Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 35 - Obanzai

Very funny that my ikebana teacher from Day 27 was our cooking class teacher today as well. So together with her, her assistant, a couple from Paris and a guy from Belgium, we made obanzai. Obanzai is the Japanese name for Kyoto Home Style Cooking. We learned about the seasonal ingredients and the thoughts behind the several dishes. There are many 5s in Obanzai: You prepare five dishes (rice, main dish, soup, two side dishes), based on five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami), five colours (yellow, red, green, black, white) to indulge our five senses (smell either way, look, touch, hear). By the way, in addition to the four well-known tastes, umami is a special basic taste that could be translated with "savory" - which is a subjective thing, of course.

Today's dishes: 
  • Gohan, boiled rice
  • Dashimaki Tamago, rolled omelet with Japanese broth
  • Sanshoku Sunomono, salad with Japanese vinegar sauce
  • Nasu no Okara Nikuzume An-kake, Eggplant stuffed with minced chicken in ginger sauce
  • Manganji Togarashi to Oage no Taitan, Manganji peppers with fried tofu

Decorated with seasonal flowers or herbs, or made from seasonal vegetables, to let the eaters feel the nature and the nature's spirit while eating.

Very challenging: You have to roll up and extend a Japanese
omelette four times to create a compact, cube like shape 

Fancy Japanese cedar cutting boards.
Available in bunnie, fishie and kitten shapes.

Dish arrangement (all self-cooked including ingredients like dashi):
You take place in front of your chop sticks. The rice bowl is placed directly left above the chop sticks. Usually the soup comes to the right - but in this case it's the filled eggplant in ginger sauce. Above this two plates, the main dish is usually placed - but in this case not a fish or a slice of meat, but the biggest of the three complementary dishes. Usually the two side dishes are placed above the main dish - but for aesthetic reasons, the arrangement is made to look like the Olympic Rings.
Some cold green tea, and plum pickles with honey.

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