Cooking the Japanese way – “Teppanyaki”
I have always tried and tasted different cuisines from India and whenever had the opportunity I love to try n experiment with Asian and world Cuisine . There was an Invitation from HTCafe– The pop culture supplement of The Hindustan Times who were Hosting an Event at the Spices at the JW Marriot .Yes, It was Teppanyaki – a Japanese style of Cooking , the name I had heard before but faintly had any idea about.
The workshop was conducted by Chef Emmel Muya a very sweet smiling pleasant personality who spoke immaculate English with this cute accent. He introduced himself and explained the menu and what we would be cooking with him. He first gave us a brief history on Teppanyaki and how it became popular in Japan .
The appetizer – Chicken Yakitori, salad and Miso soup served at our table top .
Teppan means — hot iron plate
Yaki is —- grill
“Hence Teppanyaki is cooking on a Hot grill” ,he said and started the hot grill. At first he entertained us with a juggling act with Water bottles while his partner chef played some music with his kitchen instruments.I must say cooking is a creative art and I saw this when Chef Emmel laid out the onions , baby corn n zucchini on the grid . flipped them over systematically. each recipe was given to us and the questions put forth were answered to our satisfaction.
Chef Emmel Muya demonstrating while we all look and learn
I learned something special about teppankayi that is the ingredients are basic and minimum , technique used is easy and stress is on quality and freshness. We then learned the Seared Scallop with sweet Miso . I liked the sweet taste of the Miso. Chef also prepared Tofu for the vegetarians with the same marinade . The Black Cod was flaky and so well seasoned with Teriyaki sauce it just melted in the mouth.
Chef impressed us with the Flambe and onion tower too .But now came the best part ,making of fried rice. I will share Chefs Recipe at the end of my blog as this one is different from the regular fried rice Recipe . Chef showed us the ingredients and stressed on the short grain sticky rice he used. There was lots of cheering and cameras going click click when Chef made a divide in the rice and cut up the egg omelet and aimed it in the rice partition like a goal . I was so engrossed in clapping just dint want to miss the excitement in clicking a snap. Sorry for that!
Teppanyaki Fried Rice
Serving per portion
Steamed Cooked rice – 100 gms
carrots -10 gms
Onion ( chopped) -10 gms
Bell peppers (chopped) – 10 gms
Asparagus ( chopped) – 10 gms
Spring onion green (chopped) 10 gms
Garlic ( minced) – 15 gms
Soya sauce – 5 ml
Butter to flavour
Clean out the hot grill with water and let it sizzle dry
Add oil on grid and cook all the hard veggies like carrot , asparagus,onion . The short grain grain rice ( also used for Sushi ) is added and stirred up on grid . Garlic and butter is mixed separately and then mixed in rice . The bell peppers and spring onion green is now added with Soya and given a good stir A little salt and pepper for seasoning . Now the egg is beaten and fried on grid, cut and mixed in rice . Voila …A yummy Japanese Fried rice is ready , Chicken too can be added.
Tip: How do you know your rice is ready. You have to listen ..When you hear the sound of rice sticking together , you should know it is done .
Chef asked everyone if they would like to come and try their hands at the grid. We had two volunteers who did a fab job under Chef Emmel watchful eye . The fruit salad with ice cream was a good palate cleanser after all that Yummy gourmet dishes .
My conclusion on this Saturday afternoon
1. Met some wonderful Mumbaikars who are equally passionate about food
2. I learnt a new style of cooking which is healthy and easy
3. The dishes served up were simple , yet full of flavour
A big thank you to JW Marriot and HT Cafe for giving me this opportunity to experience Teppanyaki !