Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cooking Class #2

Ask anyone in the world who makes the best food and I'd be willing to bet an overwhelming majority of people would answer "grandma".  Today, some wonderful grandmas {although, none old enough to be my grandma and maybe not ALL of them are grandmas} taught a group of American ladies how to make a Japanese dish called shabu-shabu which is a hot pot of flavored water that you dunk meat and veggies in to cook.  Shabu-shabu gets its name from the "swish-swish" sound the food makes as you cook it in the liquid.

We stared this class just like the one I took yesterady, chopping lots of up lots of veggies. 

 This is my kind of cooking!

we even learned how to make some fancy carrot flowers...

or our version of them lol.

While the water was heating in the hot pot, we made some inarizushi {you may remember me talking about this treat here}.

I still haven't found anything here that I love more then these sweet rice treats!

Then it was time to eat!

My beautifulfriend Melissa.  I really can't believe she is leaving in a few short weeks ={

Everyone dipping their meat into the hot, flavored water to cook it

after most of the meat was cooked we added all the veggies

our table of awesome ladies

me with some of the great women who taught us

and a shot of the whole group!

These cooking classes are some of my most favorite memories of my time here in Japan so far.  These are days I will always remember and I am eternally grateful for!

For those who are interested, here is the recipe for shabu-shabu

*thinly sliced meat of your choice {traditionally beef or pork}
*1/4 napa cabbage {any variety would probably work}
*1 carrot
*1 package mushrooms
*1 large green onion
*1 cup cooked noodles
* 3 pieces of kombu {dried kelp}
*3TBSP sake

We used 2 different dipping sauces that were store bought

1. Goma, a sesame sauce {recipe}
2. Ponzu, a citrus, soy based sauce {recipe}

1. Cut the tofu into 8 pieces.  Cut the cabbage into large chunks {the size of a credit card}.  Slice the carrot into 1/4 inch slices. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Cut the green onion into thick diagonal slices {like the photo up above}.

2.  Fill a pot 3/4 of the way with water and soak the kombu about 10 minutes then put the pot on the fire {or burner}.  When the water starts to boil, take out the kombu and add the sake.  Swing the meat back and forth in the liquid several times to cook {using chop sticks or tongs}.  Add the veggies and noodles to the liquid and let cook for a few minutes.  Dip the meat and veggies into either of the sauces before eating.

That's it!  It's super easy, super fresh and super delicious.  I can see this as a great camping meal or backyard meal in the fall.  All you need is one pot for cooking and no fancy tools or gadgets!

Thank you so much to the wonderful Japanese ladies for hosting us today!


Erin said...

Yum! I love inari! I would be taking as many cooking classes as I could if I was in japan.