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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramen & Gyoza class for a future food business owner -September 2017

This was a calss for a solo traveller from Australia who is willing to cook Ramen and Gyoza. At first I thought he is one of many Ramen & Gyoza lovers but as we talk preparing our lunch, I learned that he is already working at an Asian food business and hope to be independent some day.

In fact he is so serious that he took 3 cooking classes during his short stay in Tokyo! I was honored to be a little part of  these opportunities during his limited time in my country.

I love good food but never worked as a chef by the way, still I  hope he found his experience with Japanese Mum & home cooking at my kitchen worth his time & effort…

The way he mixed the chopped vegetables and minced pork meat for Gyoza filling was super!  It requires a good strong pressure so each separate ingredients become together.

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One thing he liked very much was our Japanese style eggs.  As one of the Ramen toppings, we often prepare flavoured boiled eggs. it is tasty as a topping for simple steamed rice, too.

For its flavour, I use soy sauce, Mirin and smoked bonito if my guest is OK with seafood. You need to keep it in a fridge for a few days so the eggs turn brown outside but inside is till bright yellow. They add a nice colour in a Ramen bowl.

I hope my guest had a good time and wish him the best of luck for his future in Asian food business, I am sure he will be very successful!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

Ramen Class on October 13th

I welcomed three participants today in the class ; a  couple from Israel and  a man from Mexico, who visited for annual Food Show exhibition.

We made ramen, gyoza and a cucumber dish today for lunch time.  I’m glad our ramen class become popular and we can share many people to cook home made ramen without MSG.

We prepare so much vegetables, so our  ramen and gyoza menus are quite healthy.

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In my class, I  cook braised pork and seasoned egg the day before. Because it is too short time to cook  pork, we call it char shu, in 2 hours our cooking time. I tried to cook it in 2 hours, hopefully I could show how to make the pork from scratch, in the result it is still chewy, the meat is not enough to soft.  So I decide it to prepare the day before. So far the people understand it and enjoy soft and moisture braised pork on ramen noodles.

Today’s participants enjoy cooking ramen, also making gyoza wrapping. Every body try to make nice shape of gyoza, which is fun.

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Look at his well done gyoza flairs and super smiling!

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Then the participants have ramen together with chatting.  Lunch time become social time, the participants enjoy to talk about their different food culture.

 

Many thanks!

Kisshy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon Nanban-zuke class on August 25th

I welcomed beautiful couple from Munich in German.   The lady speaks and understand Japanese little. Both of them are Japanese food lover.

After our communication by email, we decide to cook Salmon nanban-zuke for the main dish.

Both of them are home cookers, so we cooked very fast and efficiently.

I usually prepare Japanese broth, using sea kelp and bonito flakes. Those ingredients only use for infuse the flavor, so i usually discard the left overs after simmered ingredients.  I knew, this is kind of against Japanese culture, mottai-nai .

*Mottainai from wiki

Mottainai (もったいない[mottainai]) is a Japanese term conveying a sense of regret concerning waste.[1] The expression “Mottainai!” can be uttered alone as an exclamation when something useful, such as food or time, is wasted, meaning roughly “what a waste!” or “Don’t waste.”[2] In addition to its primary sense of “wastefulness”, the word is also used to mean “impious; irreverent” or “more than one deserves”.[3]

Mottainai is an old Buddhist word, which has ties “with the Shinto idea that objects have souls.”[2] Mottainai has been referred to as a tradition,[2] a cultural practice,[4] and an idea which is still present in Japanese culture,[2] which has become an international concept.[5]

 

Then I decided to cook furikake, using leftover of Japanese broth, which is go with cooked rice.  See in the middle of the plate in white little dish.

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We cooked Salmon nanban -zuke, cucumber with creamy sesame dressing, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, Japanese style egg omelette, furikake, edamame rice and miso soup.

Both of them loved those dishes, and I’ m so glad they enjoyed.  The lady sent me Japanese meal cooked by herself. It looked so gorgeous and much better than my work.

Thank you for remind me of Mottainai!

Many thanks,

Kisshy

 

 

Sushi class for a family from Netherland

I welcomed a family of 4 for sushi class.  Yes, cooking sushi is popular than cooking ramen in this season since it’s been very warm in Japan!?

