This week our world food tour was to Japan. We discussed Asian food, including rice and its various forms (noodles, paper, cakes, wine) and also touched on fermented foods and the uses of soy (as our ingredients included soy beans, tofu, tamari and miso).

The students were very excited by the menu this week. Our first dish was sushi rolls, made with an assortment of vegetables, cooked tuna with mayonnaise and slightly sweet, slightly salty omelette. We made a green miso soup which was a warming winner – the base was broccoli and lots of different greens from the garden including tatsoi, spinach, kale and silverbeet. These were flavoured with leek, lemon and miso and them made super creamy with the addition of silken tofu.

Another station made okonomiyaki – Japanese savoury pancakes made with spring onion, cabbage and carrots and served with a yummy sauce made from mayonnaise, sweet chilli and soy. We also made a soba noodle salad with sesame and coriander and citrus cupcakes with green tea icing. We decorated these cupcakes with some finger lime pearls that we froze last term when we had them growing in abundance.

Homework for the holidays is to try foods from different countries – this can be while away, here in Melbourne at a restaurant or in the comfort of your own home. Double points for the kids who use the holidays to cook international foods.

Happy holidays and happy cooking.

See you in term 3.



Sushi Rolls


1kg uncooked sushi rice
150ml sushi rice vinegar OR 1 cup rice wine vinegar +1/4 cup mirin + 1/4 cup sugar
1 packet dried nori sheets
1 avocado, cut into strips
1 cucumber, peeled, deseed end and cut into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled & grated
1 can of tuna, drained and mixed with a tablespoon of mayonnaise
Omelette made with a spoon of each soy and sugar, cut into strips


Cook the rice according to instructions on packet, whilst hot, spread on a large tray. Pour over seasoning and let cool to room temperature.

Place a sheet of nori (shiny side down) on a bamboo sushi mat. Using moist fingers press approximately 3/4 cup of prepared sushi rice over the seaweed, only going up about 2/3 of the way.

In a horizontal row near the bottom of the rice, place veggies, tuna and omelette.

Roll up the sushi mat, pressing down so that a compact roll results.

Cut into 8 even pieces and repeat with the rest of the rice.


Okonomiyaki – Japanese Pancakes


2 cups flour
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons soy sauce (or Tamari)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt to taste
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
4 cups finely shredded Chinese cabbage (wombok)
Rice bran oil to fry

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1.5 tablespoons sweet chilli
1.5 tablespoons soy sauce (or Tamari)


In a bowl mix flour, water and soy sauce. Add eggs and salt Mix thoroughly until the batter is smooth. Mix in the vegetables and make sure they are well coated in the batter.

Heat oil in a large frypan. Place spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.

Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden.

Drain on a paper towel.

Mix the sauce ingredients together and whisk with a fork until smooth. Drizzle over pancakes or serve on the side.


Soba Noodle Salad


150g sesame seeds
450g soba noodles
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
10 teaspoons soy sauce (or tamari)
4 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons sesame oil
10 spring onions, very finely sliced


Toast the sesame seeds in a dry non-stick fry pan until golden then tip them into a bowl.

Cook the soba noodles in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes (or according to the packet) – they should be tender but not mushy. Refresh in lots of cold water after draining.

In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey & oil.

Add the Spring onions to the bowl along with the cooled noodles and sesame seeds. Toss to combine then serve.

Garnish with chopped coriander if desired.




1 packet edamame
1 teaspoon Maldon salt


Bring a big saucepan of water to the boil. Add the edamame and cook until they come to the top. Drain very well. Sprinkle with salt. Divide into bowls and put out extra bowls for the skins.

Citrus Cupcakes with Matcha Icing


250g butter (room temperature), chopped into small pieces
4 cups SR flour
2.5 cups sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
4 eggs
½ cup citrus juice
2 tablespoons of finely grated citrus zest (use the microplane grater)
1.5 cups milk

1 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon matcha powder
20g soft butter
1 tablespoon boiling water



Preheat oven to 180C.
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer.
Beat for 5 minutes.
Line muffin trays with patty pans.
Half fill with orange cake mixture.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and springy to touch.
Allow to cool on cooking racks then ice once cold.

To make the icing, sift icing sugar and matcha into a bowl. Add butter and boiling water. Stir until smooth. Spread a little icing over each cupcake. Sprinkle with finger lime pearls or orange zest if desired.

Green Miso Soup


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
1 head of broccoli, chopped (stalks and florets)
A small bunch kale, roughly chopped
A handful of spinach, roughly chopped
4 leaves of silverbeet or Swiss chard, roughly chopped (stalks and leaves)
2 litres water and 3 cubes chicken stock
1 teaspoons miso paste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
sea salt and cracked black pepper
300g silken tofu


Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the oil and leek and cook for 5 minutes or until very soft.
Add the broccoli, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and stock and miso paste.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
Stir through the lemon rind, salt and pepper. Using a stick blender or a blender, purée the soup until smooth. Add the tofu and blend until smooth.


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