Japanese Canadian heritage cooking classes showcase family recipes

An upcoming Japaanese Canadian heritage cooking class is one in a yearlong series that highlights family and community recipes that date back to pioneer days.

The 90-minute class, priced at between $10 and $15, will be led by guest cook Carmel Tanake “and her intergenerational cooking team.” Tanaka describes herself as a “‘secret’ family recipe foodie” and “a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and interned Japanese-Canadians, and [I] proudly identify as ‘Jewpanese'”.

This latest installment in the 2022 series of demonstrations and tastings will take place next Wednesday (August 24) at Tonari Gumi (the Japanese Community Volunteers Association) at 42 West 8th Avenue, from 6 pm to 7:30 pm

The series is presented by Tonari Gumi, the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association, and the Vancouver Japanese Language School and is described as “a simple hands-on kitchen-workshop experience with some great eating at the end”.

On the “menu” for the class—described in a release as Old School/New School: Intergenerational Cooking With Carmel Tanake—is broiled crispy miso-maple steelhead trout with steamed rice. (The previous class featured DIY barbecued-salmon onigiri.)

Steelhead trout, or just “steelhead”, are a seagoing cousin of our coastal freshwater rainbow trout that are found in coldwater tributaries of the Pacific Basin, including in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast Asia.

Map of steelhead global range.
Wikimedia Commons/NOAA

Side-dish instruction is included with some classes, and those coming up on August 24 include grilled and marinated ginger tofu (vegan); Japanese eggplant salad with herbs, olives, and rice vinegar; brined chilli cukes and yuzu kosho; maitake, millet, and buckwheat rice; and minty jewel plums, apricots, figs, and dates.

For tickets and information, go here; email torabc@gmail.co.

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