Japanese fermentation workshops

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Every month I run several Japanese fermentation workshops. Miso paste making, Shio Koji making & cooking, Nukazuke – rice bran pickling etc in Melbourne Australia.  Some of them are seasonal, some of them are regular.  Not only from Melbourne inner north, people come from inter states.  Amazing! All session is hands on workshop, lots of laugh and fun. Sometimes private group, sometimes combine of people from different area, quite interesting how the group create the mood of the class, but we always have something in common! Food! Food connect people 🙂

 

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It is my joy and honour to share knowledge and information I’ve learnt from my grandmother who’s lived for 102 years and my parents who still grow all vegetables and cook & preserve for family’s joy and health.

There is no electric cooking tools in my kitchen, not even electric kettle :-p  Some people are super surprised by it, but when you don’t use electric tools, your senses become more sensitive – what you can hear, what you can feel. I enjoy that little inconvenience, and use my full senses.

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I met so many lovely people through these workshops. These meeting is special gift to my life for sure! Fermenters, bakers, chefs, yoga/pilates teachers, food lovers, school teachers, students, medical specialists, ceramists, designers, photographers, environmentalists….etc. and I always learn a lot from them! About Australia, about their work, about their industries…. Running workshops opened the door to the community and connect to the interesting & lovely people!! How amazing! They also help me in many ways, sometimes teach me English words/ expressions, the places to get specific food – local information, and sometimes how to keep chocks in the garden or pick mushroom knowledge! I really appreciate all of your kindness and open mind to welcome me and show your desire to learn Japanese food culture. I feel so lucky!

Also, simply super lovely to see mother & daughter/son, couple, couple in their wedding anniversary, friends gathering for birthday. Always happiness is there. I’m lucky to be part of their celebration and sharing their joy moment of the life.

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Home food is love. Home cooking is communication. This is what fascinate me and what I am passionate about. So I think it is great way to learn together with someone you love and care.

Japanese (home) food is really about season and therefore seasonal food.  Starting of the season, moving to the peak of the season, ending the season and moving to the beginning of next season,  using the seasonal vegetable and enjoy the moment of the season with perfect vegetable. (Quite often vegetable tells us the season!)
Unfortunately, we can’t reach to special Japanese vegetables here in Melbourne, but we can still enjoy with what we have around here. Eat local is very important!

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All the vegetable I use for the workshop, I get some from my garden, and rest of the vegetable from local farmer’s market, which is super fresh and amazing produce. My parents always said “There is no other techniques rather than using fresh ingredients and proper seasonings”

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People who came to my workshops often says “Amazed how simple and easy it is”. Yes, that’s true, it is simple. When we use fresh & good produce, simple cooking is much better. Sometimes I feel bad to say “cooking” because it is too simple :-p

 

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Well, today, I just wanted to say big thank you to all- all workshop participants and blog readers for making place for me.

Spring love, Yoko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegetarian scallop steak (gluten free)

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I love drying Enoki mushroom under the sun.  Doing it almost every week!

Every time I dry it, I make this steak, less waste cooking – using (normally throwing away/composting) lower stem part.

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This is Enoki mushroom if you haven’t seen it before!

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When people use Enoki mushroom, they cut of stem – 5 to 10cm!
But we can use that part! Very close to the bottom. Change it to yummy dish!

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Cut of the very very edge only. Using stem part (very close to the edge) – “THIS PART”  for steak.

Keep this whole cut as it is.

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Coat them with potato starch.

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Put some oil or butter in the pan, and cook garlic lightly.

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Saute the Enoki stem. Prepare sauce – it’s just mixture of Miso, soy sauce and Mirin.

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That’s it!

Look at this! Doesn’t it look like scallop?

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Not only looks like scallop, it amazingly tastes like scallop!  Great texture. Looks salty? Not at all, it is quite mild.

 

Enjoying limited sunny time in Melbourne winter.  Hope you enjoy the crisp.

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May & June workshop schedule

Thank you for waiting!
Finally May & June workshop schedule has released.

If you want to have workshop at your place with your family and friends, maybe for birthday party, celebration or just for catching up with friends, just contact us.

May & Jun schedule

May & Jun schedule (1)

Homemade food & wine festival 2018

Hello food lovers, hello fermentation lovers. How’s your week started?
It is lovely weather today in Melbourne, and I’m enjoying walking around in Kimono today.

This is a little announcement for the people who are around Melbourne.
I am demonstrate my home-style cooking at Darebin Homemade food & wine festival 2018 as a local legend!!! Amazing. It is an honor, and I am very excited about it.
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It is a great opportunity for you to check & learn, how EASY to make healthy Japanese food at home, and taste them!
Come along and let’s make fun night together!!
http://www.darebinarts.com.au/whats-on/darebin-homemade-food-wine-festival-2018

May 29, 2018 (Tue) 6:30-8:00pm
Melbourne polytechnique Preston campus
Fee : $10
Booking from here :
https://sa2.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?&presenter=AUDAREBINAEC&event=18FWZC&tck=true

Also there are so many great events during this festival, check them out as well!
I will be super busy visiting all these events and learn from local talented people !!

