I have celiac disease and spent a month traveling through Japan. One of my favorite things I did during that whole time was a gluten free cooking class in Osaka.
Earlier in our trip, I took a sushi making class in Tokyo. That was so fun, but I definitely had to be on high alert for potential gluten (although they did a great job accommodating me).
So when I discovered a dedicated gluten free cafe in Osaka that also offered cooking classes, I knew I wanted to take part. It was a joy to not worry about gluten the entire time. And Dan, my partner who eats gluten, enjoyed it just as much as I did!
If you are gluten free or are traveling to Japan with anyone who is, then I recommend this gluten free cooking class in Osaka as one of the TOP things to book for your trip.
NOTE | This post is not sponsored. We paid for our cooking class out of our own pockets. You can rest assured this review is completely genuine (as always).
Why Should You Do a Gluten Free Cooking Class in Osaka?
Did you know that Osaka is known as “Japan’s kitchen”? It’s true! Osaka is definitely the foodie city of Japan, so it makes sense to take a cooking class here.
Osaka is also the only place in Japan, that I know of, where you can take a 100% gluten free cooking class.
Sure, some cooking schools in Tokyo and Kyoto can accommodate gluten free diets. But they aren’t 100% gluten free. That means you will have to be cautious the whole time, ask questions to double check ingredients and cross contact, and never quite relax.
With a dedicated gluten free cooking class, I found that I could really soak up the whole experience and enjoy it with peace of mind.
Also, while Osaka is an interesting city, I wouldn’t say it has as many things to do as Tokyo or Kyoto. So, by spending a half day of your Japan itinerary in a cooking class, you aren’t missing out on too much!
Comeconoco: A 100% Gluten Free Cafe and Cooking Class Laboratory
There are multiple types of cooking classes available.
Most tourists choose a set menu cooking class, where you essentially make a three or four course meal of your chosen Japanese foods.
Yukiko also offers a special gluten free patisserie course, which is more popular among Japanese chefs who want to learn how to cook with rice flour.
How to Book
To book our gluten free cooking class, I actually messaged Yukiko on Instagram! Here is a link to the Comeconoco Instagram page.
Yukiko is fluent in English, so it was very easy to message back and forth about pricing, menus, and dates.
I booked our class about a month in advance, and we messaged in the lead up to our class to finalize the menu.
Dan and I chose to do a private, set menu cooking class.
The class cost 8,000 JPY per person, which is roughly $56 USD.
We paid in cash in Japanese Yen on the day of our class, but it is also possible to pay by PayPal.
One thing I really loved about this cooking class was how much Yukiko let us personalize our menu!
We requested to make sushi, karaage (Japanese fried chicken), and mochi. For the mochi, we had many options for the flavor.
Here is what our final menu was:
- Miso soup
- Okra and cabbage salad
- Sushi (tuna sashimi, salmon/cream cheese, and avocado/tuna salad)
- Mochi (orange and pear)
I am sure that you could request different menu choices if you wish – that’s one of the great things about this class!
How to Get There
The cooking classes are NOT held at the same location as the Comeconoco Cafe. The cooking class laboratory is nearby, though.
On the day of our cooking class, we met Yukiko at Temmabashi Station, exit 4 (nearby Doutour Coffee – location linked!). She was wearing a blue apron so it was very easy to identify her!
From there, Yukiko walked us a few minutes over to the cooking laboratory, which would have been difficult to find on our own. When you book your class, she will send you instructions!
Our Experience at This Gluten Free Osaka Cooking Class
This gluten free cooking class in Osaka was one of the highlights of my time in Japan. I am so happy we did it!
Actually, we nearly missed out, because our original cooking class was canceled due to a typhoon that hit Osaka that same day!! (The same typhoon that canceled our flights home…!).
A testament to how kind Yukiko is, is that when she had to cancel our class, she also helped us by sending news about the typhoon over Instagram (all the news was in Japanese so we were very out of the loop until she helped us!).
Then, when we ended up staying in Japan an extra week due to the flight schedules, Yukiko happily rescheduled our cooking class. Let’s just say, it was totally worth it to extend our time in Japan just to take this class!
Now, let’s get into how the actual class went…
Part 1: Prepping the Mochi
As I mentioned, we made both pear and orange mochi in this class. Other flavors you could choose from include cherry, strawberry, grape, pineapple, matcha, and more. I love eating mochi, but I’d never made it before!
It was so fun to make, and Yukiko was an excellent teacher. She paid special attention to showing us the ingredient packets so we would know what to buy at home.
After the mochi was prepped, we put it in the fridge until later.
Part 2: Making the Karaage
Next up was making the karaage, or Japanese fried chicken.
Yukiko taught us how to make the gluten free flour mixture and dredge the chicken, and then we fried it together with some peppers, before setting it out to drain.
Part 3: Rolling the Sushi
The most time-consuming part of the class was making our sushi!
If you’ve read any of the other gluten free Japan articles on my blog, you know that I love sushi. Dan and I had already taken that sushi making class in Tokyo, which meant we knew the basics.
Yukiko took it to the next level and we really got to test how much we remembered.
One thing I especially appreciated about Yukiko’s teaching style, was that she focused a lot on helping us figure out ways to make sushi at home.
Of course, it is not easy to get sashimi-grade fish back home. So, she taught us two styles of sushi with easily accessible ingredients: 1) smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado, 2) canned tuna salad and avocado.
We also made a couple tuna sashimi rolls because, when in Japan…
All of our sushi turned out really well, and Dan and I have since made it at home multiple times!
Part 4: Feast!
Finally, came my favorite part of any cooking class… eating!
We sat down to the amazing feast that we’d made. As a bonus, Yukiko also gave us some extremely flavorful gluten free miso soup that she’d already made.
Honestly, the food was incredible (I’m not bragging… all credit goes to our amazing teacher).
And let me tell you, we made a LOT of food! In fact, we had to take a couple boxes of food back to our hotel because we couldn’t finish it, which became our dinner that same night!
Comeconoco Cooking Class in Osaka: Final Thoughts
I’m sure you can tell, but I loved the Comeconoco cooking class. As someone with celiac disease, it can be challenging to travel, especially in a country like Japan where there are so many hidden sources of gluten.
Taking a 100% gluten free cooking class meant that for a brief few hours, I didn’t have to worry.
Both Dan and I had an incredible time and can wholeheartedly recommend taking a cooking class with Comeconoco when you are in Japan!