The Japanese Club at UCA hosted a Japanese cooking course on Thursday, Sept. 26 in the Culinary Lab of McAlister Hall.
As attendees trickled through the doorway, Japanese Club members continued to prepare and organize the ingredients and items needed to begin the course.
Junior Keisuke Hoshino, the Japanese Club president, and other club members made their way around the room confirming that that the course was ready to begin.
The course began as Hoshino briefly discussed what dish the class was going to prepare. The dish is called Sanshoku-Don, a dish described as a three-colors rice bowl, and it is comprised of rice, chicken, spinach and eggs. Hoshino then gave a quick explanation of the dish, it’s origin and what would go into preparing the dish.
As the course continued, students were able to work in separate stations, divided up into groups, with each group given an area to prepare their meal, including a stove, rice cooker and other cookware.
The groups then began preparing the Sanshoku-Don and the room filled with smiles as participants began to see how the dish was going to be assembled. From the chicken on the stove to the rice in the rice cooker, it was apparent that the dish was going to make a great impression on the group.
When the cooking finished and the eating began, the overwhelming outcome seemed to be that the Sanshoku-Don was amazing and simple. Not only did the dish taste good, but the course as a whole seemed to bring people together in ways that only cooking can — which in the end, was a goal for Hoshino.
“Wherever I grew up, and wherever somebody else grew up, is totally different,” Hoshino said. “I feel like, through the culture and through the food, we get to know each other very, very quickly. I feel like through the food, we can connect.”
The entire experience of cooking such a simple Japanese meal from ingredients found at your local grocery store was a point that Hoshino also wanted to emphasize as well. It doesn’t take making a drive to a special grocery store to be able to make Sanshoku-Don or any Japanese dish.
“From our cooking classes, you can learn how to make Japanese food really quickly, and really easily. All [of] our ingredients came from Conway, Arkansas,” Hoshino said. “You don’t have to go all the way to Little Rock to make Japanese food. We wanted to show students real Japanese food, and real Japanese culture.”
As the course ended, attendees left the class smiling, as if they learned about more than just food, but about an entire culture. Junior Haley Gann has attended the Japanese cooking courses four times and has enjoyed her experience learning about a new culture and new food.
“I have an immense interest in Japan and it’s cool to experience the food that they eat and the culture that they have,” Gann said.
The course did its part in bringing together different people to learn about a culture they may not have known about beforehand.
For students who want to learn about Japanese culture, or just want to learn how to cook a Japanese dish, contact the UCA Japanese Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.