Monday, March 28, 2011

after three weeks...

It's been almost three weeks since Tohoku Kanto Daishinsai hit Japan.

My heart still harts and tears come out sometimes without no reason when I think of Japan and people living there. I can't stop thinking what I can do for my home country more than ever...

Last week, I finally got in contact with one of my friends who happens to live in Sendai with her husband and two sons. Until then, we haven't talked much with each other for a long time, I don't even remember when was the last time we talked. Still, we were so happy to hear from each other, we had a lot to talk what was going on each other's life, too many things needed too be updated, but just heard she was OK and I was so happy and relieved, that was it in our first email.

In her second email, she said, "There is still no water, no gas, and our house is still a mess, but still feel very lucky and happy. To many people lost, to many things lost." I didn't know what can I say, how can I encourage her. In her third email, she said, "It was sunny today, so it's easy for 2 hours wait for grocery shopping. There's still no water, but we'll hang in there."

In the next one, "I feel weak since it's started snowing for the passed couple of days, I hope that I didn't catch a cold. But, all your encouragement has made me energized, thank you! As long as you all care about us, we will be fine."

I realized that she is giving me strength and courage. All those people who lost many things show us, patients, dignity, to think who you are, what you stand for, and how you can be stronger no matter what.

I still search what I can do, but I am getting an answer about it. Because a lot of people show me and make me realize again where I am from and how I am going to live.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kiriboshi - Daikon (Dried Shredded Daikon)


Today, I found walnuts and miso paste in the freezer. I totally forgot about them! (There is a post about this walnut miso paste on June 14th, 2010 in this blog, thanks!)

Well, I found the sauce, but what should I make? I started to think and look around at the kitchen what I have inside of refrigerator, in the shelf and pantry...
Here I found some vegetables, soba noodles and package of KIRIBOSHI-DAIKON.

KIRIBOSHI-DAIKON is a dried shredded daikon radish. I would say that is probably one of my most favorites among Japanese dried ingredients. I use this for everything; various types of soup, salads, noodles, and simmering dishes...Preparation is so easy, you can soak it in water / luke warm water before use. But I always put directly into the pot when I cook soup or simmering dish. That way I always use their nutrients from the water.
They have very strong and unfamiliar flavor for people have never tried, so some(maybe many) people might think it's not so pleasant.
But! this is a great source of potassium, calcium, fiber, and iron. These are all very important nutrients for our diet, and you can take all those nutrients from one great ingredient.
Is it wonderful, or what
That's of the reasons that I want to introduce this ingredients at my cooking class. And I actually used last month's class putting into Japanese style pilaf with other dried ingredients.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gyoza Origami


Earlier this month, I had taught a cooking class...
There was a Japanese style dumplings called GYOZA on the menu.

And before the class, I was thinking about how I can teach and explain to all the students on how to wrap the dumpling with the GYOZA skin and make it look presentable.

I believe it's important to create a fun atmosphere and with easy directions for hands-on recreational cooking class, it encourages students and guests to try making the dish at home too.
And this GYOZA wrapping process, there are some pleats making which is needed, a little tricky finger work for people making GYOZA the very first time, but you can do it.

And then the idea I got was...

To show some sample with paper crafted "GYOZA" !! The Big sized one is for showing everyone how to put ingredients and wrap, and then to make those pleats, and small one for actual size which people can take a look at as an example while they are making their own.

I don't know that this worked well, but everybody seemed to have made a great GYOZA in the class.