As much as I love giving cooking classes (and I do), I only seem to get around to it about once a year. This year, as last, I’m teaching a class jointly with Fumiko Arao. Fumi, born and reared in Tokyo, cooked with her mother and grandmother from an early age. My exposure to Japanese food is more superficial, but I did live in Japan back in the 1970’s and was an apprentice in a vegetarian restaurant in Osaka.
Our upcoming class is a mixture of traditional and contemporary influences. I’ll begin with a modern soup, a purée of fava beans and sugar snap peas, and we’ll end with a light but rich almond mousse based on agar agar, a sea vegetable much used in Japan and other parts of East Asia. Fumi will show us three ways to prepare diakon, including a condiment made with nori and daikon leaves. She’ll also prepare kinpira salad with arugula, and together we’ll make stuffed tofu pouches simmered in a broth of dashi, soy sauce and mirin.
These classes always attract an eclectic group of enthusiastic cooks, and you’ll likely learn as much from the other participants as you do from Fumi and me. Of course, we complete the class by sitting down together to eat the meal we’ve prepared. If you live outside the Bay Area and can’t attend in person, email me to register and I’ll send you the recipes after the class. Complete menu and registration information, after the jump.
Photos: Top–Soup which is the essence of spring, a purée of fava beans and sugar snap peas. Above: condiment made with daikon leaves and nori.