Essentials of Japanese Cuisine Day 1 and Day 2

Posted on Oct 6, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog

I am back on the Essentials of Japanese Cuisine teaching at French Culinary Institute. Day 1’s highlight was the preparation of dashi stock (requires a state of zen mind), fun home-made udon noodles and perfect tempura using seasonal vegetables. Here are some of the photos from the class. To roll the dough out I had to stand on a stand….short person’s dilemma. Everyone rolled out the udon dough into perfect thickness, resulting delicious cold udon dish (gomadare udon). We prepared tempura with beets, zucchini, maitake mushroom, shiso and carrot. Careful attention to the temperature of the oil and properly made tempura batter created crisp, light and delightful tempura. Everyone also challenged the kakiage, a thick tempura pancake, and all came out PERFECT. They loved it.

Today’s focus was yakimono, grilling. Chef Jiro of Aburiya Kinnosuke joined us again as a guest chef. Jiro built the bincho-tan grill and taught us how to make yakitori from cutting meat and vegetables into bite sized pieces, putting them on skewers and cooking over bincho-tan fire. Bincho-tan, which creates about 1000 degree F, produces infra red ray. So, every items which are cooked on the bincho-tan acquire crispy outside and juicy, moist inside. We wished that we had a glass of beer with delicious yakitori!

After yakitori, we made nasu no dengaku, eggplant with miso sauce and MISO MARINATED COD (I have recently modified my traditional miso marinade recipe to the one which suits to American pallet – how I did? I added lots of sugar to it….this is how it is done at restaurants here). We made miso soup – no scallion, tofu and wakame – with seasonal vegetables. I added little toban jiang (for slight heat) into the soup and Jiro commented that it was delicious…better than the one from his house..! On your future trip to Aburiya you may taste the miso soup with little toban jinag.

Tomorrow we will work on nimono, simmered dishes.