Japanese cooking class Newton MA The Sweet Kitchen

Japanese Home Cooking Class at The Sweet Kitchen

I signed up with my friend Nathalie for the Japanese Style Salmon Dinner at The Sweet Kitchen in Newton. It’s a three and a half hour cooking class in which we made the following Japanese homestyle meal:

Japanese home cooking food prep, Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

  • Salmon Yuan-Yaki (Japanese style marinated & broiled Salmon)
  • Sauteed shrimp-stuffed Shiitake mushroom
  • Grilled Eggplant with Sweet Miso Paste
  • Tataki Kyuuri (smashed and pickled cucumber)
  • Steamed Japanese rice in Dutch oven pot
  • Miso soup with vegetables

Even though I am half Japanese, my teacher’s techniques were new to me. It was also great to learn about high quality Japanese ingredients that can be found nearby.

Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

It was new to me that the Mirin that I bought is not the authentic stuff. Real mirin is not syrupy. Her preferred sake brand is on the right; her sake on the left. She says you can buy this at Ebisuya Japanese Market in Medford.

Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

Her rice vinegar is also different from the brand that I usually purchase with a much deeper flavor.

scoring eggplant Japanese style, Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

If you’ve ever been to Japan, the Grilled Eggplant with Sweet Miso Paste is popular bar food. Since it’s difficult to find Japanese eggplant that is really fresh here in Boston, she uses regular eggplant. She showed us how to score it and then it gets soaked in a water bath to remove bitterness.

Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

This dish is typically deep fried, but she showed us a healthier version that uses microwaving and pan frying instead. The sauce can be made in larger quantities and stored for use on other vegetables. It’s addicting!

best Japanese rice ever, making rice with Dutch oven pot not rice cooker, Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

Nathalie is Vietnamese and we both cook a lot of rice at home but Ayako showed us how to make it on the stove top using a Dutch oven. It was the best rice we had ever eaten. It’s not just the cooking method though. she took a special rice cooking class in Japan and used techniques that Japanese sushi chefs employ. It involves spring water, soaking and cooking at three different temperatures at a precise schedule. It’s worth it though! The rice was light and extremely fluffy with an almost sweet flavor.

Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

We wondered how to get the minced shrimp not to fall out of the Shitake mushroom caps! She uses cornstarch and even when pan fried upside down, the filling stays put!

We did a Japanese quick pickle that involved smashing cucumbers. She demonstrates the technique in the video below.

Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

 

 

The Sweet Kitchen cooking classes make great gifts! We took the class with a young couple, Mary and Allen.  It was her birthday gift to him because he is Japanese American and grew up on Japanese home cooking.

cooking class with Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

At the end of the class, we all got to eat the product of our work. It was delicious!

Ayako Samuels, The Sweet Kitchen, Newton cooking classes, Japanese home cooking classes Newton MA

The Sweet Kitchen  teaches cooking classes from many different countries including Japan and Europe. If you want to learn something in particular, you can also request. Her class schedule is here. I’ll be back. I want to learn to make Japanese cheesecake!

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2 Responses to “Japanese Home Cooking Class at The Sweet Kitchen”
  1. It really looks delicious :-p

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