Sunday, 5 December 2010

Japanese canapé lesson with Reiko Hashimoto

Last year I taught a few Sushi lessons at the cafe and would buy my fresh fish from Atari-ya in Kingston. I got chatting to a lovely guy there and I told him how I wished my Grandmother had taught me more of traditional Japanese cookery and he recommended Reiko to me. I had a name and number on a piece of paper in my kitchen for too long. But at last....Tuesday evening last week we were invited in from the cold, into Reiko's home. Kyoko (sister) and I were joined by two guys and two girls for a class in Japanese canapés. It was such a lovely evening, Reiko (lady on the left of photo) is the perfect host and you pick little things up in flavour combinations or presentation without necessarily being 'told' it. It feels more like having friends around preparing for a party together than it does a lesson. We spent an hour sipping Green tea and watching Reiko work her way through the canapés one by one and then we chose which one we wanted to do and got to work. 
My favourite canapé was the squid and watercress tempura. With frozen squid being so readily available I think this could turn into my new quick fix snack - a dangerous one at that!
I wouldn't want to give away Reiko's recipes - you'll have to go to a class to see and taste for yourself!

We made -
Deep Fried Miso and Mozzarella Rice Balls
Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls 
Calamari and Watercress Tempura
Thai Green Chicken with roasted red pepper
Bang Bang Chicken with Creamy Sesame Sauce 
Prawn noodle salad with Sesame Dressing

After we had all finished our dishes we laid them out on the kitchen table and all tucked in with chilled white wine and chatted away. We talked about our favourite places to eat in London, Reiko told us some names of good Japanese food suppliers and revealed she is writing a book - I will be the first on the waiting list!