Japanese Cooking Class-Meatballs

I know what you are thinking: Why on earth did I go to a Japanese cooking class for meatballs?

As a vegetarian, this seems like it would be the last class I would want to attend, but I did go and I did enjoy it.  Here's why:

1) I go to mingle and socialize with others interested in food and the Japanese culture.

2) I was able to immerse myself in the culture.

3) I actually learned a little about Japanese foods (non-meat products) and cooking methods that I can use later on.

Even if the cooking class is making food I can try, I still learn something every time, and for me, that is most important.  So, I still went to the class on making a meat ball and dumpling soup.  The guest chef was the head of the team that recently won a local cooking contest.

I took pictures, but I did not actively partake in preparing the meat balls.
I did however take an interest in learning about the Chinese Yam.  It can be used in cooked foods, but it can also be eaten raw.  It's actually sweet and not exactly what you would imagine it tastes like.
What they did with the yam was very cool, so I am glad I learned this.  It was mashed.  Ok, it was severely beaten.
While we took turns beating the yam, the instructors had the chicken boiling to make the stock.
Then I headed over to watch the meatball making.  The meat was rolled into balls, with a piece of yellow and a piece of white cheese enclosed in the center.
There you have the meat balls for this soup.
Meatballs complete with the cheese.  The meatballs where then cooked in some oil.
After beating and beating the yam, the chef added a thickening agent (sorry, I want to say corn starch, but I know that wasn't it), and we mixed it and mixed it until it became a dough.
Then the meat balls were ready to be added to the soup.
They also prepared some vegetables for us.  This is one of the reasons why I like the cooking classes.  Otherwise I would have no idea how to prepare and cook many of the Japanese vegetables.
I was more than happy to get my hands dirty rolling the yam dough into balls, which we also stuffed with cheese.
Everything was added to the broth, and you can see this turned into a very lovely looking soup.
Then one of the instructors surprised us by serving up some rice she prepared with vegetables.
Overall, it was really a worthwhile experience, even if I don't eat meatballs.  I love taking these cooking classes and I look forward to the next one, which is for making potato croquettes.  Can't wait!

I also want to congratulate my husband.  I didn't write anything before on my blog, but my husband had been away for 6 weeks and just returned home.  He was at Noncommissioned Officer Academy down in Okinawa.  All of his hard work really paid off and I am so proud of him for being honored as a Distinguished Graduate.  He finished in the top 10% of his class (there were around 70 people total).  This is a wonderful accomplishment.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever tried a Chinese yam?  Have you ever made homemade meatballs?  Have you ever made some version of dumplings?  Have you ever taken a cooking class?


Gina; The Candid RD said...

HOw neat! I have never taken a cooking class, but I sure would love to. IN fact my future sister-in-law bought me cooking class gift cards once with this really talented chef, who ended up leaving town about 6 months later :( I was so sad!
I've never tried Japanese yam.....but I'm shocked at how different it is from our own yam!

Roz @ weightingfor50 said...

Hi Melinda. We went to a Japanese cultural festival yesterday (tied into our cherry blossom festival). It was wonderful, I can only imagine how wonderful it is to be experiencing all you experience on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing your part of Japan with us!!! Have a great week.

chow and chatter said...

looks tasty and good for you for doing this class, love that about you

and well done to your clever hubby must have been hard without him


Kristen (swanky dietitian) said...

So glad your husband is home!
This class looks like a lot of fun! And everything looks delicious!

good diet plan said...

Japanese diet food is very different from the usual boring diet food familiar to many. Like most of the ordinary Japanese foods, they are appealing to both the sense of sight and taste.

Special K said...

Yeay for the hubby! And I have to say that I love your spirit and sense of exploring...have you written about why you continue to be a vegetarian?

Speaking of veggies...that yam looks like a white yucca...is the taste similar?

Andrea said...

Glad your husband is home, and congrats to him for his accomplishments!

One of my Japanese friends has put raw Japanese yams in a salad before. I very much enjoyed it.

I once took a seafood cooking class series, and I really enjoyed it. I love that you are taking all the cooking classes!

Unknown said...

There are lots of people who have interest in Japanese cousins and want to get training for it. This site provides the details about Japanese cooking classes that are the bets option for these people. Here students learn about different Japanese dishes and learn Japanese cooking style.

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