To make use of my free time during the soft lockdown. I've taken up a course on Water Confectionery Art. Water confection (水菓子 or Mizugashi) originally was the term for fruits that were served during summer. Nowadays, it expresses cold summer confections made with Jelly. To mold the confections, various jellying agents are used including Kanten (Seaweed) Agar, and Kudzu (Arrowroot).
In this course, you will learn how to express the four seasons with this traditional art as well as learn the techniques on how to use the ingredients that are unique to traditional Japanese sweets. To learn more about this course, please see JSA's official website.
If you are interested in taking this course in English, please contact me through the contact form. This course is also available to take online using zoom. (For Japanese residents only).
I will also be doing a one-day course for this confection in summer.
Hope everyone reading this post is at home safe and sound. The cherry blossoms along the river in front of our Apartment was in full bloom this week. Despite all the sadness that is going on in the world, the beauty still moves my heart.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, it seems that it will be a while until I can start classes. So I'm planning to conduct classes online through zoom. Details on which courses can be held on line as well as the class fee will be announced shortly.
Basically it will be the same recipe, but you will have to source the ingredients yourselves and we will cook together! (How exciting!)
If you are interested, please follow my Facebook page or drop me a note on messenger or contact form.
Stay home safe and have a nice day!
It's hard to believe that another year has gone by so quickly. The renovation works at our apartment is almost finished and we will be going back this week. I will have to close my cooking class for relocation this week. I will be doing classes at my home in Meguro between 23 and 25 Dec. and then break for winter holiday from the 26th. I will resume classes on the 9th of January.
We are all looking forward to going back home and I can't wait to do classed in my new kitchen. For those of you who have come to my class, thank you so much for your support. For those of you who are interested to come, I hope I can meet you soon! I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
Just a glimpse of my new kitchen that just arrived last week:
Due to the renovation work being done in our apartment, we will be relocating to a temporary housing as of Oct. 28th. Classes will resume on Nov. 5th. There will be some courses that will not be available during relocation.
The new venue will be 1 minute by foot from Nishioi Station on the JR Yokosuka or Shonan Shinjuku line. Both lines are only one stop away from the Yamanote Line.
We will be returning to our home in Meguro in Mid December, and resume classes after the New Years Holiday.
Yesterday was the last day before we break for spring holiday. I have two graduation ceremonies to attend this week with a public holiday in between. I will be closed until April 9th when school starts with an exception of one class scheduled on March 28th. This will be an Ohanami Obento Class, as the Sakura blossoms along the Meguro River in front of my apartment will be in full bloom on that day. You can enjoy Ohanami (Sakura Gazing) along the river before you come to my class.
If anyone is interested in joining, please contact me through my contact form.
Ohanami Obento Class
Yesterday was my class before I break for one month. Simply Oishii Japanese Cooking Class and Wagashi School will resume business on Feb. 21st. Also, we will be closed during spring break (March 20 - Apr. 9th) Apologizes for any inconveniences caused. You can still email me for bookings for during my break.
I look forward to resuming class with more hands-on fun activities for my mochi class.
For class dates, please go to my class calendar.
Last weekend, I taught how to make wagashi at a birthday party for a 10 year old girl. Her request was to make a gudetama wagashi, so I tried to make one that would be easy enough for children to make. The hardest part was to make the facial expression and choosing the right materials to make them. I finally came out with a good idea on the night before. I will try to make a video on how to make it when I have time. (If I ever have time).
The party turned out to be a success and the girls seemed to enjoy making wagashi. It was fun for me too although this time it was quite a challenge.
To learn more about cooking parties and workshop, please visit this page.
To further my studies, I took a 2 day Nerikiri Art Master Certified Instructor Course held by Japan Saloneze Association (JSA). This 12 hour course is open to Nerikiri Art Certified Instructors.
I learned how to use new tools such as Kashi Basami (Scissors for kashi (sweets) and sasara, and learned new techniques such as harikiri (cutting with needle point chopsticks.
We also used other types of dough such as konashi, uiro, kanten, and yokan. I'm not sure how much I can implement his in my class but hopefully I will be able to conduct advanced courses in the future (after much practice)
For More details on this course, please visit JSA's website. (Please select language to translate).
