I don’t know why it is always raining when I held the workshop…. In a way lucky to do indoor activity. The 3rd workshop of “teishoku (set menu)” was dishes easy to eat with hot weather. In Japan it is over 30 degrees in summer. Therefore there are a lot of trick for summer dishes.
The main menu was “tatsuta age of salmon” and the side dish was “goma ae”. Thin slices of paprika, onion, and carrot was marinaded in soy-vinegar. Later added fried salmon. Japanese style of sweet & sour is absolutely the best dish in summer. Japanese sweet sesame source is good to boiled beans or green vegetables. The both dishes are easy to cook.
Set menu has always rice and soup. This time we cooked “gomoku gohan” and “dashi soup with vongole”. Gomoku gohan is something like paella but with soy taste. You shouldn’t open the pot till it is done! Surprise, surprise…. That is the way all Japanese cooks. Vongole soup was very tasty with freshly made fish bouillon.
The April menu was one of the classic lunch box dishes.
It is good for a picnic to bring, especially for the Japanese Hanami (picnic under cherry blossom) event. Sanshoku Sonoro don: Three color top[ping on rice; it is fun to make a landscape on your lunch box. Nimono: Japanese style of boiled vegetables. We will cut and decorate vegetables with special cutting methods, and cook it. A carrot gets a nice flower shape! Suimono: Simple dashi soup without miso paste. This type of soup fits to certain type of dishes.
One of the highlight was cutting technique. Everybody made nice flowers out of carrot. But also I saw some creative ones that became a windmill! We cooked nimono with not only basic vegetables but also typical Japanese ingredients like bamboo shoot, lotus root burdock, and konjac. Those authentic ingredients was good to try in the workshop because people don’t know it but still we can buy in Amsterdam.
We made 3 colors soboro; meat, egg, green vegetable. Soboro means flakes. Making soboro egg, we used 4 chopsticks. This is a real fun cooking which I learned from my mother! Japanese use chopsticks not only for eating but also for innovative cooking.
Suimono was the most simple menu for this workshop. That was also to know what is dashi. Because if you make a good dashi, you hardly need seasonings in your soup!
I don’t know why it always rains when I do the workshop…. Anyway it is good for us to have a nice activity inside a building. This year URBANBERRY COOKING focus on ‘Teishoku Menu’ which is a set menu for lunch and dinner. It consists of a main and a side dish, soup, and rice. The menu of this time was Tatsuta Age of Makreel, Kinpira of Lotus Roots, Miso Soup of Rattich, and Rice Balls.
Preparing of a fish and cutting a lotus root. Everybody concentrated very hard to take out bones and first time touched lotus roots.
‘Tatstuta age’ got a nice crispy skin looks like splash of river of Tatsuta. The name comes from that. You can make ‘Tatstuta age’ with chicken as well. The final touch of ‘kinpira’ is ‘Bonito freak’. With heat the freak moves slowly it looks like alive!
We enjoyed making own rice ball and optional sesam sauce for the fish. Itadakimasu! (いただきます！Eet Smaakelijk!)
Ume is a plum. The dried ume called umeboshi is the most common ingredient for the Japanese breakfast and lunch box. It is a kind of topping on white rice. I found it is a difficult food for some foreigners because it is very salty. So this workshop was a challenge. But I wanted to make it because I love ume!
After introducing each other we ate kinpira gobou as a snack. I made it to introduce gobou which is a typical vegetable for Japanese dishes. With the cooking instruction we tasted 3 types of ume. Two were homemade and one is the famous Kishu ume. We also tasted ume-shu, plum wine.
We started to cook vegetables for beef rolls. At the same time everyone cooked their own Japanese omelette. It was difficult to make layers by chopsticks but it was fun! We made also salad with ume dressing with daikon. This time the rice was cooked with ginger.
In the end everybody enjoyed the cooking and tasting and we had a wonderful afternoon together!
We made 5 dishes of ‘miso’ in our spring workshop. Everybody found that it is not too much to eat all miso dishes. I decided very carefully the combinations; with vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, and dashi. So, the taste is sour, sweet, mild-sour, and soupy!
The fun part of workshop was making rice ball. It is different taste from sushi because of no sushi dressing and the shape is different. Japanese eat rice ball more than sushi. It is also good for ‘bento’, lunch box.
The main dish was ‘pork-miso’. I found nobody have ever cooked eggplant like this. Although recently Japanese people use more microwave to get the same effect. But I still like to cook with real fire. Cut nicely an eggplant and steam without a steaming pot! You can get very soft juicy eggplant with pork-miso on top.
Because of miso soup I got a lot of question about ‘dashi’ this time. For the next workshop we make own dashi bouillon and dishes.