Tempura & Gyoza class

2 x main dishes of Tempura & pork Gyoza for a couple from Australia and UK, based in Sydney, NSW. Fresh Edamame season had arrived so we boiled some as one of our side dishes, plus Miso soup, rice etc.

Deep-frying Tempura on a hot summer day sounds a bit tiring? Well, many of our summer vegetables (aubergine, Kabocha pumpkin, Okura…) are perfect ingredients for Tempura so it is a very poplular dish in summer. Tempura & ice cold beer is our favorite way to enjoy summer evenings in Tokyo.

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If you go to the Tempura master’s restaurant, chef may be using cold press sesame oil, which has no flavor like toasted sesame oil. This oil is regarded as the best quality option for frying light & crispy Tempura but there is one problem, it is quite expensive and not very friendly to my wallet. So I usually mix it with our reasonably priced ‘vegetable’ oil.

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My guest couple went through several processes of preparation and finally we completed a great lunch! Yummmm!! And a lot of fun talk over our feast goes on and on…..

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Many thanks for coming!

Ramen & Gyoza class

Pork Ramen and Gyoza dumpling class for a family from West Virginia, USA!
It was a hot summer day but no worries I got my air conditioner in full operatoin. The very first task for my guests was to grate a whole piece of smoked Bonito, of course.

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It is not as simple as it looks but my teenage guest did a great job and we enjoyed rich Umami & slightly smoky flavor in our Ramen broth. Freshy grated ones have a totally different aroma but sadly it does not last very long.

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We moved on to chop several kinds of veggies, including green leek, Nira or Chinese chive, cabbage etc. for Gyoza filling. Nira has a stronger fragrance on its white part towards its roots so make sure to use the best part.
Pork slices and chicken minced meat, bean shoots & fresh Mitsuba for topping. Don’t forget everybody’s favorite, flavored eggs!

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also has some relations with Hong Kong, one of the dream destinations for all foodies in my country. Japanese Ramen has its origin in Chinese noodles so there are many similarities but differences as well. I hope my guest family found our home made Ramen not too bad!
Many thanks for coming!

Gyoza & Edamame class

Main dish choice by my guest couple from Melbourne, Australia was Gyoza, pork and veggies Potstickers Japanese style! Side dihses include aubergine with sweet Miso sauce, fresh cabbage salad with pickled Kombu slices, Miso soup. It was a hot day in early summer so we boiled some Edamame beans as well. Fresh Edamame is available only in summer months here.
It turned out that both of my guests were already quite familiar with our food, as they have been hosting many Japanese students in Australia. I was surprised to hear that they even have a bottle of Mirin stocked at home for occasional use cooking Japanese dishes!
At this cooking class, we used Mirin to make sweet Miso sauce. Main ingredient for Mirin is Mochi Rice (very stickly type of rice, rich in starch) while Miso is mainly made with soy beans. If you use white Miso, this sweet sauce tastes almost like salty caramel but 100% veggie-made!
Personally I have a lot of great memories in Victoria and Melbourne. It was such a nice time for me hearing all sorts of things about Australia that I almost felt like I were back in Aussie land.
I was so busy chatting that I did not take many photos but it really was a wonderful few hours.
Many thanks for coming!

 musubi_blog3 Gyoza & Edamame class.

Seafood Sushi class

This was a private class for an elegant arty couple from NY, USA and their main dish choice was Sushi roll with seafood, plus egg roll & seaweed salad as sides. Such a nice combination of choices for a hot summer night in Tokyo!

In Japanese cooking, we use a variety of seaweed including black Nori, wrapping sushi rolls, or Wakame, often used in Miso soup. For this salad, I bought a mixed pack of seaweed including red Aka-Tosaka etc. In general, fresh seaweeds are only seasonal but salted or dried ones are available all year round. All you need to do is rinse them in cold water before use.
These sea veggies from the ocean are full of precious minerals and good fiber. No strong smell, easy to handle and easy to stock at home.  Musubi Seafood Sushi class1
My guest lady preferred to use as little salt as possible (in fact, soy sauce and Miso are both quite salty!) so we adjusted the composition of some recipes. This is the beauty of cooking your own dinner!

