I recently had the pleasure of returning to Reiko Hashimoto’s home for a special cookery class at Hashi Cooking with fellow food bloggers Su-Lin (Tamarind and Thyme), Carly (Greedy Diva), Kavey (Kavey Eats), Cara (Gourmet Chick), and Rejina (Gastrogeek).
Also joining us that evening was one of the top wine bloggers in the country, Denise (The Wine Sleuth) who recommended the wines and champagne to be paired with the four dishes we were about to learn (and eat).
It is no secret that I am undoubtedly Reiko’s number one fan, having attended and written at length about her wonderful classes last year (here), I was so excited to be able to return accompanied by such expert company.
The class was a mix of Reiko’s 4-week courses, namely Beginners, Home Cooking, Gourmet and Master Chef with one dish taken from each of these courses. By structuring it this way, Reiko was able to give us a taster of different dishes and cooking techniques spanning all her classes. All courses’ menus can be found at Hashi Cooking’s website.
In my opinion, the trickiest dish was surprisingly from the beginners’ course, the “Gyoza”. I could never imagine being able to fold these dumplings’ wrappers without a practical demonstration.
I normally cheat and buy these already made from Japanese grocery stores, but was so impressed by the taste and freshness of Reiko’s version that I’ve now become a real convert to making these fresh. Apart from the folding, everything else is dead simple and the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find.
Another excellent dish was “Beef Tataki with Creamy Sesame Sauce”. An exceptionally easy dish to prepare and with stunning presentation, this is a dish bound to impress even the most seasoned of dinner guests. For the recipe and pictures of this dish check Gourmet Chick’s write-up (here).
8. Enjoy! ****
* I would strongly recommend making fresh dashi stock for this dish (instructions here) as the final broth should be translucent and delicately flavoured. If time is an issue, check my post on Tonjiru Soup for information on how to go about using the instant dashi equivalent.
** The broth can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.
*** Depending how hard/soft the aubergine is, it will take longer/shorter to deep fry them.
**** This is a delicious summer dish, and so it is important that all ingredients and elements of the dish (broth, noodles and aubergines) are cold or at least room temperature.