At the moment, they don't have an English textbook but they may come out with one next year.
Since I get a lot of queries on where to buy wagashi tools in Tokyo I've compiled a list of shops in the Kappabashi shopping district. Kappabashi is a street situated near Ueno Station which is on the east part of Tokyo. If you are not familiar with Kappabashi, its a street where you can buy anything related to cooking, from pots and pans to lanterns and signages for restaurant owners. So if you want to get the best knives or a nice pair of chopsticks, or a fancy lacquer dish in Japan here is the place. Just make sure you have plenty of time as you can easily spend the whole day here! Shops are open on weekdays from 9am to 5pm, Some shops will be closed on Saturdays and most shops will be closed on Sundays and Public holidays so it is advisable to go on weekdays.
Location & Map
Kappabashi can be accessed by foot from Tawaramachi Station on the Ginza Line or Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express Line. You can also walk from the Asakusa on the Toe Asakusa Line, but it may take about 15 minutes.
1. Asami Kashidouguten
Asami is a shop dedicated to only wagashi tools. This shop is at the entrance of Kappabashi street, across from Niimi, the symbol of Kappabashi (the giant chef that is on the rooftop of the building). Despite the small size of this shop, it carries a vast variety of tools from small wooden sticks to large machinery for factories. They also create their original tools and molds which can be ordered.
Open 9-5 Mon-Fri.
Website in Japanese
2. Flavor Land
This is not actually a tool shop, but you can get any kind of food colorings or flavor essences you need to make wagashi. Open 9:30-5 Mon-Fri.
Website in Japanese
3. Arai Shoten
This shop carries not only wagashi tools but any tools related to sweets making. This is my favorite place to buy the tiny wagashi cutters. Open 9-5:30 Mon-Sat.
4. Majimaya Kashidouguten
This was my favorite shop to buy cookie cutters as well as wagashi cutters, At the moment, they seem to be doing a major renovation (or it looks more like they are rebuilding) so the shop is very small and the selection is limited, but you can buy through their Online shop on Amazon and Rakuten. Open 9-5:30 Mon-Sat.
Website in Japanese
Online shop on rakuten
Online shop on Amazon
5. Yoshida Kashidouguten
This shop also carries wide range of sweets making tools. From molds to cutters for beginners professionals, you will likely find what you need here. Open 9-5:30 Mon-Fri.
6. Asai Shoten
Although you may find wagashi tools here, their main products seems to be for western sweets. I would usually stop by to see if there are any good deals. Open 9-6 Mon-Sat.
Website in Japanese
Online Shop on Rakuten
This shop has been doing business since 1905, operating for over 100 years, they have a wide selection of wooden wagashi molds and tools. I usually buy my wagashi cutters here too. Open 9-5:30 Mon-Sat.
There are other shops that carry wagashi tools that I haven't mentioned here, so do browse along the street and have fun treasure hunting!
For basic tools that you can buy online please visit this page.
Yesterday, I attended a Shirotamari Workshop held by the CEO of Nitto Jozo to make Shirotamari. Shirotamari is the white color version of the tamari soy sauce. Strictly speaking you can't call Shirotamari a soy sauce as it doesn't contain any soy product.
Those of you who are gluten free may be aware of the Tamari soy sauce as it is a soy sauce that does not contain wheat flour. It is mainly produced in the Aichi prefecture where most of the production of soybean miso takes place. Tamari soy sauce was initially made by using the byproduct of soybean miso. The raw liquid that drips from cedar kegs during the fermentation process produces a puddle (tamari) and the miso makers found ways not to waste this liquid. It has a dark color with a thicker texture than the regular dark miso, which makes it great for dipping sashimi or basting rice crackers.
On the other hand, Shirotamari is made by fermenting only wheat for a short period of time which makes it almost colorless. With the strong umami, it can be used in place of salt, but with a more complex flavor. Unlike the other soy sauces, this does not contain any soybeans which makes a great alternative to soy sauce if you are allergic to soybeans.
The Shirotamari which we made during the workshop will be ready to use in 3 months time. I can't wait to use it for my Osetchi (New Years feast).
I'm Miyuki and I teach Japanese Home cooking at my home in Tokyo.