We went to the loveliest little cookery class tonight in Mariko's home down a quiet little road in Kyoto.
The ingredients were fresh and wonderful, some I have never cooked with before let alone could recognise like in one of those Masterchef challenges! Mariko was so welcoming and the food was delicious. If you are ever in Kyoto you must go, she takes groups up to 4 people for 4,000 yen each which is great value when you eat it all for dinner afterwards!
Miso soup of Daikon and thin deep-fried tofu
You start off by making the Dashi (stock) for the Miso, which is also the base stock used in most soups and ramen and even used for flavouring rice. You place kombu (not pictured, oops) which is a firm, dried seaweed into a saucepan of cold water, then you heat until just boiled. Lift the kombu from the pan and add katsuobushi (bonita flakes, a smaller but similar fish to tuna) Once strained through a sieve and kitchen paper your stock is ready.
We then added daikon (japanese radish), shredded aburaage (deep fried tofu), aonegi (green onion) and the when all is cooked through, the miso paste just at the end.
Octopus and Sliced cucumber salad dressed with sweetened vinegar
This salad is simple but delicious, the really tasty bit was the dressing made by grinding toasted sesame seeds and adding rice vinegar, dashi, sugar and usukuchi soy sauce. Then finished off with minced ginger and shiso leaf.
Tempura - pumpkin, shiso herb, mushroom
We made the batter from an egg yolk, water and wheat flour sifted, didn't realise it would be so easy.
Flavoured rice with bamboo shoots
We steamed the rice in a little dashi and topped with bamboo shoots and thin deep fried tofu with some shiso leaf, soy sauce, sake and mirin. The bamboo shoot was harvested only this morning and it was incredible.
Mariko on the left with my sister, brother and Anna