What an amazing night it was! I got the opportunity to participate in the food event called Food Lover’s Weekent at Tom Douglas’ Hot Stove Society on April 28th for the opening night as the Japanese cooking instructor featuring some Izakaya food.
In the demo sessions, I was next to Tom Douglas, and Thierry Rautureau(the chef in the hat)’s segments! Tom made a few Chinese dishes and Theirry demonstrated how to make Coq au Vin, but my heart was beating so fast that I couldn’t remember many details except that Thierry remained very cool when the pan caught a flame on the stove top. He was it was not unexpected and just needed to put it out. His professional demeanor kind of calmed me down, and I felt ready for my demos.
Now my turn – Chicken Karaage and Butcher’s Croquette in a paper bag. My cocktail partner is Nick Jarvis from Carlile Room. His presence gave me so much comfort and helped me grealy to maintain my composure, thanks Nick! But of course the big guy is standing in the audidenc with a microphone, as a facilitater, and he was always in my vision. Tom asked, “the audience is wondering how you could peel the skin of the super hot potatoes right out of the steamer with bear hands.” Well, I was screaming inside. I couldn’t find a towel but tried look calm! He asked more questions throughout my demos, but I got used to it and acutally appreciated him making the atmosphere more relaxed and intimate.
The second part was a hands-on session. There were 4 stations with different izkaya/street food themes – Takoyaki, Yakitori, Yaki Onigiri and Okonomiyaki. My station was Okonomiyaki. My friends know my relationship with Okonomiyaki. It’s not a good marriage. I don’t care for pancakes of any kind, okonomiyaki included. So I rarely make it at home. So this was a big assignment for me. I must say I am so glad I took the challenge. I have never eaten that many okonomiyaki pancakes in my life and am not so confident that I can teach making it again! Big thanks to my friend Yuta (the owner of Issian) for his consultation and hands-on training! And thank you my friend Yukari for bringing all the coold okonomiyaki gadgets from Japan!
Note: The okonomiyaki mentioned here is Kansai style (the cabbage mixed in the batter). To master Hiroshima style, I still have a long way to go but am optimistic now 🙂
Lastly, the Hot Stove Society crew was AMAZING. They were hard working and the critical part of the entire team. Outside the kitchen they went out and bought all the funky ingredients for my class that are usually not available in the kitchen. I couldn’t be more grateful for them being there to help me get through the evening.
Now I am ready for a couple of my classes coming up next month at Hot Stove Society!
Azuki beans (in the US often spelled “adzuki”) are the stars of Japanese traditional confectionery, used as in sweet bean paste or sauce. Or we have “Sekihan”, steamed sweet rice and azuki beans. Sekihan is served mainly on celebretory occasions. When we are so excited with great news, we shout, “We should celebrate with sekihan!”
These days, it seems that the health benefit of azuki is getting more attentions in Japan. Azuki is known to be super rich in polyphenol, fiber, and saponin, among other good things. And people started using azuki more on non-dessert recipes in Japan.
I have an upcoming in-home cooking class at a client’s home next week and was asked to include an azuki recipe. What a great timing to introduce the power of Azuki!
This is Azuki bean rice, not quite the same as Sekihan. Used to be a substitute for white rice, when people couldn’t afford white rice (my mother says it reminds her of the war time), but nowadays it’s considered a healthier choice for everyday rice options. And Azuki rice works with brown rice too!
Azuki rice recipe is here.
I am picky. I am greedy. Talking about food, of course 🙂
There are times when I crave California rolls and want “something else” too.
So here it is, I made up my dream bento – Sushi combo, with my favorite potato croquette (or any deep fried dish to be honest), Yasai Nimono (root vegetable stew), Sunomono (refreshing salad with vinaigrette), Renkon Kimpira (sweet and spicy lotus root), and Tamagoyaki! A perfect balance meal!
My husband proved this was a good combo by scarfing it down in a few minutes in front of my eyes. It’s the stamp of approval right there!(Well he might be a bit biased as a result of my brainwashing him over the years).
You should try it and let me know what you think! Any feedback is super appreciated! Order Sushi Combo Bento here! The meal pick-up is on March 15.