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

 

食材について①

今日はベルギーからのご夫婦とフランスからの男性、そしてしばらく東京に滞在しているフランス人の若い女性がいらっしゃいました。今日は偶然に皆さんフランス語を話される方が集まったクラス。情報交換をされた(多分??)フランス語で盛り上がっておられました。

 

教室でのメニューは鯵の南蛮漬け、きゅうりの胡麻和え、茄子田楽、薬味をたっぷりのせたカツオの刺身、ごはんと味噌汁でした。

 当クラスのメニューに関しては、和食の基本調味料(醤油、みりん、酒・味噌)が手に入ればどの国でも和食、又は和食に近い料理ができるようにレシピを提案しています。

 材料に関しては、名称が同じ野菜でも形や味が違うことが多いです。  例えば、茄子はどの国でも手に入るので夏から秋にかけてで教室ではよく使う食材です。 日本の茄子は一つが掌に収まるほどの大きさでへたが紫色です。しかし、アジア以外ではどっしりとして掌いっぱいに広げた大きさでへたが緑色の、いわゆる米茄子が主流です。教室では味噌の紹介とともに田楽味噌を作り、揚げ焼きにした茄子にのせるのですが、お客さんには日本独自の茄子は味が濃くてジューシーで美味しいですねと言われることが度々あります。

 教室に来られた方には、自国で茄子田楽を料理するときのアドバイスをします。米茄子は皮が固いのでところどころ縞状に剥いて、焼くときには油も吸収するので多めの油を使って料理をすることを勧めます。上手に揚げ焼きにすると、とろっとした食感が田楽味噌とよく合います。

 また、同じようにきゅうりも手に入りやすい食材として多用します。 日本のきゅうりは細くやや短く、種があまりないのが特徴です。ピクルスに使われる短くて太いきゅうりもありますが、種が多く皮が厚いので和食を作る時には工夫が必要です。きゅうりも日本のものと比べると皮が厚く固いので、茄子の様にピーラーなどで縞状に剥き、縦半分に切り、種の部分はスプーンでくり抜くようにしてから同じように料理すると良いですよ、とお伝えしています。

 日本の長ネギもアジア以外で見かけることが少ないので、日本でいう青ネギのような(spring onion でも代用できると伝えています。

 教室に来られる皆さんが料理好きで、自国に帰っても和食を作ってみたい、という方だけでなく、日本の家庭ではどんなものを作って食べているんだろう、と思われる方もいらっしゃるので、食材の手に入りやすさに関わらず、日本でしかないけれど旬の食べ物も紹介しています。

 夏の間はカツオのお刺身をみょうが、紫蘇、生姜をたっぷりのせてほんの少しずつお試し頂きました。カツオはたたきでないので、ちょっと味がお口に合うかな?と思いましたが、皆さん美味しそうに召し上がって下さりました。

 教室に来られる方の目的も、自宅に持ち帰って和食を作ってみたい方や、ローカルの食体験をしてみたい方など様々ですので、皆さんに少しでもお役に立てる情報の引き出しを作れるようにしたいと思いました。

 jul 29th

 

An Interview about Japanese food culture by Polish writers

I had an interview by book authors; Polish lady who is a Tokyo expats and a man who came from London.

This is the second time to come for the interview  following the last September.

She’s been researching Japanese food culture and food ways since she has started to live in Tokyo about 2 years ago.   She has already studied Japanese seasonal event and  festivals through hear experiences and readings.  Honestly it is embarrassing that she understands some of the cultural events and its origin better than me. wow!

She requested some recipes we, Japanese commonly eat in summer.    Then I offered “Hiyashi-chuka” , “mackerel in nanban marinade, Japanese style escabeche” “Eggplant nebeshigi“and  “Corn rice”.

Hiyashi-chuka means “Cold ramen noodle”.  I like this noodle dish during hot season rather than hot ramen noodle.  Most ramen shop, Chinese restaurant and some Japanese restaurant begin to offer this dish at this season with like those posters in front of the shop.

“Now we offer Hiyashi-chuka”  summer feature in Japan

冷やし中華始めました に対する画像結果  冷やし中華始めました に対する画像結果

This dish consists of julienned cucumber, julienned chicken breast or ham, julienned omelets, tomato wedges and  chilled noodle with soy sauce based sesame flavored dressing.

If you like ramen, this noodle is worth to try during the season.  It is not easy to find this dish during fall to spring seasons since we don’t feel like willing to eat this noodle when those cold seasons though.

 

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We also cooked nanban-zuke ( Japanese style eschabeche) and Egg plant nabeshigi ( cook with miso sauce), and rice cook with fresh corn.

They liked those menus as Japanese summer flavor.

Thank you very much to add my recipe to your book.

