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The prep work and the dashi were finished so the chef instructor at the cooking school in Tokyo moved on to the main courses. 

First up was Braised Meat and Vegetables, Japan’s take on beef stew, which used dashi for the broth.

We moved into the kitchen to start the teriyaki chicken stuffed with asparagus, which reminded me not to complain about the small size of my kitchen (they run a cooking school and restaurant with a two burner cooktop and a portable electric burner!).

The sugars carmelized in the pan…

Sesame seeds were ground in the suribachi, Japan’s version of a mortar and pestle, for the dressing on a Spring Vegetable Salad.

And tofu was prepared two ways.


Brian plated the teriyaki chicken.

The final products:

Braised meat and vegetables

Teriyaki chicken and the Spring vegetable salad

Tofu with amber sauce

Tofu sauteed with asatski (Japanese chives)

And miso soup of course

Our business partner (and interpreter!), Bill, had to run to a meeting part way through our cooking school experience, leaving us suddenly verbally silenced. But through giggles and smiles and fumbled words and actions, we bonded–Brian and I with the chef instructor and his assistant. (Thanks Bill.) We all learned new words and Brian and I learned new cooking techniques and new food items, like burdock root in the miso soup and myoga (ginger flower) in the vegetable salad and asatski (the long very thin green onion) in the sauteed tofu.

Then we went upstairs to the dining room and ate all these creations.


And sadly, we said goodbye. 

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday Rentals travel blogging competition.

Related posts:

Cooking school in Japan: making dashi

Tokyo: A chef’s tour

Coffee from the source-Nicaragua

Besides eating our way through Japan, Brian thought it would be cool to cook alongside a Japanese chef to learn some local techniques. Bill, our restaurant partner in Tokyo, found this sweet cooking school, and he came along to translate. I got to come along to admire the handiwork (another bonus of having a chef for a husband!).

They started out by making dashi, a Japanese soup stock used for making soups and as a base in vegetable, meat and fish dishes. It’s made from dried bonito (skipjack tuna) flakes and dried kelp.

The chef-instructor added kelp to the pot.

Then the bonito flakes.

While the dashi steeped,the chefs moved on to prepping for the other dishes they’d make.

Dashi is done.


And strained.

And ready for use. 


7 1/2 cups water

15 grams dried kelp (konbu)

25 grams dried bonito flakes (katsuo-bushi)

Place kelp and 6 1/2 cups water into a pot and turn heat on high. Just before it boils, take out the kelp and turn off heat.

Add  the bonito flakes and 1 cup cold water to sink the floating flakes.

Let sit 5 minutes, then strain the broth. Discard kelp and bonito flakes.

Can be refrigerated for later use for up to three days.

Check out more travel and food posts at wanderfood wednesday!

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Tokyo: a chef’s tour

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