sushi lovers from USA.
Japanese culinary is well known for using lots of vegetables and vegetable-oriented seasonings. Our cultural background with Buddhism has a lot to do with this. Buddhist monks do not eat any animal oriented food during their hard ascetic practices. Food provided at temples had to be vegetarian in many cases, so a variety of cooking methods with vegetables have been developed over centuries.
One of the ‘must’ ingredients for our vegetarian cooking is dried Shiitake mushrooms, called Hoshi Shiitake in Japanese. Well, more precisely, you don’t need to be vegetarian to appreciate the taste of this dried ingredient. I often use this stock to simmer chicken etc.
Like many other dried ingredients used for stocks, this needs to be soaked in water overnight before start cooking.
If the room temperature is above 20℃, it is better to put the water and dried Shiitake in a fridge. It is said dried Shiitake extract comes out better when the water is around.10℃. If you are in a hurry, you may use hot water to extract dried mushroom quickly but the taste is always better when you use cold water and take some time.
We cooked our miso soup with Shiitake and Kombu stock at this class. It was a season for sweet spring cabbage and tender new potatoes. They made perfect ingredients for fine vegetable soup stock.
For vegetarian sushi rolls ingredients, I picked up avocado, cucumber, Shiso leaves and some thinly sliced Takuan (salty pickled Daikon radish).
I hope my guest enjoyed their food and cooking experience at my kitchen.
Many thanks for coming!
I have received a request for Teriyaki chicken again and this time from a German couple visiting Tokyo. As one of the side dishes I chose a Potato Mochi, as it is also finished with Teriyaki sauce so I figured out my guest may also like it. This is a local specialty from Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan known for its good potato harvest.
At the cooking class, Potato Mochi recipe turns out to be very German by the way. Of course Germans are professional to cook potatoes and my guest showed me how she finds out if your potatoes are boiled enough or not ready yet.
First you hold your knife upside down, pointing to potatoes in the pot, then simply loosen your grip a bit and see if the knife cut into your potatoes or not! I used to poke into my potatoes with chopsticks and make many holes but not any more!
After adding some starch and making putties with boiled & mashed potatoes, my guest told me that Germans would boil them but we grill them on frying pan, then we finish up with sweet & savory teriyaki sauce.
I hope my guests liked our Hokkaido style potato dish, too.
Many thanks for coming!
I had a request of cooking ginger pork at this class. There are a couple from London.
Ginger pork is quite easy and common home made cooking in Japan and I often cook this dish for my family. The seasonings of soy sauce, ginger and sweet go with thin sliced pork.
I always serve ginger pork accompany with potato salad and shredded cabbage for dinner. Potato salad is must- item with ginger pork for me.
Therefore, At this class, I offered to cook ginger pork, potato salad, shredded cabbage, spinach with cream sesame dressing, rice and miso soup. It looks many dishes, but each of them are easy preparation.
Then I knew, there are many variation of potato salad through the world. My potato salad recipe consists of potato, ham, cucumber, sliced onion season with mayonnaise. today’s guests originally came from Vienna, Austria and the US. They said the ingredients are simple but their own potato salad recipe from their mother sounds yummy!
This is my favorite accept of cooking class the guests came from many countries. I could hear what they eat in general as everyday food i. We also talk about what we eat in breakfast, too.
We enjoyed cook those menus with joyful talking.
Finally we cooked all the recipes and glad to hear they liked them all include potato salad.
The name ‘Nanban-zuke’ may sound unfamiliar but this is one of our popular seafood dishes. Nanban indicates that the dish has its origin from 16C Europe. Considering the history of Japan, ‘Europe’ in those days means Portugal and Spain at many cases.
I assume the process of deep frying and marinating afterwards with leek and other vegetables may be the ‘Nanban’ character. But this is a typical home cooking food for us today and it goes nicely with white rice or a glass of Sake!
I often use swordfish for Nanbanzuke. It is a white meat fish, tender like chicken breast but also is easier to handle, because you don’t need to pinch tiny bones.
First you deep fry the pieces of swordfish powdered with potato starch. Then marinate them in soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin etc. Lots of vegetables are also put in this marine sauce, such as carrot, celery, leek, spring onion etc. So it almost looks like a salad with fried fish.
You may be afraid that anything deep fried is not good for your health, but I think if you eat them with lots of vegetables, no need to be scared at all.
If you choose more vegetables for side dishes, such as spinach with sweet sesame sauce (another very popular dish at our classes), accompanied with Dashi soup of mushrooms & rice, your meal would be rich in fiber and quite nicely balanced.
On this March 8th cooking class of Nanbanzuke, I welcomed a family from Sydney. Mama (means Mum in Japanese) is obviously a very good cook so everyone in the family loves to cook, too. It was actually a lot of fun to exchange some interesting information on ingredients and cookery with this foodie family!
I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as I did.
Many thanks for coming!
The class welcomed a couple from L.A. It was the last cooking class on September. It was still hot and humid day even though it was almost autumn season on the calendar. I believe this summer in Japan must be hard for human!
Although the weather was like summer, I’d like to express autumn on the dining table. we prepared sweet potato rice at this time.
Japanese sweet potato has a unique texture I, and the customers never seen in outside of Japan.
The outside is beautiful purple and inside is white. It contains a dense starch so the potato become nice and soft texture, but not watery when it cooked. We Japanese have been eating baked potato as a natural healthy snack.
I had a request as no pork for the ingredients so we cooked fish Nanban-zuke for the main course.
Today’s menu on Sep 29th ’16
Cucumber sesame dressing
eggplant with miso-egg sauce
I’ve shared information of halal café in my neighborhood just opened the day before. There is in Sophia University in Yotsuya. Everybody could visit the café.
Tokyo Halal deli & café
There is a pray space in a same building.
The today’s guests visited the café and said very nice and clean.
Many thanks for a sweet couple from L.A!!
I welcomed Tokyo expats polish couple on the day.
Ms. A and her husband Mr.V enthusiast for Japanese cooking / food culture. Ms. A has a great knowledge of Japanese food as well as food ways on other countries.
She had researched about washoku culture very well before the interview moreover,she LOVES them, so we could understand each other very soon.
Wiktor said he is an amateur photographer, but see his pictures are amazing as a professional!
Photo by Wiktor staniecki
Since I’ve been working for obtaining sake sommelier, I served seasonal sake at this time. I’m glad Wiktor liked the pairing of food and sake.
Grilled salmon Yuan marinade
eggplant miso-egg cream
Maitake mashroom tempura
sweet potato rice
Shiratama -mochi red bean paste/ sweet soy paste
Here links to her article.
The charms of Japanese autumn
She also writes for polish-Japanese community
Thank you very much for the beautiful pictures and intelligent article for Musubi Cooking Class!