Journals

Japanese homecooking class in Tokyo

My friend in Tokyo, Japan, Tsukako Imura, is a very good teacher of Japanese cuisine. 

The pictures on this page show her cooking

Ms. Imura and Ms. Mizuno taught me many of the basics of Japanese home cooking. I learned about key Japanese ingredients and how to use them; how to prepare classic Japanese homestyle dishes like gyudon, rolled sushi, grilled rice balls, and miso soup; and even some important Japanese cutting techniques! Together, we created many delicious and healthy meals, and we had a great time doing it.

Lesson Overview 

☆ Cooking Lessons

1. Tofu cooking (Two kinds of Tohu dishes, one side dish, Miso soup and rice) 6500 JPY

2. Tonkatsu (japanese pork cutlet) cooking (Tonkatsu and Rolled Tonkatsu, salad, Miso soup and rice) 8000 JPY

Morning Market Tour and Dumpling Cooking Class Video

Recently I had the good fortune to cooperate with Tripinsiders.com in designing a new event for our guests, a morning market tour and dumpling cooking class. Tripinsiders made this beautiful two minute video to introduce me and the tour. 
 
 
I really appreciate the kindness and expertise of Rosa, Ray, Gabriel and everyone at Tripinsiders for helping me so much with this, and giving me an insight into their world. 

Making a video with TripinsidersYou can find out about this tour, including how to book it, at http://www.tripinsiders.com/service/10338568?locale=en. (And there you can also read about all the other interesting activities that Tripinsiders offer in Taiwan and other countries).


 

Dumpling engineering: How to cook pot stickers

Here is the procedure for frying pot stickers, a kind of fried dumpling (In Chinese, they are called Guo Tie, which is pronounced gwor tee-ay and written 鍋貼)

1) Turn on the heat and dry the frying pan.

2) Put about a tablespoon of oil into the pan, turn down the heat so you have time to put the dumplings side-by-side in the pan.

3) Turn the heat up to medium. Gradually you will notice the bottom of the dumplings becoming brown and a little crispy.

4) Add water right on top of the dumplings. Then cover the pan with a lid, and turn the heat high.

4.1) If you are cooking fresh dumplings, you usually need only half a cup of water for 10 to 12 dumplings. But if you are cooking frozen, add more water, and allow more time for the dumplings to be cooked.

I don't want to cook the pandan leaves



My neighbors all know that I cook lots of food. They think that I must know what to do with any ingredients. So they very often give me a lot of ingredients for cooking. Yesterday, a neighbor very kindly gave me a bunch of pandan leaves. I can use pandan leaves to make soup, tea, sweet coconut dressing, dessert, flavor rice, wrapping sticky rice, wrapping grilled fish. According to tradition, pandan leaves also act as a kind of herbal medicine that is good for cooling our body's internal heat.

But at the moment, I really don't want to make any special dishes, or add any special flavor to my food – my tastebuds need a rest. I don't want to use the bunch of pandan leaves for cooking immediately. But I especially don't want to waste my neighbor’s kindness .

Suddenly, I had an idea: I picked up a big white jug, and I put the bunch of green leaves in the cup, like flowers. Suddenly the bunch of pandan leaves was standing like a star on the stage, brightening up my home.

Dumpling Engineering: Why is my dumpling dough coming out too sticky?

Why is my dumpling dough coming out too sticky?

This is a very common question that our students ask when making dumpling dough.

Obviously, there could simply be too much water for the amount of flour. You can avoid this problem by simply using the exact amounts of ingredients specified in the recipe.

Apart from that, there are other two common reasons that the dough will be too sticky: the dough was too warm when you started, or you're in a place with high humidity and temperature.

If you're noticing that your dough is too sticky, you need to use your own judgment to figure out the reason. If you think the dough is too warm, just allow it to rest for two to five minutes, and it will cool down naturally after a couple of minutes.

If you think the dough is too wet, then sprinkle a little flour on your hands, and gently knead the dough. If it still seems wet, repeat the same procedure..

Dumpling Engineering: The procedure for making dumpling dough

Ingredients

3 cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup hot water, ½ cup cold water.

 

Procedure for making dumpling dough:

1. Put 3 cups of flour into a mixing bowl, and mix in 1 cup of just boiled water. Stir the mixture with a stick or a fork, until the flour become flaky. (see Note 1)

2. Pour a ½ cup of cold water into the dough, and keep mixing, until it become a ball shape.

2015年的中元普渡:小朋友們做批薩拜祖先


今年的中元節,我決定做批薩祭拜祖先與好兄弟們,希望小朋友們也能參與普渡的過程,便邀請他們來擔任祭拜的主廚,就由他們做批薩,他們從小愛做麵食,相信祖先們能感受到他們的誠意。

我先利用麵包機將麵團做好,小主廚們就負責揉麵、發麵、擀麵、鋪料。

Typhoon breakfast party

When a typhoon is passing near to Taipei, it can be the one of the most boring days of the year. There's often very heavy rain and extremely strong winds, so it's not really safe or pleasant to go outside for more than a minute. Anyway, many shops and other businesses are closed.

Living up on the mountain, twenty minutes walk away from the nearest shops, it's especially strange: I will usually spend the whole day indoors. After a while, I feel kind of disconnected from the outside world.

如何利用鳳梨皮的好方法

最近的外文讀者提供了一些如何利用鳳梨皮的好方法:做水果茶、室內芳香、泡藻美容、皮膚化妝水、讓高湯更甜美等請參考
如果您擔心鳳梨皮的安全,那就使用有機鳳梨皮!

1. I always brush the skin with lots of water and chop the skins into chunks and boil them with some red tea bag and then its Fruit tea you can drink it hot or either put them to cool in fridge.

2. Sometimes I use the skin to steam it to get the aroma in the house smells sweet and natural.

3. Sometimes I boil the skin and cool the water & soak myself and then rinse off ...finally I have beautiful shining healthy skin.

4. I use the skin to boil with soup, chicken and some veggies taste good..to make sweet & sour soup...no need to add vinegar

5. I also apply the skin on my face and let it rest for 15 mins and rinse ... try it u will feel your skin improving.. if you have any skin problem ..it heals faster


Dumpling Engineering: The Filling


The basic dumpling filling uses simple vegetarian ingredients and a bare minimum amount of seasoning. After you've mastered the art of making delicious dumplings with a basic filling, you can experiment with a wider range of ingredients and add meat if you wish.

Obviously we want dumplings to taste great, but dumplings are also an engineering challenge. We have to make sure our filling does not overwhelm the dough wrapping by being too heavy or to wet. The dough has to stick together and not get soggy, or, in the worst case, the wrapping will fail, and we will have a dumpling disaster.
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