Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Haru Cooking Class

I was really looking forward to our last day in Kyoto because we had scheduled a cooking class. I found Taro-san's website while looking for interesting things to do during our visit. He had so many recommendations on places to eat and things to do. We signed up for his afternoon cooking class with the Kobe beef.

Taro-san was amazing! He gave detailed instructions on how to prepare each of the vegetables and what the best types of ingredients to use. We met an American couple on their honeymoon and a English woman on holiday. (Val, I tried to remember where you were from but it escaped me! She was fabulous and we spoke of varying pronunciations. Like aluminium.)

First we made kombu dashi (a seaweed-based soup stock) that is used in almost everything. We tasted three different types of miso used in cooking.

Red miso - very salty

First we made kinpira, stir fried root vegetables. We used burdock root, carrots, and sesame seeds. First we had to prepare the burdock root by scoring it and shredding it. Then a quick soak before hitting the oil.

Dustin scoring the burdock root
Shredding it before soaking

We made miso soup and had an interesting mountain potato. The potato was quite...hmm, slimy? It was good but it just had a very viscous juice that gave it an interesting texture. Very good, just different.

Next in class we made dashimaki tamago, or a Japanese omelet. We have eaten these many times in Japan (in fact, I had some for dinner tonight!). They use an interesting pan to layer the eggs over and over to create a small brick of omelet. No cheese or vegetables here. Just the dashi soup stock and eggs. You don't want to cook it too long to burn off the dashi.

Using saibashi or cooking chopsticks
The other three participants made tsukune, a ground chicken patty. Dustin and I splurged and bought the Kobe beef meal. Kobe beef is not exported outside of Japan so those places in the US that claim to be serving Kobe beef are not quite accurate. It might be similar or come from similar genes, but is not certified as Kobe beef for that year. While in Japan we decided we must try Kobe beef once. Taro-san showed us the certificate and entered our certificate number online to show us the family tree of where our little steak originated. A little salt and pepper was all it took. It is quite fatty.

Officially from one of about 3000 cows this year!
Our full meal!
If you are thinking of traveling to Kyoto I highly recommend this cooking class. Taro-san opened his home to us and showed us how to cook wonderful food. It was my favorite part of our Kyoto trip and made the top five for experiences in Japan. Such great food from a great teacher!

No comments:

Post a Comment