Although the Bay Area is chock-a-block with Japanese restaurants, the food they serve gives you only a hint of what Japanese cuisine, in it’s diversity, is all about. Japan, particularly, has a rich tradition of vegetarian cooking, and it’s that tradition which Fumiko Arao and I will be demonstrating in a cooking class this Saturday, June 25th, at 10 a.m. in the kitchen of First Baptist Church in Palo Alto, the same venue as our Monday Night Vegetarian Dinners. If you’ve admired Japanese food, but been afraid to attempt it at home, join us to see how user friendly this style of cooking can be. Japanese vegetarian cooking is based on shojin ryori, a thousand-year-old tradition which began in Zen Buddhist temples. As you can imagine, through generations of trial and error, a rigorous cuisine arose which is at the same time practical, well-balanced, artful and delicious. We will take you step-by-step through the preparation and serving of six dishes, including rich and creamy goma dofu, (above). There are still openings for a few students to enroll, which you can do by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost of the class is $50, with proceeds going to earthquake-tsunami relief in Japan, or if you live outside the Bay Area, we’ll send you the recipes for $10. Hope many of you can attend, one way or the other. Complete class details after the jump.
The menu: 1.) tofu burgers with a rich ginger sauce, 2.) goma-dofu, creamy sesame paste thickened with healing kuzu, 3.) turnip amazake pickles, 4.) dried daikon with hiziki, 5.) Chirashi-zushi, 6.) summer fruit kanten.
Email me to register: AlinderSF@aol.com
Details: The class is scheduled for Saturday, June 25th, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the First Baptist Church, 305 North California Ave., Palo Alto, CA. Fee for the class, which includes lunch, is $50, and proceeds will benefit earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan.
The teachers: Fumiko Arao grew up in Tokyo and learned traditional Japanese cooking from her mother and grandmother. She is a student of the energetic and healing properties of food. The other teacher, Gary Alinder (that’s me), is the author of this blog. I’ve been a natural foods chef for 30 years, and my cooking career began as an apprentice at Fukuen, a vegan macrobiotic restaurant in Osaka, Japan.