How Can I Get a Certificate in Japanese Cooking?

While programs offering a certificate in Japanese cooking are rare, there are schools that offer this specialty as an elective subject in their culinary arts certificate program. Learn about available programs, options, sushi dishes and career prospects such as becoming a sushi chef. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Programs Are Available in Japanese Cooking?

Certificate programs in Japanese cooking are not common, but you can choose to study Japanese cuisine through private lessons, workshops, as part of a culinary arts program or in basic online classes. Most programs will provide you with the basic skills needed to prepare Japanese dishes, while others are intended to complement the resumes of chefs trained in other culinary styles. The most common Japanese cooking programs and classes specialize in sushi making.

Online Japanese cooking classes are usually non-credit, but they allow you to learn at your own pace and interact with instructors through video conferencing. In some online programs, you may have to schedule one-on-one training time with your instructor in order to receive guided instruction on cooking techniques.

Program Options Private lessons, basic online classes, workshops, as elective courses in culinary arts certificate program
Common Topics of Study Food safety, cutlery and fish maintenance, vegetable slicing, presentation, health codes
Basic Dishes Sashimi, sushi rice, nigiri, sauces, rolls, sushi
Sushi Chef Preparation Apprenticeship, years of practical experience

What Can I Learn in Sushi Classes?

Initially, you may enroll in private lessons, individual classes or workshops focusing on sushi making. Skills acquired through lessons and classes include learning to maintain cutlery and other equipment, being able to identify quality pieces of fish and learning how to present various Japanese dishes. Other topics of study include food safety, health codes, vegetable slicing and presentation. You'll likely learn how to make the following:

  • Sushi rice
  • Nigiri
  • Rolls
  • Sashimi
  • Neta
  • Shrimp dishes
  • Sauces

Depending on the program, you may also learn to prepare other types of Japanese dishes, such as the following:

  • Noodles
  • Agemono
  • Nabemono
  • Mushimono
  • Shirumono

How Can I Become Certified?

A few certification programs have been started by Japanese sushi chefs specifically to educate their international counterparts. The primary purpose of these types of classes is to teach you about traditional sushi preparation with a focus on food safety. These classes have also been created to address international concerns related to food-borne illness. For example, you'll learn how to maintain proper cutlery, as dull blades can expose the fish to too much air and cause it to spoil more quickly. You'll also learn how to maintain stored fish at the correct temperature.

How Can I Become a Sushi Chef?

Mastering sushi preparation takes years of experience. According to a profile of a traditional sushi chef in Nipponia, an online magazine about Japan, most sushi chefs begin their profession as apprentices. Generally, apprentices start their training by completing tasks related to restaurant hygiene and maintenance. These tasks are important to lowering the risk of transmitting food-borne illnesses. In more traditional establishments, apprentices aren't allowed to handle fish, rice or cooking materials until they've accumulated several years of experience in restaurant maintenance. Cooking tasks for apprentices involve procuring raw fish and preparing rice used to make nigiri. Apprentices can also learn sushi preparation by practicing with leftover fish.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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