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It was their first time to see a whole piece of smoked Bonito and even grate it with your own hands! Cheers!!
They made a few beautiful Sushi rolls and loved our Maguro and salmon, and of course freshly grated Wasabi. Fresh Wasabi is not always available at my nearby supermarket (sometimes too dry to grate..) but we were luckly that day I found a nice piece before the class. But if not, Wasabi in tubes are not bad at all and they are more commonly used in our daily life .

Musubi Seafood Sushi class3Nice tangy fragrance of fresh Wasabi does not keep long in the fridge. If you have some leftover, wrap them in saran wrap and freeze until your next Sushi or Sashimi occasion.
Many thanks for coming!

Veggies & prawns Tempura class

My guest was a family from California, USA, who has selected Tempura as their main dish at our home-cooking class. Side dishes were spinach with sesame sauce, aubergine Miso sauce with kumquat peels on top, Miso soup of Enoki mushrooms and Mitsuba.
Lots of vegetables, lots of preparations! And yes, we made a beautiful lunch table in the end. Not only Mum and Dad but also teenagers were very hard working and good cooks as well.

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At the beginning of the class, I like to ask ALL my guets to try grating smoked Bonito. Of course, the familly had to experience it while they were at my Tokyo apartment kitchen.

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Dashi stock made with smoked bonito is an important element for Tempura dip sauce. Add a spoonful of grated Daikon radish and little bit of ginger in your sauce if you like.
Many thanks for coming!musubi-blog-4-Veggies-prawns-Tempura-class

Ramen & Gyoza class

Musubi blog Ramen & Gyoza class

My guests were a US Airforce officer based in the suburb of Tokyo and his wife from Hong Kong, both big fans of Japanese Ramen, and their sister visiting from Seattle USA.
The couple was about to leave Japan and move on to one of their European bases soon. That is why they were interested to learn how to make their favorite Japanese food, Ramen & Gyoza before their departure.

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It was very easy to spot them at the subway station, as she was wearing a Ramen museum T-shirt!
The family was expecting a baby at the time of our cooking class. It was a hot day and nice to have some chilled barley tea which has no caffeine & safe for our young mother and her baby.

 

Musubi blog Ramen & Gyoza class

They also loved my little sweets after lunch, made with mango, yogurt & coconut milk. The recipe is super simple but it tasts so good after hot Ramen and Gyoza in early summer.
Hope they are doing good and even happier with their new little family member,
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Curry & rice class

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Onoin, garlic, ginger, carrot & whole spices, some of the ingredients for Curry roux.

Ramen and Curry have a lot of things in common. Both are not traditional Japanese cuisine and originated from overseas, China and India respectively. Both introduced to our country fairly recently but now the most popular menu among Japanese people of all generations!
Somehow, Ramen has grown so well-known as someting typically Japanese & we receive many requests from visitors at our cooking class, yet not so much for Curry so far.

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So I knew my guest lady from Calgary, Canada, must be very familiar with our local food culture and maybe lived in our country when she mentioned Curry & rice, with pork Katsu (cutlet or côtelette)!
Japanese style Curry can be easy if you use a box of ready-made paste or roux. But it can also be a long recipe if you like to create your own roux from scratch and add your choice of spices.
If you have time, keep stiring chopped onoin over low-middle heat until golden brown, which is going to be the base for your Curry sauce. This process is similar to making French onion soup. Just be VERY careful not to burn your onion!

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‘2 big onion chopped here. It should turn to the color and amount below.

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My guest lady turned out to be a Japanese sweets chef and cafe owner. In fact she was visiting Tokyo at this occasion to deepen her expertise. I suppose menu choice of Curry was more for her personal memory and her boyfriend, who loved our home made Curry very much that he went for a full second serve, which made me super happy of course!
Many thanks for coming!