I love classes. I love Japanese food. Put me into a Japanese cooking class where I’m fed by one of Sydney’s renowned Japanese chefs? YES PLEASE.
Chef Raita Noda is the chef in the spotlight of the very first Washoku Lovers’ kitchen, which is aimed at bringing authentic Japanese food and culture into the homes of Australians, one dish at a time. Today, it’s Sukiyaki – a Japanese hotpot synonymous with home cooking and tradition, showcasing amazing wagyu beef.
So in words of Chairman Kaga:
It all begins with the rice. Maybe it’s my Asian bias, but rice truly is a difficult ingredient to master. From the handling, to the washing, to the cooking, to the resting, Japanese apprentices can spend years only learning how to wash rice without doing any other cooking.
The secret, Chef Raita tells us, is that rice should not be washed too vigorously. You know what they tell you about washing till the water runs clear? LIES. ALL LIES I TELL YOU. You’re meant to quickly rice the rice, drain it, then massage it gently for a couple of minutes before rinsing it again. Repeat this process three times, and you’re ready to cook the rice.
Now Sukiyaki traditionally is served as a hotpot, but not content with the status quo, Chef Raita shows us how to bring it into the present by making a Sukiyaki roll!
This roll is then seared, sliced, and served with a salad of julienned leek, spring onion and green chrysanthemum leaves, to mimic the mix of vegetables in the hotpot.
And what’s a main without an entree to start?
We had heaps of fun quick-smoking slices of marinated tuna under stemless wineglasses, werking it like only Heston can.
Because you gotta use them skills to pay those bills, gurl.
The class was really informative, and Chef Raita was so endearing in his nervousness and blinged up chef’s jacket. And you know what, I walked away and made my own version of the traditional sukiyaki hotpot for dinner, so the class did what it set out to do!
Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! We also have visited other restaurants participating in the Washoku Lovers programme, like Suminoya and Oiden! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit www.washokulovers.com.