Why An Online Cooking Class Is A Great Way For Moms To Practice Self-Care
#MetroMomCon's Shibuya Hotspot Cooking Workshop lets you level up your kitchen skills, master delicious new dishes, and whip up a restaurant-worthy meal that your family will love. Achievement unlocked!
This new normal takes a lot out of us all, but it's especially hard on moms. Usually the carers of the family, mothers have a deluge of responsibilities heaped onto already filled plates, but somehow—they get it done (and even make it look easy)!
So the idea of a day devoted to Mom's well-being is a welcome respite. The Metro Mom Con last Saturday, May 15, was just such a day, filled with activities promoting not only self-care but also self-growth. A rousing success, it was attended by women looking to live their best lives even in the current circumstances.
Surprisingly, cooking a home cooked meal was one of the options in this year’s conference.
While cooking can be viewed as a chore, for many women, including myself, it is one of the most visceral means of self-expression and love. Personally, I find cooking to be both magical and stressful. Like a magician, we cooks create something entirely new and amazing out of disparate things, but at the same time, cooking for our families certainly comes with layers of pressure. After all, we want our families to not just like what we cook but to love it!
At Metro Mom Con, that particular pressure was off the table as Chef Him Uy de Baron of Himpossible Recipes together with host, Lexi Schulze, guided ladies through the process of cooking a restaurant-worthy Shibuya Hotspot Japanese meal. The goal was to learn to cook two dishes, Miso Braised Pork Mazesoba with Chicharon, and Pork Gyoza at home.
“We really wanted to come in and be able to shop for you guys, put it in a kit, and help you through it… to transition to become a really creative cook. We had some people who started with just knowing how to cook instant noodles, but now they’re cooking paellas, and I’m quite proud of them,” said Chef Him of his online cooking school, Himpossible Recipes.
We met online at brunch-time. Our kits, which included pre-mixed, pre-measured, and pre-packaged ingredients, had arrived the day before with instructions aplenty, including a presentation detailing how ingredients should be prepared before the class started. We even had a group chat with Chef Him and his team to help us with any queries that we had, if we had any.
“If you want to cook Japanese, you need to go to different places to get your ingredients, and it’s just not safe to go out there and spend an afternoon out and go looking for the right ingredients. So we do that for you, we pack it in the kitchen, even portion it out for you, so that you’re ready [to cook]”, shared Chef Him at the start of class.
From telling us when to put the meats in the chiller, to detailed pictures of our mis-en-place (setting up ingredients), I felt fully supported in my first foray into Mazesoba cooking. A feeling, I’m sure, that was shared by many in the class.
The class started. We weren’t in the same room physically, but you could feel so much positive energy. There was a lot of smiling, excited hi-s and hello-s, and this palpable anticipation to discover a new dish and start cooking a meal for our families—just in time for lunch!
We started with the gyoza, which was simple and easy. Chef Him showed us a video on what to do and talked us through it. We mixed meat with pre-portioned seasonings, cabbage that we blanched and cut into small pieces, and some ingredients from our pantry.
“What’s important in making a gyoza that it can sit on its bottom, so that when you fry it, it has that crisp bottom, and of course, sealing it tightly so the filling won’t ooze out when you cook it,” shared Chef Him.
To be honest, I’ve made gyozas before… ten years ago in culinary class, but I don’t remember it being that easy. Especially when it came to wrapping, the gyoza wrapper provided was thick enough to not tear on me, and thin and pliable enough to fold and crimp seven times, as what is traditional, and just as Chef Him taught us during class. I felt ridiculously accomplished showing my 7-fold gyozas to the group, holding it up to my camera like I was a make-up vlogger, and I felt the same sense of joy as I cheered on the other women (and their kids) who did the same with theirs.
Our kit produced 30 dumplings, which we proceeded to cook in our nonstick pans with water and the lid on. After steaming, we added a bit of oil to fry the gyozas to get that trademark crispy bottom.
Just like in a restaurant, while the dumplings were steaming, we started on our second dish, the Mazesoba. Mazesoba is dry ramen. I call it Japanese spaghetti but with ramen noodles.
“Mazesoba is a dry soupless ramen. It's perfect for the summer. It's not as heavy, but it's just as flavorful so we're going to find flavor in different places here,” said Chef Him.
After rendering bacon, we sautéed aromatics, mushrooms and meat until the latter was browned. Then we added this brown mix (which had two kinds of miso) that tasted and smelled umami-licious with some water, and waited for the mix to dry up, and set it aside.
Next up was to boil noodles. These were pre-portioned to four servings, perfect for my family, and came with detailed instructions. We waited until the water was at a roaring boil—then cooked one portion at a time for 1 and ½ minutes to 2 minutes. After, the cooked noodles were tossed in a pre-mixed tare sauce and put in a bowl—ready to be topped with meat, a poached egg, chicharon, and greens!
I can proudly say that my Mazesoba looked and tasted like it was made by a chef and produced oh-so-gratifying ooohhs and ahhhs from the hungry lunch crowd that I served it to. The noodles were chewy, the meat was fragrant and rich – with buttery and nutty notes from the two misos, and a slight tang from tomato. All that, together with the crunch from chicharon, spice from the togarashi spice mix, lusciousness from the poached egg, and the fresh bite from leeks and kutchay, made for a delightful bowl for lunch.
Even better, it came with a side of gyoza! The gyoza was also a roaring success. It had that crispy bottom and when dipped into its gyoza sauce reminded me of happier times when I could get my gyoza fix freshly cooked in a restaurant (a luxury!) or in Japan (a dream!).
That lunch, my family felt like we were eating in a restaurant, except the food was cooked by my own two hands. So while yes, cooking can be a chore, I felt its deliciously wonderful rewards that Saturday lunch—all thanks to Himpossible Recipes and the Metro MomCon.
Interested in an online cooking class? Check out Himpossible Recipes's online cooking workshops and let Chef Him Uy de Baron guide you. Recipes are kitchen-tested, and ingredients delivered straight to your doorstep. Call (0923) 237-2973 or DM @himpossible.recipes on Instagram.