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Some people open Japanese restaurants abroad without proper training. We want to see 'washoku' become more popular through the acquisition of basic techniques of authentic Japanese cuisine by foreign

31 Comments

Eietsu Sakuraba, a senior official in charge of food safety at the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry. The Japanese government plans to launch a licensing system to recognize foreign chefs of "washoku," or traditional Japanese cuisine, next year. (NHK)

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Some people open pasta /pizza, Mexican, etc. restaurants in Japan without proper training. I want to see foods from other countries become better food through the acquisition of basic techniques of foreign cuisine by Japanese cooks.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Errr no, I don't want to see food abroad being controlled or restricted in any shape or form thanks....

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This is the height of stupidity. Most people outside of Japan probably won't enjoy washoku if it's only made in an 'authentic' way with 'traditional' government approved ingredients. Just like most Japanese people would probably be disgusted if they tasted an authentic spicy Indian curry or how they refuse to eat a pizza unless it's topped with corn and mayonaise with sausages baked into the crust.

Government approved food will always be doomed to fail. Just let people enjoy what they like.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Some chefs may see some value in getting this particular certificate but that's about as far as it goes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Eietsu Sakuraba, a senior official in charge of food safety at the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry. The Japanese government plans to launch a licensing system to recognize foreign chefs of “washoku,” or traditional Japanese cuisine, next year.

The clueless becardiganed go globetrotting (again).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If governments had intervened in the past to keep traditional cuisine 'authentic', we wouldn't now have castella, ramen, anpan, yonkatsu, sushi, tempura, kare-raisu, teriyaki burgers, rice burgers or okonomiyaki. Not to mention pizzas with corn/mayo/etc and wafu spaghetti. (Why anyone would want to wafu a perfectly good pasta dish beats me, but it's obvious some folk like it)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Some people open Japanese restaurants abroad without proper training.

The Koreans (in CA) often replicate traditional japanese style izakayas, restaurants and counter sushi. For the average american (who can't tell the difference anyhow) these places aren't so bad. They're clean, moderately priced and offer the traditional atmosphere.

Then, there are others who know where to get the real deal from Japanese owned & staffed restaurants.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Some chefs may see some value in getting this particular certificate but that's about as far as it goes.>

Only if it has the equal status as the michelin star, otherwise I don't think high end restaurant will be bothered to get it.

Just like most Japanese people would probably be disgusted if they tasted an authentic spicy Indian curry or how they refuse to eat a pizza unless it's topped with corn and mayonaise with sausages baked into the crust.>

Here in Australia, you can find some sushi which would be consider 'unacceptable' in Japan. They put mayonaise or sweet soy sauce on the raw fish. There is also deep fried sushi (interestingly it kinda disappears recently). Melted chinese on sushi and all other different kinds. Aussies love them so why not making them?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

cleoSep. 22, 2015 - 09:07AM JST

None of the recipes or foods you suggest are claimed as authentic/traditional (country name here) food either.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is where my tax goes? Storm the gates!!!!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not the stupid sushi police idea again! Go get a pizza piled with corn on a mayo base & get STUFFED!

Perhaps add a bit of sea weed to the above!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan doesn't "own" Japanese food. what do they care if it is not perfectly made or has a flavor twist designed to cater to local (i.e. foreign) tastes?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@cleo

By the way both sushi and okonomiyaki are Japanese in orign unless you subscribe to the Urinari BS. LoL

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It won't make sense to you until you have some really horrible food called Japanese but made by some non-Japanese hacks outside of Japan just trying to take advantage of the latest Japan craze.

I was the victim of that twice in America. And for the people of those areas, it was about their only chance to experience anything Japanese and they left with the totally wrong idea.

That said, I would be in favor a law that allowed only certain restaurants to use the term "authentic Japanese" on their store front. Others should probably barred from using the word "Japanese" at all unless they fulfill some requirements, such as training or having real Japanese cooks on staff.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Others should probably barred from using the word "Japanese" at all unless they fulfill some requirements, such as training or having real Japanese cooks on staff.>

You cannot be serious, right? Let's get started, OK. Burger joints cannot use the world 'burger' unless they fulfill some requirements set by some organisation from USA or having real American cook or staff. Pizza shops need to have Italians. Chinese restaurant sneed to have Chinese. How about Mexicans? Thai? I can go on and on and on.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I wish this guy would just stick a sock in it already. I mean, recently I went to a so-called Mexican eatery in town, and it was enough to piss even the most open-minded Mexican off. Then there's the pizza! You wanna talk about chefs needing to acquire proper techniques: I have yet to eat a proper pizza in Japan ( but I must say that I don't expect too in Japan; I'm just bringing it up since this guy wants too shoot his mouth off about proper techniques.) And here's a news flash Japan: spaghetti isn't an umbrella term for pasta! Neither is Margareta one for pizza! By the way, I thought " only Japanese can cook authentic washoku" anyway. Washoku isn't that difficult anyway.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I beleive I have never seen a female sushi chef while I was holidaying in Japan. Women are considered unfit to be sushi chef in Japan, right? I wonder if this licensing system will accept female applicants.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@yoshisan

