Perhaps its because Julie has recently been relocated to Japan. Or perhaps its because I went to Japan at around this time last year. Suddenly in the last few days I felt that I missed Japan very much. I have never really had the oppurtunity to live in Japan. I visited Tokyo sometime ago and backpacked to Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Kurashiki last year. But somehow deep inside me, I feel this great fascination and connection for Japan and things Japanese. And I yearn to go back. To learn how to speak Japanese, learn to cook their dishes, sew their handicrafts, buy and wear the Japanese fabric and learn more about their culture.
Or perhaps in my previous life, I was Japanese.
I love the Bento box. I yearn for good Japanese food which is very much unavailable here.
While I was in Kyoto, I took up the oppurtunity to learn how to cook up a simple Japanese dinner at Mariko's place.
How did I know that Mariko teaches how to cook Japanese food?
As I was surfing for interesting things to do in Kyoto, I found an advert for Mariko's cooking class. For 3,000yen (US$28 approx) per person, I was invited into Mariko's kitchen to experience a basic Japanese cooking lesson. I emailed her and arrange for a suitable time and we met outside Macdonalds at Gojo Stn.
First, Mariko taught us how to make Dashi, the heart of many Japanese dishes. Dashi is a fish based stock which consist mainly of kombu (dried thick seaweed) and Katsuo bushi (dried fish flakes from bonito/tuna fish.)
For starters, we made egg roll and boiled spinach.
Then we made a maki consisting of tuna, egg and cucumber.
And finally, the tempura.
And now I am salivating from writing this blog entry, I have to find something in my larder to cook.