att.Kitchen in Ningyocho –All about Sea Bream–
A Japanese style cooking class, “att.Kitchen in Ningyocho,” is held once a month at Ito Ryokan in Ningyocho, Tokyo.
This time, we used one whole sea bream and made sashimi (sliced raw fish), karaage (deep-fried food), netsuke (food boiled in soy sauce), and ushiojiru (thin soup of fish). Mr. Sano, a chef of a Japanese restaurant in Ningyocho, was our instructor and four people participated; one Russian, one American, one Chinese and one Japanese.
The lesson started with learning how to filet fish.
No one had fileted fish, so all were confused about where to start, having a big sea bream in front of them. However, with Mr. Sano’s specific explanation and instruction, they all succeeded in cleaning one whole fish, scraping its scales off and gutting it without leaving out any bones.
They seemed to have become confident that it is not so difficult to filet fish if they got the knack. To learn about the know-how, check this video.
Everyone seemed to have enjoyed making sea bream karaage. Mr. Sano recommends to put a piece of Japanese basil in the fish so that its smell will disappear. And the scent of Japanese basil will enrich the flavor of the karaage.
Before this att.Kitchen cooking lesson, participants thought it was too difficult to use sea bream in their dishes at home but after the lesson, some were so encouraged that they said “I want to make it again tomorrow!”
Ms. Shinrin from China said “I would definitely come again to such a meaningful cooking class!”
At the end, all participants enjoyed eating all the sea bream dishes they had made by themselves.
*The information herein is as of February 2019.
Advice from chefYou can easily make the batter of karaage by dipping a slice of sea bream into a sauce made of thin soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu) with a little bit of grated ginger and then into starch. It is recommended for those who feel it is annoying to measure and mix ingredients like sake, mirin (sweet sake), soy sauce, sugar and so on!
Comments from the ParticpantsFrom China:
This was my first time joining a cooking class and I enjoyed it very much. I experience the deep knowledge of Japanese food when I actually got to cut the fish, steam it, and fry it with my own hands. I was moved by tasting the dishes that I made by myself. If there is another opportunity, I would like to participate again. Especially, Sano sensei is really good at teaching us carefully and thoughtfully. I really appreciate his help!