The temperatures in Tokyo these days are almost 30’s Centigrade and almost 70 %  of humidity. If you walk outside, you may sweat even though  just staying still or walking slowly.

Anyway, I’m always good relieve when I see  the customer shows up at the meeting point for cooking class. Everybody looks great, and exciting for the class, that is I expect for people. I am always exciting to meet new people who love cooking, too!

I sincerely enjoy sharing  cooking with people who like Japan, Japanese culture and Japanese food.

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When the time for rolling sushi, I become very serious to teach how to roll it. It is necessary to use both palms and fingers fits on the mat to make round shape of the roll.

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Yes! everyone did a great job!

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Every family member liked sushi rolls!  Hope you will make sushi roll again in your country.

 

Many thanks

Kisshy

 

 

 

Ramen without Dashi broth, still yummy! /June 2017

At this class, one of the guest preferred not to use any seafood. I usually make Dashi stock and pork /chicken stock for making Ramen soup. As you may have heard, Dashi stock  is the backbone for Japanese culinary but it uses smoked bonito fish flakes etc., thus not recommended if you do not like seafood.  But don’t worry, Ramen without Dashi turned out absolutely gorgeous with other seasonings. 

In fact, there are many recipes of Ramen around Japan and the variety just keeps growing all the time.  There are not a few bloggers in Japan who enjoy Ramen shop-hopping and report on each Ramen they tasted.

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Talking about blogs, another guest lady was a food blogger and her page was full of yummy photos. It was a pity I cannot read Spanish or Italian, the language she is writing, but all the photos are really mouth-watering. 

Her lovely daughter was also joining my cooking class. As a youngest participant, she was naturally appointed to hand-mixing of sticky Gyoza fillings, the most tiring part of Gyoza making but she has completed her mission very well.

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The whole family were such foodies that the father, a very skilled vegetable chopper, explained to me some interesting stories about Italian Ravioli making. It was a fun class with lots of food information exchange!

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I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen.  Many thanks for coming,

 

Akiko

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

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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Ramen making experience at home kitchen (March 7)

Did you know ramen is not actually a very traditional menu for us Japanese? Yet it is so popular now throughout Japan. Each region and shops has its original recipe for soup, noodles and toppings.

It is originally from Chinese cookery so the base soup stock is often made with chicken. But the variety keeps growing. Kyushu region (southern island of Japan) is famous for its thick pork soup stock called ‘Ton-kotsu(i.e. pork bones)’ and now this is everybody’s favorite  even around Tokyo area.

Many shops like to add Japanese Dashi soup stock, too, as it brings more complex aroma with seafood ingredients. Or there is a shop famous for its Italian ramen in my neighbourhood, using tomato etc. But spaghetti has its origin in Chinese noodles so this makes sense.

At Musubi Cooking Tokyo, we also receive quite a few inquiries for ramen cooking and here I challenged to cook our home-made ramen with my 3 guest from Philipine and Brazil.

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I have prepared chicken & pork soup stock in advance, as it takes many hours to prepare, mostly simmering. At the class, we made Dashi soup stock with smoked bonito flakes and Niboshi (dried sardins), then mix with the other stocks.

Toppings for ramen could be anything but the most popular choice may be pork slices. Again, it takes a few hours simmering on low heat to prepare nice and melty smooth pork so I showed my guests how to prepare it until you come to the final process of simmering.

Once the ramen is ready, you really must start eating it right away, no bother talking or socializing with others at the table, because the ramen noodles get soggy very soon and that ruins the whole effort.  Slurping is just fine, as that is the only way to taste both noodle and soup together while everything is still hot!

Ramen is our comfort food and it made everybody feel much more relaxed and closer. We had a lot of fun talk after finishing our ramen bowls, even some secret stories how the couple met etc. I hope my guest enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as I did. Thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

 

Japanease cooking class on Sep 29th

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

     Mackarel Nanban-zuke

   Cucumber  sesame dressing

eggplant with miso-egg sauce

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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

http://www.sophia.ac.jp/eng/info/news/2016/9/globalnews_2042/09262016

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!!

Kisshy