See you on May 29!!

 

Morning boost – Ama Koji

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I normally have miso spread on toast to start my day, but sometimes, it feels like a bit heavy, then I chose fresh fruits and Ama Koji (Amazake / Sweet Koji) for that type of morning.

Cut fresh fruits and mix with Ama koji. If you like, you can spread some favourite flakes for crispiness.  Ama koji is already sweet (natural sweetness from rice – rice has broken down into glucose by Koji during Ama koji making process!!), so you don’t even need to add any syrup or honey.

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The Ama koji is high in nutrition (Thanks Koji!!), very very gentle to digest. Instant energy source.

Adding your favourite fruits makes this bowl so fresh and colourful, great for staring your day!  Boost your day up! If you are smoothie lover, you can add Ama koji to your smoothie, and take advantage of Koji in your daily life.

How to make Ama koji -> click here.  In this article (omg, it is from 5 years ago!) , I used rice cooker to make Ama koji, but I don’t have rice cooker anymore! – I tried not to have electrical appliances in my kitchen as much as possible – I simply cook rice with a clay pot now and for Ama koji making, I use the “Suttle chef” from Thermos.

Have a nice day x

 

Vegan zucchini potage

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I planted 4 zucchini sprouts this year, and they producing so much zucchini every day! More than I can handle for family of 2. My instagram and facebook post become all about zucchini, I’m sure my friends are sick of my zucchini posts, but when you have more produce than what you can consume,  your head space is filled with it! Asking friends if they want some, giving away to neighborhood, thinking about new recipes…..

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Happy zucchini.

Melbourne weather is all over the place as usual, Feb is officially summer but since yesterday’s afternoon, it became like winter. Gray & windy. I am wearing ugg boots and already missing summer!  Having this weather for a half day, and all of sudden I realised I forgot to make soup! I love making soup from veggie. OH! this is it. The way to consume lots of zucchini! Zucchini potage! So I started making this potage 10 min to midnight 🙂

But my vegan potage is very simple and easy.

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Ingredients:
Zucchini
Onion
Shio koji
Soy milk to adjust final texture (option)

I normally use 1 onion for any type of veggie potage. slice them. If you have celery and carrot, add some slices of them. It bring nice aroma, not too strong, but just nice. I didn’t have them, I made with simply with onion & zucchini only.  Easily cut/slice zucchini as well. Put them in the pot. I cut 5 zucchini, including 1 super giant size.
Add 2-3 table spoon of Shiokoji on top depend on how much zucchini is there.
Put the lid on and cook without water. (If you are afraid of burning it, you can just pour a bit of water) I don’t touch it, I don’t even mix it. Just leave it.

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All the juice come out from zucchini, and start smelling SO beautiful from combination with ShioKoji. Already yum. Very rich aroma.  Zucchini is covered by their own juice, and become very soft.  Blend them with hand blender.
Add soy milk to adjust texture if you like.

That’s all. Actual working time is less than 5 min.
Wash veggies, cut veggies, add Shio Koji. Blend them.

If the day is hot, you can enjoy as cold soup. For like today, Melbourne’s cold weather, we want hot version for sure. With nice sourdough from Loafer bread organic bakery.

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Having soup in the pot makes me so happy and my weekend become nice & cozy with it. Hope my knitting project finish before proper winter comes!

Onion Miso

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I want you to try making this Onion Miso. It’s pretty good!!
Last few months, I mostly use this miso for my miso soup.

100g   Onion
100g   Aged Miso

Mince the onion. Mix with Miso paste.Leave it in the jar.
You can start using straight away, but if you leave it, onion become brown (Miso pickled onion!) and become quite yummy.

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This one is just made 10 min ago. Fresh one.

I felt little bit cold, then I thought, ” I need onion miso  soup right away to get rid of my cold from my body!!” so I made new jar.

Good thing about this onion miso is… you can take all of raw onion goodies, such as keeping the blood in a smooth state with a low viscosity,  helping absorb B1, antioxidant and promoting fat burning etc. as well as miso goodies!!

Normally it is too strong to eat raw onion so it need to be put in the water, but you don’t need to do that for this onion Miso.

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And from the onion extract, this miso become milder. Even sweeter. I recommend to use aged miso than young /white miso for this onion miso since young/white miso with onion might become too sweet. (we want good balance of saltiness for Miso soup!)

Normally I use Dashi to make miso soup, but I also understand, you might feel too tired to make Dashi for a cup of Miso soup!  Why you bother! But wait! You don’t need to go instant!
If you are too busy or too tired to make Dashi, go with this onion Miso. Even without Dashi,without adding any vegetables, you cam make tasteful enough miso soup from this onion miso! (of course, you can use Dashi and use this onion miso! )

Of course, not only for miso soup, you can use for other cookings as well! Dressing, dipping sauce, marinade fish/meat….infinite usage 🙂

Keep the jar in the fridge!  Hope you enjoy it xx