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.
☆ 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
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.