2010: Japan: A treasure island of taste and food

Cultural News, 2010 November Issue

Andy Matsuda’s Sushi School / Cutting board talk

By Chef Andy Matsuda

Chef Andy Matsuda Sushi Chef Institute

Chef Andy Matsuda (Couetesy of Sushi Chef Institute)

Our school name bears the word “sushi” but we teach not only sushi preparation but also the basic knowledge of Japanese cuisine.

During the first two weeks in our eight-week “Professional Course- I,” I teach Japanese ingredients, soup stocks, knife-ware, and the basic cooking methods of grilling, simmering, steaming and deep-frying.

These are the basic fundamentals and skills for students to start learning Japanese cuisine. Traditional Japanese cuisine uses vegetables and fish, not meet or poultry, because Japanese Buddhism were basically vegetarian until 150 yeras ago.

However, in our basic curriculum, we include meat and poultry dishes such as teriyaki chicken, tonkatsu, beef tataki, etc.  Regarding noodle, we teach only soba and udon, because we use fish stock.

We have not taught ramen noodle, because ramen soup is generally made from stock based on chicken or pork. But, I sense that ramen is becoming popular in this country. Just like sushi, ramen may become well-known over the nation in five or ten years. You never know.

In October, as an experiment, we had a four-hour ramen cooking class after the regular “Professional Course” and invited a ramen specialist from outside of our school.

Tastes of American people are developing very fast and they are looking for new foods which they have never eaten before.

Japan is a treasure island of new tastes and foods for American people. I predict Japanese foods will flood this country in the near future.

My free sushi demonstration schedule is as follows:

Nov 13 (Sat) 1:00 PM, West Covina Library, 1601 West Covina Parkway, West Covina, CA 91790, (626)338-6235

Nov 27 (Sat) 1:00 PM, Compton Library, 240 West Compton Blvd, Compton, CA 90220, (310) 637-0202

Dec 4 (Sat) 2:00 PM, Lennox Library, 4359 Lennox Blvd, Lennox, CA 90304, (310) 674-0385

Dec 11 (Sat) 1:00 PM, Graham Library, 1900 East Firestone Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90001, (323) 582-2903

Andy Matsuda is the founder and the chief instructor of Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.sushischool.net or www.facebook.com/andy.matsuda.