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Teacher Interview: Meet Tomomi Kajiyama

Introducing BentoYa Cooking Teacher Tomomi

Tomomi Kajiyama, BentoYa Cooking Instructor

Please inform us a bit about your self:

Howdy, I’m Tomomi. I stay in Hiroshima. I’m a mom of 1. I’m an authorized BentoYa cooking teacher. I educate vegan Japanese cooking on-line. I’m additionally a bilingual tour information in Hiroshima. I like to speak with folks from everywhere in the world. I’m keen about telling Japanese tradition and custom to everybody. It’s so attention-grabbing to fulfill folks from completely different backgrounds and to study one thing new. In my free time, I like studying, strolling, and looking for some new recipes and making them. 

Why did you first begin making plant-based meals?

I first began making plant-based meals as a result of I used to be curious. I typically heard the phrases “vegetarian” and “vegan”, which made me marvel if dishes made with solely greens are scrumptious? Do you are feeling happy? This was the start. In the beginning, I looked for recipes and made meals for myself, for the aim of enhancing my well being. Through the time of corona restrictions, I made sushi following Bentoya’s recipe  and I used to be stunned by how scrumptious it was and I nonetheless bear in mind the great style. 

Moreover, I additionally discovered that consuming meat is without doubt one of the causes of worldwide warming and environmental destruction, and that the variety of fish round Japan is reducing. For a sustainable society, I really feel that you will need to evaluation our consuming habits.

What do you want about consuming plant-based?

The truth that you don’t have to organize meat or fish and don’t have to fret about whether or not it’s cooked correctly makes each day cooking easy. I’ve been consuming extra dishes utilizing greens and tofu than earlier than, and my 9-year-old daughter can also be consuming extra plant-based dishes. I additionally don’t purchase soup inventory from the shop, however make it utilizing seaweed (kelp) and dried shiitake, and can’t think about going again to purchasing it from the shop. 

I additionally like serious about easy methods to make a dish with out meat, fish, eggs and dairy merchandise, and it’s additionally enjoyable to be artistic. 

What kind of dishes do you like making and why?

I typically cook dinner dishes by BentoYa, which my youngsters love. For instance, udon, ramen, dumplings, okonomiyaki, curry, fried hen and so forth. Kids’s favourite dishes are typically excessive in energy, so scrumptious BentoYa dishes made with greens and tofu are excellent. When I’ve time, I take pleasure in cooking with my kids. I additionally make Japanese sweets as a passion.

What’s your favorite Japanese vegan meals?

Coming from Hiroshima, I like Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, which is Hiroshima’s soul meals. Many individuals dwelling in Hiroshima ask if okonomiyaki with out meat and eggs is scrumptious? Really, I used to be questioning about this too. However after I truly made it following Bento Ya’s recipe, I used to be stunned by how scrumptious it was. The meal was very satisfying. Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki was born within the ruins after the atomic bomb and through a time of extreme meals scarcity. Heat okonomiyaki baked on an iron plate encourages smiles not solely amongst those that desperately tried to stay throughout that point, but additionally amongst many individuals in the present day.

Do you assume Japanese meals is simple to make vegan? (What are the challenges?)

Initially, Japanese folks had a eating regimen centered round greens and grains that may be obtained domestically, so I feel it’s straightforward to make vegan Japanese meals. There are additionally great fermented seasonings, corresponding to miso and soy sauce in Japan, so it’s doable to make scrumptious Japanese meals that makes the a lot of the style with out utilizing meat or fish. 

Japanese meals contains conventional Japanese delicacies from historic occasions, Japanese delicacies created via fusion with overseas delicacies (ramen, curry, and many others.), and shōjin ryori, so you may make several types of vegan Japanese delicacies relying on the origin of the dish. Nevertheless, fish is commonly utilized in conventional Japanese dishes, native dishes, and New 12 months’s meals. Not all dishes might be made vegan, however it’s the identical with dishes from different international locations. As well as, consuming out remains to be tough at current. Normally, dried bonito (fish flakes) is used within the soup inventory. Meat-based substances are additionally used as seasonings, so it’s essential look fastidiously on the label earlier than shopping for.

So, you reside in Hiroshima. How’s the vegan meals scene over there?

Sadly, there are nonetheless few eating places in Hiroshima that serve vegan meals.

Nevertheless, the okonomiyaki restaurant “Nagataya” close to Peace Park is standard with Japanese folks and there are at all times traces. There are English menus and vegan menus, and the placement is sweet, so it’s standard with vacationers.

Why did you change into a BentoYa cooking teacher?

You can also make such scrumptious Japanese meals utilizing simply greens! I grew to become an teacher as a result of I wished to convey my very own pleasure to everybody. Thankfully, I like cooking and I can converse English. The web can also be an awesome device for sharing information. I hope that vegan Japanese meals can be transmitted to as many individuals as doable, and that Japanese dishes will change into a part of their customary home-cooked meals. Scrumptious meals makes everybody joyful and smiling. It’s common.

Do you’ve gotten a message for these keen on vegan cooking lessons?

You could discover it tough to make Japanese meals, however don’t fear. Since vegan Japanese meals just isn’t processed with meat or fish, it’s surprisingly straightforward to make when you’ve got greens, shōjin soup inventory, and Japanese-specific seasonings (soy sauce, mirin, miso, sake, and many others.). Even in case you can’t go to Japan, or go to a Japanese restaurant, BentoYa’s cooking recipes are great for making scrumptious Japanese meals. Please be a part of a cooking lesson to study the guidelines and methods of Japanese cooking and easy methods to make it for your loved ones and family members. Now that we are able to do classes on-line, I’m actually joyful to have the ability to work together with folks everywhere in the world from residence. I look ahead to cooking and speaking with you throughout the classes.

Wish to study extra?

Tomomi has a tremendous Instagram account the place she posts photos of her personal do-it-yourself plant-based dishes specifically and vegan Japanese meals usually.

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki

Vegan katsu cutlet with homemade sauce

Vegan katsu cutlet & do-it-yourself sauce

Vegan soy sauce ramen

Vegan soy sauce ramen

Pictures by Tomomi Kajiyama 

Comply with Tomomi on Instagram:

The publish Teacher Interview: Meet Tomomi Kajiyama first appeared on BentoYa Cooking.

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