Cooking Class with Jin Hirata at Cookspace, Honolulu
Jin’s cooking class introduced students to some beautiful whole food ingredients for simple Macrobiotic meals to boost health and wellness. Jin began the class by explaining the modern American diet, and the problems associated with increased meat, dairy and processed food ingredients.
He then suggested that the key to wellness is to return to the ‘human food diet,’ one based on whole grains, vegetables, and minimally processed ingredients.
Jin’s recipes were all based on this formula for healthy human food: whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, and other delcious plant-based ingredients.
Jin is a big fan of miso like we are, and says ‘a cup of miso a day keeps the doctor away.’ His secret for miso each day is one of the coolest new cooking tricks I’ve learned in years. Blending together miso, dried daikon, dried scallions, and wakame to make an instant miso soup. This miso can be stored for months in the fridge so that any time you want a quick cup of miso it’s available. He says this is his secret travel trip, since all you need is hot water to make a quick meal or snack.
Here are his tips for making the best miso soup:
- Use a high-quality organic miso that has been aged 2 years.
- Make a large batch and let this mixture sit in the fridge.
- Use any dried ingredient that can be hydrated quickly such as green onions, wakame seaweed, and daikon.
- Scoop a tablespoon of miso mixture into a small piece of plastic wrap for an on-the-go instant miso!
Jin also introduced the class to tempeh, which is another favorite ingredient of mine, and yet not as common outside of health circles. Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that is tofu’s sexier cousin. Here are Jin’s Tempeh Tips:
- Tempeh is traditionally a soy product, but many brands carried in the U.S. use wheat. The brand we used in class was Light Life Organic tempeh and can be found at Whole Foods. It contained a mixture of soy and brown rice.
- Get creative with the veggies you use to top this dish! We used celery, carrots, and onions, but you can also use cucumber, radishes, and more. Just remember to massage the veggies with a pinch of sea salt beforehand.
- Brown rice syrup in this recipe can be used as a substitute for sweeteners like sugar and agave! We like to use it as a sweetener for large batches of granola.