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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.

musubi_blog_Ramen & Gyoza class

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!

musubi_blog_Ramen & Gyoza class

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.

Agedashi Tofu, Okonomiyaki pancake & more

This was a private class with 2 main dishes & more; Agedashi Tofu (deepfried Tofu dipped in Dashi sauce), Tenpura with prawns and mushrooms, and savory Okonomiyaki pancake with pork, cabbage etc.
My guest are from Chicago, USA. A talented couple of architect and doctor wishing to try some Japanese home made dishes.  I felt very close to her from the beginning, then we found out that we are both mothers of twin kids! meaning you have gone thru a lot and somehow survived until today…

There were a lot of chopping and slicing and frying to do, but we made it beautifully!  Plenty of food and fun chatting over lunch table.
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Gyoza & healthy veggie sides for American girls

Today’s main dish was Gyoza dumplings with pork, Chinese cabbage, garlic chives, green leek & more! Side dishes as eggpant with sweet & savory Miso sauce, fresh cabbage salad with pickled Kombu, etc.

Welcome to my Tokyo kitchen!  It was such a fun class with beautiful American young ladies.  Good friends from high school days, good team work naturally!

Can you believe we have made all these Gyoza with hands, filling was made from scratch?  It is actually very simple and easy. Gyoza is really fun to make with friends, eat with friends.
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

Lots of seafood for a US athlete couple

This was a 2 main dish course request from an American couple. We cooked Salmon Nanbanzuke marinade and Okonomiyaki pancake as our main dishes, plus a few side dishes with vegetables and seasonal fruits.
My guest couple was both very fit as regular climbers and bouldering experts, so salmon was a good choice for their muscles. We also chopped some squid and put in our Okonomiyaki, as well as pork, cabbage, leek and Naga Imo potato, which is exactly how I make it for my family.

When I asked him if there is any favorite Japanese ingredients, he replied
” Unagi and Uni (eel and sea urchin)!! ”,
so I knew he is quite familiar with our dietary, then it turned out his Mum is Japanese!

Obviously he has been eating yummy Japanese home made dishes all his life, and I  do hope that he & his girlfriend liked what we prepared together at my kitchen.
Many thanks for coming!

2 main dishes class

Okonomiyaki! “Japanese pan cake” is for the lunch or the dinner not for the dessert. We put pork, Shrimp and Cabbage and yam and one more ingredient which is secret:-).

Salmon-NanbanZuke. Salmon marinated in sour sauce which you can arrange with other white fish or Chicken too.

Itadakimasu! thank you for coming!

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