I was privileged enough to participate in a cooking class offered every weekend by Diamond Hotel. Appreciated this very much as am a big fan of Japanese food. By now everyone knows that the cuisine is all about purity of taste, the freshness of the ingredients and the beauty of presentation of the prepared food.
For this class, we were able to learn a lot from Chef Junichi Sekiyama and his team from Yurakuen Restaurant. It was very helpful since we were able to learn a lot of cooking techniques and tips on what brands to purchase and where to source Japanese products in Manila.
For example, almost every Pinoy loves tempura, but do you ever wonder how to make the perfect one? Sharing here some treasured recipes from Yurakuen and Chef Sekiyama:
Choose one kilo good-quality fresh shrimps. Remove skin while shrimp is raw. Leave tail intact.
Scrape tip of shrimp tail with knife to remove dirty liquid and devein the shrimp.
Make small slices along the shrimp's body so shrimp will not curl when cooked.
Wrap shrimp in a paper towel and gently squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside.
Prepare the ingredients for tempura batter:
In a bowl, mix one cup Japanese tempura flour and 3/4 cup water with ice until lump-free.
Add one egg yolk to add color and texture.
Test heat of the oil by dripping a small amount of the batter into the pan. If batter floats right away, oil is ready; but if the batter hits the bottom of the pan before floating, oil is not hot enough.
Dredge shrimp in flour, then dip in batter.
Fry (preferably in corn oil) until coating turns light yellow.
Remove shrimps from pan and drain oil in paper towel.
To make tempura sauce:
Mix together six parts water, one part kikkoman, one part mirin and 10 grams hondashi. Place one tsp. ground fresh ginger and ground radish on the side.
Mixed Japanese fried rice
Saute chopped garlic in oil until golden brown. Add in chopped white onion and minced carrots.
Set side in one corner of the pan.
In the center of the pan, cook 10 grams of beef until it becomes white.
Add in 10 g. shrimp and squid and mix beef and sauteed vegetables all together.
Season with salt, pepper and Kikkoman soy sauce.
Move again to one side of the pan to makie room for egg.
Cook egg in the middle of the pan and scramble it.
Add steamed rice and mix well.
Season with more salt and pepper, if needed.