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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!

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!

Ramen & Gyoza class

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My guests at this class were university students from Philadelphia, USA. They were travelling with some other friends but decided to go on different itinerary this morning to learn how to make Ramen, wow!

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One is studying pottery, while the other in science field but they are long-time good buddies & I am happy to join their relaxed time together in Tokyo.

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Both are very interested in not just Ramen but also Japanese ciusine in general including our various traditional seasonings and cooking tips.

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I hope my guest girls enjoyed their time at my kitchen as much as Studio Ghibli, where they were looking forward to visiting later during their stay.
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

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. Basically the differences come from the percentage of rice & soy beans, amount of salt, period of fermentation, as well as special Koji fungas each Miso makers are using.
At 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 really enjoyed a lot!
In mid June, our climate starts getting wet and humidity goes up higher and higher each day, that maybe one reason powerful tasete 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

Sushi-making & Sake-tasting for Nike

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

This was the 2nd time to organize a gathering for this huge 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 Sushi roll & Temari Sushi cooking class. All ingredients for fillings and toppings were prepared in advance, but the guests had to make their own Sushi seasoning and mix with steamed rice, then start rolling & shaping their own Sushi for dinner.

Although this cooking class was held after a long day at their global meeting, everybody did a 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 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 & AkikoIn early December we welcomed a group of 20+ people from Nike!

This was the 2nd time to organize a gathering for this huge 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 Sushi roll & Temari Sushi cooking class. All ingredients for fillings and toppings were prepared in advance, but the guests had to make their own Sushi seasoning and mix with steamed rice, then start rolling & shaping their own Sushi for dinner.
 
Although this cooking class was held after a long day at their global meeting, everybody did a 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 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
Das

Ramen & Gyoza class for an Aussie couple & Swedish café owner

“Oishi-!”  do as Japanese do when photo-shooting in Japan!?

The main dish for this class was Pork Ramen, with pork broth & Japanese Dashi soup stock, with toppings of Miso flavored pork and meat sauce with Japanese seasonings.
For Gyoza, we chopped cabbage, garlic chives (Nira), leek etc. Add a little bit of grated garlic if you like.
Both are served sizzling hot and full of rich meaty flavors, so I recommended something cold and fresh as a side dish. I would like my guest to try something different while they are at Tokyo apartment kitchen so here it is, fresh cabbage torn into one bite size with hands, marinated with sesame oil, salt and pickled Kombu! If you like soy sauce & vinegar flavor, try this easy side!
My Swedish guest owns a cafe near Stockholm serving some menus inspired by Japanese taste such as Maccha, while my guests from wine country Adelaide were big fans of anime.
I hope they all find our home cooking dishes as good!
Many thanks for coming!
Akiko

Tempura, Sushi and Gyoza class WOW

This was probably one of the most challenging class this year but we made it!
Thankfuly 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 lady 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 at 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

Seafood but No Sushi Class

The main dish request for this class was “something seafood, but not Sushi” as the couple has already learned how to make Sushi before. So we did our popular seafood main dish Nanban style marinade of fried salmon & swordfish.

For side dish choices, my guest picked a menu using Kaki, the seasonal fruit of autumn and one of few indigenous kinds for land of Japan. Plus sweet & savory Miso sauce with grilled eggplant.

My guest couple told me they were living in a motor house and I was as curious as always, so they showed me some photos, and it was way beyond my imagination, truly gigantic! Their kitchen in the motor house is much bigger than mine in Tokyo apartment, with every nice equipment.

I am sure they can cook anything at their beautiful kitchen. Hope they have tried out our Japanese home cooking recipe back home.
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

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!