The past two weekends I attended a course on learning how to make Hasamigiku （はさみ菊）a nerikiri chrysanthemum made with scissors. Although I have taken couple of classes to learn this art. I never quite got the hang of it, and I never had the time to practice. So I finally decided to take it more seriously and took an online course from Wagashi Kobo Mochiko in Fukuoka which I found on Instagram.
The instructor who is a wagashi artisan looked very young in contrast to her works of a master. Because she never showed her face until the end of the class I thought she may be older than me, actually she looked as if she was in her twenties. Nonetheless, she was amazing! I think her class was the best class for cooking class that I have taken so far. I would strongly recommend those who are eager to learn this art, if you speak Japanese, can hire an interpreter.
The class focused more on practice rather than demonstration, but a video was provided that we can see her in action later on. She would check one by one and tell us where we are doing wrong, and why it's wrong, and give advice on how to improve.
The class started with making the nerikiri dough which is suitable for making the hasamigiku (another eye opener). and how to shape the dough that will be the base for the kiku.
Then we would sit and listen to her lecture on the theory behind making the perfect hasamigiku. The last part of the first day would be to make one kiku while the instructor gives us advice.
The second session started out with review of the theory and made more hasamigiku, one big and one medium size while she gave out more advices.
After 8 hours of learning about Hasamigiku, I think I have learned a great deal and with more practice, I will be confident enough to hold my own classes and teach in her style.
The front row is from the second class and the rear row is from the first class. My first hasamigiku in this class started from the far left so there is a huge difference if you watch closely.
Today, I am happy to announce that Simply Oishii Japanese Cooking Class has officially changed it's name to Simply Oishii Wagashi School. My cooking class will be focusing on Japanese Sweets and I have renewed my website accordingly.
Ever since the pandemic, I have been getting many requests for online classes for Japanese sweets, and this has taken up most of my time which made it difficult for me to do savory classes.
So, I have finally decided to concentrate on wagashi (Japanese Sweets) and to enhance my skills for that to enable me to pass on what I have learned to other people.
My School Logo has changed and my new logo has dango under the sakura tree which is called "Ohanami Dango" a three color dango that I make in my online mochi class. This dango represents how Japanese sweets are strongly connected with the Japanese seasons.
I hope to not only teach the skills for making wagashi but also the spirit of making wagashi and the traditions and history behind it.
So, it is a new challenge for me after almost 7 years of running my cooking class. I am looking forward to learning more and teaching more!
Last week my online Mochi making class went live on Amazon Explore. Amazon Explore is a new service which allows customers to book live virtual experiences led by local experts. So you can tour around a foreign city with a tour guide from your home.
The difference between an YouTube travel channel or any other online experience is that this is a one on one and you can ask the tour guide to go to a souvenir shop and buy something and have it delivered to your home.
My cooking class does not have a shopping function at the moment, but in the future I hope to have a class where you can shop for wagashi tools.
This service is still on Beta and available in the US by invitation. I am looking forward to how this is going to develop in the future.
Amazon Explore Beta >>> Learn More
This month, I took JSA's latest Instructor Course - Higashi & Han-namagashi Certified Instructor Course（干菓子＆半生菓子認定講師講座）. Higashi is dry confections and Han-namagashi is half dried confections often served during the tea ceremony.
The confections are made with sugar, rice flour and water. The water content is minimal to last longer. It is shaped and colored into a seasonal motif. Compared with Jo-namagashi (High grade fresh confections), it may not stand out, but the simple beauty and the subtle sweetness is just as appealing.
In this 8 hour course you will learn how to make six kinds of confections, 17 designs and learn 40 kinds of techniques.
Since you need special tools and unique ingredients, it may be difficult to hold one day online classes for this art, but once JSA comes out with an English textbook, I will be holding this diploma course in person and online. Tools and ingredients will be included in the kit.
Please see JSA's website for the detail of this course.
If you are interested to take this course, please follow my Facebook or Instagram.
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.
I'm Miyuki and I teach Japanese Home cooking at my home in Tokyo.