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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!

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.

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!

Pork Ramen & Gyoza class

This lovely couple from Florida, USA was another big fan of Naruto & Ramen!
I always ask my guests to taste a few kinds of Miso in my stock. The differences come from the percentage of rice & soybeans, amount of salt, period of fermentation, as well as special Koji, the fungus each Miso maker is using.
In this class, my guest couple loved our Red Miso so much that we decided to adjust the composition of seasonings and add a lot of Red Miso. The result was a nice and spicy bowl of Ramen we all enjoyed a lot!
In mid-June, our climate starts getting wet and humidity goes up higher and higher each day, that may be one reason the powerful taste of Red Miso works great.

They were here to learn how to cook Ramen & Gyoza, so when they return home, their souvenir for friends looking after their doggy and family would be a table of Japanese-style dinner. I loved that idea very much & hope I could be of a little help.

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

Sushi-making & Sake-tasting for Nike

In early December we welcomed a group of 20+ people from Nike!

This was the 2nd time organized a gathering for this global company in Tokyo. We were very happy to hear that participants liked their team-building lunch back in August, so they decided to contact us again for an evening function.

We planned a Sushi roll & Temari Sushi cooking class. All ingredients for fillings and toppings were prepared in advance, but the guests had to make their Sushi seasoning and mix it with steamed rice, then start rolling & shaping their Sushi for dinner.

Although this cooking class was held after a long day at their global meeting, everybody did great work and everything went so smoothly that all results were beautiful and delicious!

After enjoying our tasty Sushi and other food including chicken Karrage, spinach with sesame sauce, fresh colorful veggies with Miso-Mayo dip, pork slices, sweet egg rolls, etc., it was time for the Sake tasting quiz! There are lots of types and brands of Sake in Japan. It was hard for us to choose just a few kinds, but we hope it turned out a good opportunity for our guests to try something different.

We would be very happy if we could be of a little help to discover some new charms of Japanese gastronomy!

Yuki & Akiko

 

Tempura, Sushi and Gyoza class WOW

This was probably one of the most challenging classes this year but we made it!
Thankfully we had 5 very skilled participants from BC Canada and Michigan US at this class.
The main dish choices are Tempura of prawns, Maitake mushroom (my favorite!), and vegetables, plus Sushi roll with Maguro(tuna), salmon, and greens. For side dishes, we prepared a small portion of Gyoza with pork and shrimp & spinach with our flavorful sesame sauce.

We started grating smoked bonito for Dashi soup stock, then prepared Sushi rice with seasonings, chopped veggies and wrapped Gyoza, and finally deep-fried Tempura and rolled Sushi!

And I was astonished that one of my guest ladies was going to be a speaker at a medical conference held in Tokyo that same evening! Indeed some people are super talented.
I have also learned one new thing in this class. My guest told me that avocado in Sushi rolls are first created by a Japanese chef in British Columbia, although we often call it ‘California’ style. I must visit ‘Tojo’s’ in Vancouver one day.
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 meatballs 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 a 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 in Japan as well as Australia. A very relaxing moment with yummy food after a few hard-working hours in the kitchen!
I hope my guest ladies from Australia enjoyed their time at my place as much as I did.
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko