International recipes inspired by community’s annual celebration

Troy Festival of Nations, set for this weekend, offers samples of cuisine from around the world

A Japanese school teacher visiting Troy several years ago taught Ruth Jenkins how to make okonomiyaki while staying at the Jenkins’ home.

Ruth Jenkins, wife of former Troy Mayor Pete Jenkins, headed the group of local residents who started the Troy Festival of Nations in the 1990s to help celebrate cultures and traditions from around the world.

The festival, now in its 19th year, will be held 2-8 p.m. Saturday on the Miami River Levee near Troy Memorial Stadium.

Food from different countries is among features of each festival. Delegations from various nations prepare traditional food items representative of their countries. This year’s featured country is Japan.

A flavor of the festival was presented at a July dinner, A Taste of Japan, at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center. Catering the meal was Sakai Japanese Bistro in Troy.

In celebration of this festival showcasing international cuisine, we asked Jenkins and Sakai to provide some of their favorite Japanese recipes.

OKONOMIYAKI

1 Head Cabbage, chopped

Meat – Choose beef strips, chicken or shrimp

5 Eggs

About 1/3 – ½ cup flour and water

Salt to taste

Mix all of the above and cook in oil. Add Okonomiyaki Sauce. Serve with rice.

Options: Could also use green onion, ham, egg, carrots and green pepper for this dish.

GYUDON (rice bowl dishes)

Simmered beef is served on top of steamed rice.

Recipe from Sakai Japanese Bistro, Troy

4 servings:

4 cups steamed white rice.

1 lb thinly sliced beef loin

1 onion, thinly sliced

Boiled water 13.5 oz (400ml)

2 tsp dashi

5 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp sake (white wine)

*optional: benishouga (pickled red ginger)

Preparation: Put boiled water, dashi, soy sauce, sugar, sake, mirin in large pan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add sliced onion ,simmer for a few minutes until softened. Add beef in the pan, simmer for a few minutes. Place simmered beef on the steamed rice.

YAKISOBA

Submitted by Ruth Jenkins; adapted from online recipe. A common noodle dish in Japanese restaurants.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons chile paste

2 cloves garlic chopped

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 onion, sliced lengthwise into eighths

1/2 medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

8 ounces soba noodles, cooked and drained

Directions:

1. In a large skillet combine sesame oil, canola oil and chili paste. Stir fry 30 seconds. Add garlic and stir fry an additional 30 seconds. Add chicken and 1/4 cup of the soy sauce and stir fry until chicken is no longer pink. Remove mixture from pan, set aside and keep warm.

2. In the emptied pan combine the onion, cabbage and carrots. Stir fry until cabbage begins to wilt. Stir in the remaining soy sauce, cooked noodles and the chicken mixture to pan and mix to blend. Serve.

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