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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.

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.

Musubi blog Ramen & Gyoza class

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

Pork Ramen & Gyoza class

My guest couple was from Germany and Holland, beautiful performing artists and another people attracted by our comfort food, Ramen & Gyoza.

Both of them were very knowledgeable about Japanese cuisine, enjoying seeing a whole piece of smoked Bonito and dried Kombu seaweed etc. They are very important ingredients for our cooking.

Hot sizzling Gyoza was also something they loved while travelling in Japan. It is so simple and easy to prepare, once you hear a few tips! I hope they are now making Gyoza dumplings at times back in Europe.

Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Gyoza time with doctors from east and west

Gyoza class with two pairs of couples, from US and UK. While making Gyoza filling and wrapping them, we were chatting about all sorts of things about food and not about food, then surprisingly, 3/4 of my guets were in medical field!  It was interesting to find out about differences in  education system to be a doctor in each country.

Making a piece of Gyoza into nice shape! Much easier than it may look.

The amount of filling shoule be one spoonful as shown here. It might be tastier if you have more inside, but be careful not to push in too much and ended up breaking!
I hope my guests enjoyed their time at Tokyo apartment kitchen.
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Private Class for Vegetarian Dishes with Autumn harvests

The main dish was chosen as Vegetarian Ramen for a guest lady from Israel who has been vegetarian for many years. Side dishes include cold fresh cabbage with Konbu marinade, Gyoza dumplings with lotus root, Kaki (persimmon) & greens dressed with creamy Tofu sauce etc.
My guest was very interested in Japanese Dashi soup stock with dried Shiitake mushrooms & Kombu kelp. Both are essential products for Umami in our cooking.
Kombu is very rich in glutamate or glutamic acid, which is contained in most vegetables but by far the most in dried Kombu. Another ingredient known for richness in glutamate is dried tomato.
Dried shiitake is known for its richness in guanylic acid or GMP, like many kinds of mushrooms around the world including dried porcini. This may be explaining why many Japanese people are deeply in love with Italian food!?

My guest lady was a medicinal food professional with a vast knowledge about Chinese herbal medicine & dietary, so it was very inspiring to share some time with her in the kitchen cooking and talking about various vegetables and foods!
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Chicken Karaage & Chicken Lotus Meat Balls class

The main dish request was Chicken Karaage, one of our best sellers & very popular home cooked food all over Japan!
We also cooked chicken meat balls with our autumn/winter vegetable, lotus root, seasoned with Miso.
When I cook these chicken menus for my family, I usually pile them up on a simple big plate and tell my kids ‘Help yourself!’ But for my guests from Australia, I chose a little bamboo basket to serve our chickens to add a touch of Japanese taste and welcoming feeling.
In our rice, we added some Black Rice. This type of rice is popular among Japanese ladies lately as it is rich in fiber, vitamin B, minerals etc. In short, good for your health & beauty!
As we enjoyed our lunch, we talked about various social & cultural topics of Japan as well as Australia. Very relaxing moment with yummy food after a few hard working hours at kitchen!
I hope my guest ladies form Australia enjoyed their time at my place as much as I did.
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Vegetarian & Chicken Ramen for a family reunion

It was a request from a daughter who is now working in Germany to cook vegetarian Ramen & Gyoza, with her loving parents visiting from Australia. My pleasure to host a family reunion in Tokyo!
For Mum and Dad, we cooked some simmered chicken for Ramen and included pork in Gyoza filling.
For vegetarian Ramen, the topping was fried Tofu, cilantro, diced tomato, stir-fried eggplant & mushrooms etc. Of course soy sauce and Mirin flavored egg, too.

There was a lot of preparations to do but my guest family made it and our lunch tasted wonderful!
Before coming to my place, they were travelling the route of a Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho’s tour up north to Matsushima and it was very interesting to hear about their experiences, including a beautiful Haiku poem father created during his stay in Matsushima!
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Pork ramen class with guests from Hamburg & Pescala

My guests for this pork ramen & gyoza class were couples from Pescala,  Italy and Hamburg, Germany. It was a terrible morning  as the huge typhoon was passing Japan the night before and our notorious rush hour trains were packed and crowded as ever!  Still they all managed to arrive at my place & I was very very grateful.

One of their favorite was  ‘Char siu’, grilled pork slices on top of Ramen. They showed me a few photos of Menya Musashi bowls and my goodness, their pork slice is so thick!  For sure, Ramen is evolving in various directions….

It was also very interesting to hear about various types of Ramens in Europe today. I love exchanging foodie informations!
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Honeymooners from Tel Aviv cooking Japanese comfort food

Today’s class guests are happy sweet honeymooners from IT capital, Tel Aviv, Israel. We cooked Ramen with pork soup stock.

I also adventured to use simmered Konbu kelp in cabbage salad, which is our family’s favorite quick dish. Here we use Konbu like herbs and it goes really nicely with sesame oil. Please try if you have some left over Konbu after making Dashi broth.

The couple told me some very interesting stories about their culture & life, my favorite part of doing cooking classes for travellers!
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko