International flavors celebrate soy sauce

A Brazilian man took home the gold prize, while an Indonesian man and a Filipino woman received the silver prizes in a soy sauce cooking contest, in which foreign participants presented 58 dishes made with soy sauce, at a Tokyo hotel on Sept. 29, two days before Soy Sauce Day.

The contest was among the events organized by the Japan Soy Sauce Association to commemorate Soy Sauce Day. Oct. 1 was chosen to be the day, as the old kanji character for October shares common components with the character for soy sauce.

Herculano Rotondano, a Brazilian man living in Aichi Prefecture, took the top prize for his dish of beef steak with coffee sauce and cassava puree, in the ninth Soy Sauce Recipe & Story Contest.

“When I thought about Brazilian food, I thought Brazilian coffee’s bitterness would go very well with soy sauce,” Rotondano said. “I blended foods representing cultures of Brazil and Japan and created a wonderful dish.”

Radityo Haryo Putro, an Indonesian man living in Tokyo, cooked skewered lamb with peanut sauce, flavored with soy sauce and herb sambal, while Claire Ocampo, a Filipino woman living in Saitama Prefecture, was awarded her prize for Philippine pico, rice cake with coconut caramel.

Radityo said he missed Indonesian foods typically sold in small street stalls and came up with a recipe for satay. