Tonkotsu Ramen & Gyoza class for a German couple

The first class of October 2019 was for a couple from Germany, who has been travelling all over Japan and trying different types of Ramen everywhere.  One of their final stops was my little kitchen in Tokyo and we cooked our home made Ramen and Gyoza, plus a simple fresh salad of cabbage, marinated Kombu and sesame oil. Yumm!

My guests were big fans of Ramen but after cooking with their own hands, they also loved Gyoza very much.  Our Japanese style Gyoza recipe uses some pork  & A LOT of vegetables so it is not as heavy as it may appear. I am sure Gyoza will go greatly with a glass of good German beer!

Many thanks for coming !

Akiko

 

Tonkotsu Ramen &Gyoza class for OZ and US couples

Our menu for this September 2019 class was pork Ramen with Tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, accompanied with fresh salad and Gyoza dumplings, for my guests from Texas and Sydney.

The young couple from US was here to enjoy some authentic Japanese home cooking, husband being a chef at restaurant !  At this time, Japan was hosting our first-time-ever Rugby World Cup and my guests form Sydney were here to cheer the national team of Australia, Warrabies. But there was no game on this day so why not try home-made Ramen  and Gyoza?

Many many thanks for coming to my class!

Akiko

 

Chicken Karaage class for a family

The main dish for this class was chicken Karaage (Japanese style fried chicken), accompanied with aubergine with Miso sauce,  spinach in sesame sauce, Miso soup of Enoki mushroom & fried Tofu (O-a-ge) and a bowl of rice.

My guest was a family from Western Australia.  Their  two young boys were learning Japanese language at school and they also were big fans of our food, wow!  Even my youngest guest adventured to use our smoked Bonito grater.

Boys were looking for a Bento box to take home from Tokyo.  Chicken Karaage is one of the best food to put in lunch boxes and children in our country, including my own, all love it.  It is a kind of menu Japanese Mum and Dad make when we want to cheer up kids, or for a special occasion Bento such as  school excursions etc.

Like most family menu, each house has a slightly different Chicken Karaage recipe. I use potato starch for batter and garlic & ginger for flavor.  My  young guests liked them very much but what they also loved was a bowl of rice with a sprinkle of Furikake (flakes of salty smoked Bonito, herbs, sesame etc.), so truly Japanese homey style!

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

 

Pork Ramen & Gyoza class

Another Pork Ramen & Gyoza class with a couple from San Francisco, USA.  My guest couples visited me after travelling various places & cities in Japan and they told me they have been trying many different Ramens around the country.

As you may be well aware, Ramen could be chicken, pork or seafood broth, and flavored with Miso, soy sauce or simply salt. Topping choices are also very wide & always new types of Ramen are coming up. That is part of the reason this comfort food in a simple bowl keep alluring so many people. On the other hand,  I am always a little worried if what we are making at my small kitchen  is what my guests were looking for.

My guest couple did a wonderful presentation of topping for their 1st home-made Ramen & mastered how to fold and make neat frills on Gyoza dumplings. I am sure they are making some more at their home kitchen after their trip to Tokyo.

Many thanks for coming!

Akiko

 

Tonkotsu Ramen & Gyoza Class

My guest couple here (back in 2019) was from California, USA and their main dish was one of our most requested menu, Ramen with pork broth & Miso, plus Gyoza dumplings. But I also received one unusual request as we start,   if we can play some music while preparing our lunch!

And that is exactly what I do when I am cooking  by myself.  Why not, no problem at all, let’s play some music! But I only knew some very old tunes from 80s (my age) and my Alexa understood only Japanese language. I manage to make Alexa play a few reggae tunes for my guest but I am afraid it was not so exciting a choice …That was an only regret from this class.

Still preparation of Ramen & Gyoza all went very smoothly and my guests completed some delicious Japanese dishes as shown in the photo.  These sizzling menus were a bit hot for early September daytime, so I prepared a little glass of sweets to chill us down before my guests were off to Tokyo streets.

I was very happy my guests liked my after-Ramen sweets very much they wanted to know the exact name of this dessert.  As I replied there is actually no name & appreciate if they could name it, my guests pondered for some seconds and said ‘Summer Cream’.  Indeed, it has a bright orange color of mango like the sun in the summer!

Many thanks for coming & nice naming!

 

Akiko

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.

musubi_blog_Ramen & Gyoza class
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 glucose) 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.

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

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!