This was going to be another pork Ramen and Gyoza class for an American couple from San Diego, until I receive a request from a family from Israel, one of whose daughters is Vegetarian but the rest of the family love Japanese pork Ramen. So we ended up making both together!
For vegetarian Ramen, I used dried Shiitake mushrooms and Konbu seaweed for a base soup stock. Then we also cooked fresh mushrooms and garlic with leek, soy milk, sesame paste and miso. For many vegetarian dishes, sesame does a great work but Miso is another very ideal seasoning.
This vegetarian version of Ramen soup turned out very rich and creamy, in fact my other guests also enjoyed tasting this soup.
For vegetarian Gyoza, I usually use Tofu and another kind of mushroom called Maitake. The only thing you need to mind is that Tofu will not be as sticky as meat when mixed, so the ingredients tends to fall apart and it may be a little harder to tack the filling inside Gyoza wrappers. A few drops of sesame oil might help.
The only issue was that there were a lot more preparations than usual and I did not take any photos of our yummy accomplishments (tears in my eyes)…
Many thanks for coming!
The menu was seafood(Swordfish & Salmon) Nanban-zuke, eggplant with sweet Miso sauce, fresh seasonal Bonito marinade with garlic & ginger, Miso soup with fried Tofu and Choy Sum greens.
At this class, I welcomed young Swedish boys from Stockholm, a couple from Chicago, USA and a Canadian traveller from Ottawa .
A lady from US is very knowledgeble about fermented foods and she is making her own Kimchee, Sauerkraut etc. Naturally she was very interested in our fermented pickles i.e. Tsukemono. I was very happy to have a chance to show my Nuka bed and we all tasted my Nuka Zuke-ed cucumbers and carrots.
A gentleman from Canada asked me what kind of wood chips Japanese use in making Katsuo Bushi (Smoked Bonito). That was an unusual question but later he turned out to be a semi-professional chef and makes his own smoked food. No wonder!
Congratulations my team our lunch turned out really yummy !
At our lunch table, my Swedish guests also told us about their exotic fermented food, a kind of canned fish but my old brain hasn’t got enough memory to store this Swedish name…
He told us that some Swedish people were trying to export this product to Japan at one stage, as we are known as seafood crazy but not quite succeeded yet.
Thank you all for lots of interesting stories, many thanks for coming!
Today’s menu was
: Chicken Teriyaki
: Spinach sesame salad
: Eggplant and Green peppers sauté with sweet miso sauce
:Rice and Miso-soup (Tofu and Seaweed)
The guests are fun couple from Switzerland!
They learnt hot to make Chicken Teriyaki TENTER and SOFT !!!So yummy !
It is always fun to talk about the different culture and we laughed a lots about each “fun” culture different.
Thank you for taking the class !
The menu was;
Swordfish and salmon with Nanban-zuke sauce
Lotus with Mentaiko(salted Cod roe with red chili)
Eggplant with sweet & savory Miso sauce
Mis soup with clams
Rice, Pickled vegetables (Nuka zuke)
My guest for this class was a foodie lady from Boston, USA, who was interested in trying some Japanese wine (not Sake but wine produced at vineyards here) with Japanese home-cooking meals.
That was a very rare request as we usually choose Sake along with Japanese cooking. Some typical Japanese favorite like Siokara (salted squid) are so yummy with our Sake, but it will be a nightmare to pair it with wine.
On the other hand, there are various seafood dishes in our traditional meals and I love drinking wines from various parts of the world, so why not?
Here we are two happy girls being adventurous and we tried a few pairing! (I am very sorry our food were almost gone in this picture but please kindly think of this as a good sign!?)
I picked up a bottle from Yamanashi prefecture and another from Nagano pref. My guest told me that she has been studying not just wine tasting but also wine making at wineries! It was a perfect opportunity for me to get an authority’s opinion about pairing Japanese dishes with our domestic wines, how she like or not-like each pairing, how she would describe each taste, etc.
The words my guest chose to express her feelings, various aromas and tastes were truly impressive but all I remember now is that it was just a very happy few hours. Next time she is here, I swear I take notes.
Many thanks for coming!
I welcomed a couple from Vancouver for the class this morning. They requested gyoza as a main dish. Gyoza itself is easy cooking, so i offer making different types of gyoza at the class.
