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[Cooking Class] Colorful spring dishes – steamed codfish fillets with vegetables


ReleaseApril 21, 2020

On a Saturday in early-spring, att.Kitchen cooking class for learning how to cook Japanese dishes has been held. The menu included codfish fillets steamed with colorful vegetables (sarasa-mushi dish), spinach and carrots with sesame dressing, agedashi-tofu (deep-fried tofu with dashi sauce), iwashi-no-tsumirejiru (minced sardine balls in a clear soup), and soybean rice.

日本料理教室 att.Kitchen Japanese cooking class in Ningyocho

The participants were 2 foreign students from Nepal (Santee and Dikshya) and one from China (Mr. Chen). Since the instructor of this cooking class, Chie, a certified nutritionist, is fluent in English, Santee and Dikshya communicated with her both in Japanese and English. Mr. Chen, who had been in Japan for 2 months, couldn’t understand complicated Japanese yet, so a Chinese staff member helped him as an interpreter. The class started in a friendly atmosphere.

They started with soybean rice, which takes time to cook.

日本料理教室 Soybean rice

Put the commercially-available precooked soybeans, sake, kombu, salt, and rice into a rice cooker, and simply push the start button. It is very easy. Soybeans are rich in various nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

日本料理教室 The completed soybean rice. The soybeans are soft and the delicious aroma stimulates the appetite.

The next dish is spinach and carrots with sesame dressing.

日本料理教室 The key point for making this dish is to squeeze and drain the cooked spinach and carrots very well.

日本料理教室 Then, mix the spinach and carrots with ground sesame seeds and add soy sauce and mirin to taste.

日本料理教室 Spinach and carrots with sesame dressing

The next dish is the sarasa-mushi dish, which the participants were looking forward to.

日本料理教室 Preparation of codfish fillets is important for a delicious dish. Sprinkle the fillets with some salt and sake and place and leave them for a while on top of the kombu. This is for letting the umami of kombu go into the fish.

Meanwhile, cut the vegetables, including carrots, shiitake, and negi. The reason why this dish is very popular among participants is that not only do they love fish but also the dish is easy to make. All you have to do is to pour seasonings over the fish and vegetables and steam them together.

日本料理教室 Placing the fillet and vegetables on a sheet of parchment paper.

日本料理教室 Twist both sides of the paper to make a candy shape and place it in a steamer.

They were having fun talking about possible alternatives for the fish and vegetables which they could use when they make this dish at home, saying “pork may also be good instead of fish,” and “I want to try it with other vegetables.”

The other fish dish, iwashi-no-tsumirejiru, was more complicated to make, since the instructions include cleaning fish and pounding the fish and vegetables together with a knife. But the participants could enjoy a feeling of accomplishment when they were tasting the dish they made.

日本料理教室 Removing the skin and bones from the sardines.

日本料理教室 Removing the bones.

日本料理教室 Instructor Chie first made a sample sardine ball.

日本料理教室 Iwashi-no-tsumirejiru

For the last dish, agedashi-tofu, pieces of tofu were fried in a frying pan with a small amount of oil, instead of being deep-fried in lots of oil. This way, you can cut down the amount of oil you use, which makes this dish healthier.

日本料理教室 Agedashi-tofu

日本料理教室 Pouring a sweet-and-salty soy sauce-based sauce over the golden piece of fried tofu. It looks delicious!

日本料理教室 The participants enjoyed the Japanese dishes they made and said that they would like to make them at home.


Advice from chef

Wrap the pieces of tofu for agedashi-tofu with kitchen paper to drain and then dust them with starch powder.

Comments from the Particpants

In order to learn food culture in japan, I participated in this cooking studio activity. During the activity, the cooking teacher was highly efficient and taught her three students including me the protocols of three dishes and one soup. The best thing about the activity was that we as students all had the chance to practice the protocols by ourselves so that later we can immediately apply what we learned in the class to daily life. And on the moment of finishing, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment. Thanks for such a nice activity to the organizer. If there will be a similar activity in the future, there is no doubt that I will participate in it.