 

Many thanks.

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian & seafood sushi class on May 8th.

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.  

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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. 

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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!

 Akiko

Flower bud as a spring delicacy on April 24th Tempura class

I welcomed a couple from Quebec, Canada and the lady turned out to be a professional working at the culinary institute. Her husband had lived in Tokyo for some years before and very knowledgeable about our food culture so I was quite nervous not to disappoint them with my cookings. 

Both of them were such lovely foodies, who really enjoy cooking. We were chatting and chatting about all kinds of foods and it was such a fun time!

They liked Tempura and my easy side dish of crushed cucumbers very much, while they told me that sweet egg roll omelet was a little strange taste for them, as French omelet is always savory. It is truly interesting to know what is appealing and what is not so.

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 For this Tempura occasion, I picked up our popular spring delicacy, called ‘Fuki no Tou’ as one of the ingredients for deep frying. I googled up the English translation of Fuki, which was ‘butterbur scape’ or Petasites japonicas.  Does it make sense?  Maybe it is not eaten much outside Japan.  Here is a photo of Fuki no Tou.

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Fuki is a kind of vegetable and it looks like Rhubarb but the taste is totally different. Only around spring time, buds of Fuki flowers are available and I like to eat them as Tempura. It has some bitterness along freshness, appreciated as a sign of early spring nutrition.

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My guests from Quebec liked Fuki no Tou, as well as prawns, eggplants, Shiso leaves, Okura, Kabocha pumpkins etc. I hope they enjoyed their cooking experience at my kitchen as much as I did.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

Vegetarian tempura class

We have Vegetarian tempura class today. The guests came  from the Michigan,  US and an expats who lives in Nagoya.

There are two sweet and cute young girls, tried to cook tempura and other dishes together.

Tempura seems not easy to fly as crispy.  People ask the questions how to cook proper way to cook.

I would say, tempura is common home cooking, so the preparation shouldn’t be so complicated. However I would say not expect as crispy as in the restaurant.

When I’ve lived in the U.S, I used to use all purpose flour and sparkling water for tempura batter. And I still use those ingredients when I cook at home.

I’ve been subscribing Japanese traditional cooking class every week and I’ve learned how to cook tempura in proper way.  The recipe in the cooking class contains flour, rice flour, egg and water. All the ingredients should be chilled enough.  The mixture shouldn’t be mixed too much, so mix them with chopsticks gently. and the consistency should be lumpy.

As a result, the tempura is thin battered and very crisp, and the vegetable has still moisture and very fresh texture.

It is absolutely fine recipe to skilled Japanese cook, but  the recipe doesn’t suit people who cook tempura fist time in my class. Sparkling water and flour make good batter for crispy enough tempura.

So I’ve kept teaching my easy recipe in the class. I heard some people tried my tempura recipe in their country and satisfied them. Believe me!

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The popular tempura in this season is spring onion kakiage. kakiage means mixed julienned vegetable fly. The onion contains moisture and has sweet flavor.  I usually add baby dried shrimp into tempura batter for non-vegetarian tempura, and people love it. I didn’t add shrimp at this time, but added julienned carrot. The guests liked the onion tempura.

Hope they enjoy cooking easy tempura for family!

 

Many thanks!

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Roll Sushi Class on March 9th.

One of the best seafood dishes on earth is Sushi, at least, for me. It takes so many years of training to become a decent sushi master but thankfully there are alternative ways to enjoy sushi at family dinner or gathering with friends, that is, Roll Sushi.

Roll sushi is like sandwich.  You can roll anything except sand & witch!?  Well maybe.  But if you are visiting Japan, I think you should definitely try rolling our beautiful fatty tuna and salmon.

All you need to cook is some short grain rice.  Usually you put as much rice as water when you start boiling rice. But for sushi rice, water should be a little less than rice, as you are going to add some vinegar, salt and sugar later when it is cooked. 

For some stuff to roll, sashimi quality tuna(Maguro) or salmon, greens such as cucumbers, shiso leaves, spring onion or avocado. Avocado was never used in traditional Japanese sushi cooking before but it is changing. I honestly  respect the person who discovered the combination of raw tuna and avocado. It is just so delicious in roll sushi!

You  need a little bamboo mat to shape your roll sushi into a nice log figure. It may seem a little complicated process but once you start rolling, rice naturally sticks to each other and a sheet of black seaweed will cover up everything beautifully. 

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Here is my class of sushi rolls on March 9th . I welcomed 4 guests from USA. Some of them are already visiting Japan many times and some are 1st timers but ALL sushi rolled up perfectly. It was literally a hands-on experience (lots of rice on your fingers!) and tasted good, too, as you can see on their big smiles!

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Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

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