We prepare regular pork gyoza, chicken and shrimp gyoza, and cook as both pan plying and deep flying.
Pan fried gyoza is a common dish, and deep flying is not as common in restaurants, but “oishii“, yummy too. The fried wrapper become crispy, which go with cold beer. ( Sorry, i don’t serve beer in the class though)
Every participants concentrate filling goza in wrappers.
We made pan-fried gyoza, deep fried gyoza, cucumber with creamy sesame dressing, pan fried eggplant with miso sauce, bonito sashimi, edamame rice and miso soup.
I welcomed 2 couples at this class and both happened to be newly engaged, one of them had got engaged just the day before coming to my class, on top of Mt.Fuji, enjoying the panoramic view of sun rise up there!
So the class was full of happy feeling from the start and lots of fun talks. The only incident was that I was too busy chatting to take photos of what we prepared but believe me, they were yummy!
The menus include; pork Gyoza, chicken Karaage (deep-fried with potato starch), Bok Choy style stir fried Komatsuna green. No miso soup for this class as it was a boiling hot summer day.
My happy guests liked Gyoza and chicken very much. To make Karaage, we marinade chicken pieces in a bag of soy sauce etc. Don’t forget to put some garlic and ginger. You may prepare this a day before if you have time.
While wrapping Gyoza, I was asked many questions about our culture and life. Some are not necessarily related to food and very interesting, such as “Why are there no garbage bins on streets nor stations?”, “Do you really eat KFC for Christmas gathering?” etc.
I simply give my answers on each topic. It may not be accurate, but I suppose it is a good chance to get to know the Real Housewives of Tokyo!?
I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen.
Many thanks for coming!
Gyoza, Japanese style dumplings are becoming one of the most popular main dishes these days. It is fun to make, yummy to taste! If you have several guests who have different dietary requirement, you can simply prepare different types of fillings. Some with pork, some with vegetables, which is what I did at this class.
I welcomed 4 girls from Ireland and USA on this day and 2 were vegetarians, so we prepared 2 types; pork Gyoza & mushrooms and tofu Gyoza. Both Gyoza also had vegetables like cabbage and same seasonings.
Once wrapped, they all look exactly the same so just be careful when you cook them to remember which is which.
My guests also liked our side dish with eggplant. In Japanese, eggplant is called ‘Nasu’, a simple short spelling but some Europeans call it ‘aubergine’, sounds more like a French dish with complicated technique but this is another easy and yummy home cooking menu.
The Miso sauce for this menu is sweet and savory. It is hard to explain the taste so you must come and try yourself!
I also learned one new thing about Irish culture from my guests, Leprechaun. Another long spelling but I am a fan of Harry Potter so this was easy to remember. I hope this little man will bring a lot of happiness and good luck to my guest girls from west and east of Japan.
Many thanks for coming!
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.
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.
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!
I hope they enjoyed their time at my kitchen. Many thanks for coming,
Today’s customer had already taken a Japanese home cooking class several years ago and he liked it so much that he wanted to learn more. He was on his business trip to Tokyo so the schedule was a little difficult to sort out but we managed to make it happen!
His request included mackerel with Miso sauce, eggplant with sweet miso sauce, and we made miso soup, too, along with a few other dishes.
Too much miso? No worries Miso is like cheese for Europeans. There are a great variety of Miso in different regions throughout Japan and even ingredients differ, some uses more rice, others add wheat, or only use salt and soy beans. Each family has its own favorite type of Miso I guess.
Miso is salty but rich in nutrition and minerals, sich as vitamins, calcium, lactic acid bacteria, oligo saccharide, dietary fiber etc. which help to keep your digestion system in good condition. Some centuries ago, Miso was an important food to carry around for Samurai warriors on expedition, as it keeps for many months without freezing. And most of all, it is yummy!
My guest was such an experienced Japanese culinery cooker. He said at his home in UK, he cooks Oyako-Don, a chicken and egg on rice bowl frequently and his girlfriend (non-Japanese by the way) loves it, too. How nice to hear that!
He works for a gigantic IT company so after all our dishes are completed, it was my turn to ask him a lot of questions about latest happenings in his industry.
I hope he is now enjoying cooking some mackerel and eggplant with various Miso sauces for his loved ones. 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.