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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 on max. 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. Freshly grated ones have a different level of 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 not to chop off  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

My guest lady 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 homemade Ramen not too bad!
Many thanks for coming!

Gyoza & Edamame class

The main dish choice by my guest couple from Melbourne, Australia was Gyoza, pork, and veggies Potstickers Japanese style! Side dishes include aubergine with sweet Miso sauce, fresh cabbage salad with pickled Kombu slices, and Miso soup. It was a hot day in early summer so we boiled some Edamame beans as well. Fresh Edamame is available only in the 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!
In this cooking class, we used Mirin to make sweet Miso sauce. The main ingredient for Mirin is Mochi Rice (a very sticky type of rice, rich in glucose) while Miso is mainly made with soybeans. If you use white Miso, this sweet sauce tastes almost like salty caramel but is 100% veggie-made!
I have a lot of great memories of Victoria and Melbourne. It was such a nice time for me to hear 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 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 pack of mixed 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 some parts of our recipes. This is the beauty of cooking your dinner!

Musubi Seafood Sushi class4 Musubi Seafood Sushi class2

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 lucky 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 class3The nice tangy fragrance of fresh Wasabi does not keep long in the fridge. If you have some leftovers, wrap them in saran wrap and freeze until your next Sushi or Sashimi occasion.
Many thanks for coming!

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, was 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. Or you can cook from scratch if you like to create your own roux with your choice of spices.
If you have time, keep stirring chopped onion 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 a cafe owner in Canada. In fact she was visiting Japan at this occasion to deepen her expertise as patisserie. Her boyfriend 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!

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 that 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 tastes 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

Seafood Nanban class

Blog Ramen & Gyoza class

My favorite menu, seafood Nanban style for the main dish!

Blog Ramen & Gyoza class

Since my guest family from England, the UK & a couple from Germany were all willing to try some seafood dish cooking experience, I have prepared a mix of ingredients including prawns, salmon, swordfish, and a side dish using salt-and-chili flavored cod roes (Mentaiko).

If you wouldn’t fancy ‘fish eggs’ on your holiday, imagine something like ‘pink caviar’ 、that is our Mentaiko(except being a lot saltier and spicy).  For Japanese cooking, it plays a role like an anchovy, I think. In this class, we made a salad of lightly boiled lotus root & Mentaiko.

Blog Ramen & Gyoza class

My guests were ready for some new culinary adventure & I was very happy to see they all liked what we cooked together. Such a delight to see all plates empty after the class!

Blog Ramen & Gyoza class

I must add one more thing my guest liked, Mugi-cha, or toasted barley tea. It is something everybody drinks here during summer as it has no caffeine contained. There are a variety of barley tea bags available at supermarkets so easy to make as well!

Blog Ramen & Gyoza class

Many thanks for coming!

Blog Ramen & Gyoza class

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 the 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 guests were in the medical field!  It was interesting to find out about differences in the 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 should 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 the Tokyo apartment kitchen.
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Chicken karaage class for a foodie couple

Our all-time favorite, Chicken Karaage is a main dish today!
Served with “black” rice, Miso soup with potato, Mitsba herb, etc. & vegetable side dishes with sweet and savory sauces.

My guest was a couple from the US. Both of them are great cooks & the husband turned out to be a specialist in pickled vegetables. Of course, I ask him a favor to send me a recipe, which I did receive and am enjoying now, THANK YOU!!!   One of my daughters is a big vegetable eater and she LOVEs pickled food.

Here is the table of our lunch with Karaage, aubergine, etc. Good food, good fun talk with good company.  Always been my favorite moment.
I hope my guests also liked their experience at the Tokyo apartment kitchen.
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Seafood Sushi class for US MBAs

Fresh seafood & vegetables +  short grain rice +rice vinegar, salt & sugar
= SUSHI!
I make them for my kid’s gatherings. Today it was a request from my guest MBA students from Pennsylvania USA.

Pounding sesame seeds here for one of our popular dishes, spinach with sesame sauce. Tossed sesame smells really great, with its rich aroma filling the whole kitchen and made us all so hungry!

Voila! The sushi roll plate is completed!
I hope this will be one of the happy moments in Tokyo for young students to remember…
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko