H.E Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador of Japan to Tonga welcomed Sr. Malia ‘Eisapeta Ma’asi, Principal of ‘Ahopanilolo and the commercial cookery students, and introduced his chef, Mr. Masafuni Endo who instructed the cooking class. In his remarks he was delighted that students are willing to be introduced to Japanese traditional food and cooking techniques. “I hope today’s lesson will add some spice to your regular classes with giving you a hint of being creative and trying another food culture.” he said.
“We have chosen the sushi roll for it is symbolic of Japan’s charms, elegance and beauty. It is also very popular among Tonga’s and easy to prepare especially with the range of vegetables and other ingredients available in the Kingdom,” stated Mr. Numata. The cooking class was an initiative by the Embassy of Japan in Nuku’alofa to present the charms of Japanese cuisines for not only its health attributes but its connection with annual events. Japan’s cuisine the “washoku” was added on the 4th of December 2010 to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and it has become more and more popular and loved by people from all over the world, including Tonga.
Sr. Malia ‘Elisapeta Ma’asi thanked Ambassador Numata for the thoughtful initiative which ‘Ahopanilolo is very privileged to experience. She was confident that her students would presently include sushi roll in their dishes served at their training restaurant and catering services.
Two classes were held for ‘Ahopanilolo on Tuesday, the morning class was for Year 2 students and Year 1 student in the afternoon. Students were first familiarized with ingredients and the making of a Japanese vegetable soup called the “kenchin-jiru” before being taught of how to make sushi roll. Students were challenged with rolling the sushi roll and using of the chopsticks and at the end of the cooking class, to everyone’s delight a bowl of kenchin-jiru was served for each to enjoy together their own sushi roll making.
Recipes of both dishes were translated into Tongan language, and were available for students to take home. The sushi roll cooking classes held in Nuku’alofa this year also anticipated to continue the friendly expansion and cultural exchanges between the peoples of Japan and the Kingdom of Tonga.