Steamed or pan-fried? Soy sauce or teriyaki? How many gyoza can you eat before you are considered a local? These and many more questions were pondered during our Year 9 and 10 Japanese cooking incursion on Monday, 14 September much like the following which we learnt about as well…
Ever wondered about that illusive taste you just cannot describe? It’s not sweet, sour, salty or bitter… We now know thanks to visiting Japanese chef, Tomo Akutsu (Japanese Cuisine Classes), it’s called ‘umami’ and can be found in things like meat, fish, tomatoes, cheese, and dried shitake mushrooms. Umami describes the unique and primary taste that cannot be created by mixing other tastes. In our maxed out gyoza and okonomyaki-making day in the BBSC kitchen, Year 9 and 10 Japanese students discovered the wonders of katsuoboshi/bonito flakes and dashi and how to wrap the perfectly pleated gyoza.
Students took turns flipping professional-looking okonomiyaki before dousing it with kewpie mayo and okonomiyaki sauce and watching the bonito flakes unfurl like wispy pencil shavings in the steam of freshly cooked Japanese pancake before breaking apart their ‘waribashi’ and diving in to taste their creations. Second rounds were a little circumspect with designs of ‘Sailor Moon and Hamtaro intricately drawn in mayo and sauce before calling ‘itadakimasu’.
Genuine thanks go to Tomo for the authentic cultural capital he shared with the students and for the cooking demonstrations, hands on skills and the ‘oishii’ food we shared together.
Japanese TeacherBayside state school collageWynnum Brisbane