At the beginning of the year I took part in a Japanese cookery course at Aberdeen college, coking something different over the 8 weeks. I had been wanting to do this ever since I visited Japan a couple of years ago.

There are quite a range of courses on over the year, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Italian plus plenty of baking ones. Would recommend checking them out as are good fun, good value for money. And make enough for your dinner that night plus another portion for the lunch the next day.

The classes varied in difficultly and found a few of them to be pretty basic, but then I had attempted quite a few of the dishes in the past. There was a range of abilities, with some there to learn the basics.

The first week was more of an introduction to the course, health and a safety briefing, followed by a demonstration of miso soup which we all got a bowl of to eat. Pretty basic, as I make miso soup a lot, but was a good intro to the class. 

The second week was sushi week (my favourite) and we were asked to bring sushi mats. Again I have made sushi quite a few times and thought it might be a bit simple, but it was great! We started off with making sticky white rice, which was seasoned with rice vinegar. Then watched demonstrations of the different types of sushi being made, before being let loose to try ourselves.

First was maki, with the seaweed on the outside. Then Uramaki, also known as inside out roll. This was then rolled in sesame seeds. Plus Temaki, known as hand rolls. And with the left over salmon and rice had myself some sashimi (just the fish) and nigiri (fish on a shaped block of rice). 

I had never made the inside out rolls before, or the hand rolls so this was great to learn. And I have remade these multiple times. 

The next week was by far the best, gyoza. Japanese dumplings are my favourite, always have to have them at yo sushi or wagamamas. And are pretty easy to make! Just takes a little time. 

First we made the dough for the skins, just flour, water and a little oil. The most difficult part was rolling it extremely thin, then cutting out into circles. From what looked like a small amount of dough I managed to make a lot of gyoza.

We got to make two fillings, one was pork and the other prawn and crab. Both with a mix of soy, ginger, garlic, chilli, lime, spring onions etc. 

My folding/sealing of the edges needs a little work, not to most elegant but it did hold together through the frying and steaming. These were delicious and often make them at home.

The next week was udon soup (ramen) although it wasn’t great as ramen is all about the stock and due to time constraints we just used stock cubes, no dashi. It was still tasty. 

Tempura next! Yum! Made a quick and easy light batter, a dunked in a range of vegetables, then into the deep fryer, simple as that. Plus a spicy  dipping sauce. 

Then onto one of my favourites, chicken katsu curry. Because of the quantities needed we were just given a demo on the katsu sauce, which we were all given. Not had a chance to try this myself yet, but need to soon. However we all made our own sticky rice and breadcrumbed and fried the butterflied chicken breasts. Unbelievably tasty, the sauce tastes so good made fresh from scratch. 

I ended up missing a week, the one I was really wanting to go to. Tamagoyaki, Japanese omlette which is sometimes put on top of sushi. And korokke, a meat and potato croquette. However I still got the recipes for them and since made the tamagoyaki, which was delicious, very addictive with its sweet/savoury tastes.

The final week was tsukune teriyaki chicken, and was amazing! First made balls of minced chicken seasoned with soy, ginger, garlic etc and then partially cooked them by deep frying. Then skewered them up and covered a teriyaki sauce we made, before putting in the oven till the sauce thickens and goes sticky. Then topped with sesame seeds, so good!

The course was great, and good value for money for the amount of food. I learnt a lot, now just need to decide which one to do next? Thai? Chinese? Italian? Any suggestions?