As a child, I always liked to help my mother in the kitchen. I often baked cakes, cookies and bread for my family. However, what I initially chose as my career was to be a Japanese teacher. Until recently I worked in India, New Zealand and Malaysia. Wherever I go for work or vacation, I like to go to cooking classes. Sometimes I learn from my local friends or their mothers. And going to a local supermarket or wet market is one of my favorite things to do in the countries I visit.

 

As a Japanese language teacher, I sometimes introduced Japanese cooking to my students. In New Zealand, I frequently visited many schools to support Japanese teachers by sharing teaching ideas and materials. I also  motivated students to study Japanese by conducting classes myself and by giving them an insight into  Japanese culture. A popular request we got from these schools was to teach Japanese cooking. Now and again I would drive to those schools with two big suitcases full of cooking tools and ingredients to teach my students Japanese cooking.

 

I also conducted a workshop for local teachers on how to make decorative sushi in a Japanese language  environment. During this workshop, the teachers had a chance to speak and practice their Japanese and also share the ideas for their classes or problems they experienced in their schools. It was a very interesting and enjoyable experience for me to meet and communicate in this way. I found that cooking made people feel relaxed  and helped them to open up.

 

I gradually got more interested in teaching cooking and after I left New Zealand, I went to a Sushi School in Tokyo. After finishing the course, I was given the opportunity to teach both the Japanese language and Japanese cooking on a regular basis in Malaysia. It was perfect for me. During my stay there, I conducted Japanese cooking as well as baking classes. Sometimes I conducted team-building workshops and cooking demonstrations. As Malaysia is a Muslim country, I adjusted the recipes to make them pork- and alcohol-free. Although it was a little challenge in the beginning as many of the basic Japanese ingredients contain alcohol (e.g. soy sauce and Mirin), I was able to adapt them so that many locals were able to attend my classes.

 

 

My passion is to introduce easy and tasty Japanese food to people from all over the world. After my class, you will hopefully feel confident to cook Japanese food for your loved ones at home. If you would also like to practice your Japanese or learn some basics for your trip, let me know and we can enjoy learning Japanese cooking and the Japanese language together!

 

© 2019 by Nariko's Kitchen