Believe it or not, women are banned from being sushi chefs because they have periods.Make the fish taste "acidic", apparently. Mental.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Believe it or not, women are banned from being sushi chefs because they have periods.Make the fish taste "acidic", apparently. Mental.>

So do male sushi chefs in Japan have urine test regularly to make sure they are not too 'acidic'?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In other news, Italian government plans to launch a licensing system to recognize foreign chefs of pizza, pasta & traditional Italian cuisine, next year. Japan is said to be first on the agenda, according to reports.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I'm in Japan, for the most part I'll devour sushi, okonomiyaki,soba etc When abroad I'll seek out meat pies,(real) cheese,proper pizzas etc

Those who can stomach the price of paying four or five times at Nobu or similar know what they are doing but for the rest it is better to live in ignorance.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@yoshisan88

You cannot be serious, right? Let's get started, OK. Burger joints cannot use the world 'burger' unless they fulfill some requirements set by some organisation from USA or having real American cook or staff. Pizza shops need to have Italians. Chinese restaurant sneed to have Chinese. How about Mexicans? Thai? I can go on and on and on.

You took what I said and spun it precisely backward.

No. Anyone can claim to sell burgers, pizza, tonkatsu, sushi or hummus. They just cannot call it "authentic (insert nationality here) unless they have some valid claim that is authentic (insert nationality here).

Why should a White American man be able to open a restaurant and call it Japanese despite his never having formally studied Japanese cuisine, nor any of his staff being Japanese nor having studied Japanese cuisine and pretty much all people knowledgeable in Japanese cuisine agreeing his restaurant's food is nowhere near real Japanese cuisine and is in fact bloody awful? Its a fraud all around. Why would anyone support fraud?

And why would anyone be dead against fighting fraud with mere labels? I never said "shut them down". I suggested they be free with the simple caveat that to acquire a certain label, they jump through some very basic hoops?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I see no problem with this, except for the obvious waste of taxpayers' money once again. If the cost were completely covered by the restaurants that apply for this certification, then it's a fine idea.

I can't understand the objections otherwise. They are not talking about restricting restaurants. They are simply providing an option for a Japanese restaurant overseas to get certified as "authentic." They can then use that certification in their advertising, though I doubt too many customers will care. They will either like the food or not - certified or otherwise.

But since 90% of the money the government takes from us is wasted on equally stupid, wasteful or corrupt things, this is nothing to get upset about.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I lack the imagination to be a bureaucrat. I remember my P.E. teacher at school punished me by making me write two sides of A4 on why corner posts for football matches don't and shouldn't forget their flags. These people could rival Tolstoy on this topic.

Stop wasting my sodding taxes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If they need to certify, how about chefs and cooks in Japan who have been raised on highly processed convenience food and prepared meals from supermarkets? This and the cheap frozen ingredients and all the additives has led to many restaurants in Japan becoming anything but "authentic" in taste. Consumers here also no longer experience the subtle seasonal tastes of grandma's homemade cooking, so they are satisfied with the overly sweet and salty flavours of a lot of the fare the dish out. Over the past 25 years, there has been a noticeable drop in the quality of middle price range Japanese restaurants under the Ministry's watch. Get your own house in order!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some people open Japanese restaurants abroad

That was a decade ago. Now, the fad is over, they are closing them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now, the fad is over, they are closing them.

@coskuri Yeah, because so many of them were and are so phony and horrible. Their presence and demise threatens the decent and real places. All the more reason to insist upon documented authenticity.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

both sushi and okonomiyaki are Japanese in origin unless you subscribe to the Urinari BS.

No idea what 'Urinari BS' refers to, but the origins of sushi are not Japanese.

http://www.sushifaq.com/basic-sushi-experience-information/the-history-of-sushi/

While okonomiyaki does have a long history as an item of native cuisine, the use of worcester sauce, mayo, etc., means that the dish was essentially altered in Japan in much the same way 'authentic' washoku is now being altered outside Japan. So if the culinary police had been in action in the 20th century, okonomiyaki as we know it today would never have been developed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The author of that page is completely mixed up. Narezushi and Sushi are complete two different recipes in which one is fermenting rice and fish together the other is fresh fish on a ball of rice which has complete two different appearance and taste which no one would mistake.

The only reason Edo-mae Sushi is called sushi is because they use the same two main ingredient, fish and rice.

As for okonomiyaki, how can it be original and altered at the same time? It was developed as is AFTER the Meji era utilizing the same recipe. It doesn't have to be three hundred years old to be authentic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Triring

Interesting about sushi. Thanks.

But what are you saying about okoniyaki?

"It was developed as is AFTER the Meiji era utilising the same recipe."

I can't begin to understand what that means....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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