GYOZA class

I had very nice couple from Spain come to my house! They really liked learning how to make GYOZA (pork dumplings).

It is really fun to make GYOZA especially with family or friends. We made  70-80 GYOZA!

Today’s menu

main dish : GYOZA

side dishes

: Japanese sesame spinach salad

: Dashi Maki Tamago (Japanese Omelet)

:Tataki Cucumber

and Rice and Miso-soup (Tofu and Wakame)

Here is making Sesame sauce. I highly recommend the Japanese sesame spinach salad as a side dishes.

They did great job to make Dashimaki Tamago (Japanese Omelet) too! I recommend to eat with grated daikon(Japanese radish).

Baked GYOZA !!!

They loved eat everything!

At the end he wanted try to eat “Natto(fermented soybeans)”. He said it’s Unusual taste but not too bad :)!

It was really fun to exchange the culture both Japan and Spain. Thank you for coming !

yuki

 

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

 

 

Big lunch again with Mum & daughter from Singapore / June 2017

Sometimes I receive a very specific request on menus to cook at classes.

For this class in May, my guest, who turns out be a super woman (business executive & mother of 2 kids) from Singapore, asked me if we can try Oyako-don, Gyoza, Chicken teriyaki, Miso dengaku with eggplant and Japanese style potato salad.

That is a lot for one meal and the combination is not exactly what we normally do, but I understand it is a good chance to try different dishes for a visitor when time is limited. Obviously the lady has tried many Japanese dishes already so I was interested to hear her opinions on our food, too.

She visited me with her lovely young daughter who was a great help in the kitchen! She can slice and cut and stir with no problem.

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Among the menus my guest chose, I was curious to ask why she picked up a potato salad, as is a rather western menu to me.  She was after a Japanese style potato salad in particular, which her family tried before and became her son’s favorite.

What I think ‘very Japanese’ and what my guests like to learn at Japanese home cooking class may not be always the same. It is very interesting to discover what people are attracted in our food culture.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Simple, fun and easy side dish with cucumbers on April18th.Class

On this class of Sushi Rolls, I picked up one of the easiest and fun side dish recipes. That is what we call Crushed Cucumber salad.IMG_5685

 As the name tells, the recipe is quite simple. You salt your cucumbers, crush them with a wooden pestle ( which we use for pounding tossed sesame etc.). The tip is DO NOT use a knife when you cut cucumbers.

Why? Because when you cut them with a sharp knife, the cut end will be very smooth. But if you crush them or break them with a good pressure, the cut end will be rugged and uneven, so the seasonings are likely to stay on surface and taste better.

I use fragrant sesame oil and salt for seasonings.  Maybe add a little bit of leek, finely sliced or chopped fresh coriander if you like. Toss them all and keep in a fridge for some time and that is the end of the recipe.

When you are looking for some cooking experience for small children but you are not sure to let them use knives, this recipe is ideal. But I have noticed big boys also love the cruching process of this recipe!

So simple that I feel sorry to call this a ‘dish’  but it is my family’s favorite menu specially in summer time after a hot and humid day. You will find this menu at many Izakaya (Japanese style bars) yet never at a classy restaurants.

The only concern is that cucumbers in Japan are quite thin, while some kind of cucumbers overseas are much bigger and thicker.  On April 18th. I welcomed guests form Australia, Swiss and USA.  I am wondering if my guests were able to crush their local cucumbers after getting back home and tried this recipe.

 Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Ginger pork and Japanesepotato salad

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.

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Finally we cooked all the recipes and glad to hear they liked them all include potato salad.

Many thanks!

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for spring vegetables! Tempura class on March 16th.

Spring has come !  It means fresh and yummy spring vegetables only available at this time of the year and of course we won’t miss this opportunity at our cooking classes. One of my favorite is what we call ‘new onion’-very fresh onions harvested during March and April.

On this class of Tempura, I welcomed a university student son studying at Munich and his father from Wellington, NZ. They were flying into Japan from different corners of the world and somehow ended up at my kitchen.

They were here for skiing but they were also just in time for the new onion season and of course we cooked it as Tempura along with other vegetables and prawns.

What is the difference? Onions are available throughout a year but they are the ones dried for about a month after harvest for the sake of better storage. But only in spring months, fresh onions are available for reasonable prices. They arrive right after the harvest so the surface of the skins are not completely dried like regular ones.  We call them ‘Shin(new) Tamanegi(onion)’ in Japanese.

Shin Tamanegi contains much more moisture than regular ones and its taste is so sweet, not tangy or pungent at all. It is not good for stews or simmering dishes but it makes great fresh salad, and great Tempura,too!

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My guest said his Tempura of new onion was so yummy that he will forget about all freid onions he ever tasted before!  If you are an onion lover, please consider visiting Japan during March and April next year.

We have so much to offer other than Cherry Blossoms!

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Many Thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

 

 

 

sauteed salmon with spring cabbage on March 29th

I’ve welcomed wonderful  two families from Korea and England.

I was thinking if we can bring food we cook to outside as bento- box and  have lunch under cherry blossoms for today’s class. However, the weather is not so good, too chilly to stay for lunch outside.

Eventually I decided to have a class as usual in my home .   We cook

                                        Sautéed salmon with spring cabbage

                                    Creamy tofu salad

                                       Crushed cucumber with sesame dressing

                                              Rice and miso soup

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Salmon is a convenient ingredient, easy to obtain most of the countries.  we cook salmon and spring cabbage, onion and carrot in a big  cooking plate on a dining table.  Today’s participants enjoyed cooking and eating the menu.

Hope you bring the recipe back to your country and cook salmon dish at your kitchen.

 

Many thanks

Kisshy

Swordfish Nanbanzuke class with a Foodie family from Sydney(Mar.8th. 2017)

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.

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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!

Akiko

Seafood ramen class on March 22nd

I welcomed a couple from England to have a ramen cooking class.

Menu on March 22nd

Miso ramen, sautéed salmon and fresh vegetables, egg, corn with chicken-shrimp based soup

Tofu gyoza

crushed cucumber salad

sakura-mochi  ( cherry blossom flavored sticky rice cake)

I had a request of non-pork ramen / gyoza at this time from them.  So we cooked salmon ramen and tofu gyoza instead of pork garnished ramen and ground pork gyoza. This menus are my first trial, and both dishes turned out perfect; today’s guests liked them vey much.

Regretfully, I didn’t take any food picture at this time, always though. Since I’m busy when the ramen cooking has done and also I want the guests eat ramen  as early as possible.  It shouldn’t take time to eat ramen so long because the noodle get soggy in the soup after certain time.

Tofu gyoza is good option for vegetarian, made with ingredients you can get anywhere in the world and taste good!

 

 

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Using chop stick for cooking. Yes you can!

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Wrapping gyoza is a fun part!

 

Many thanks

Kisshy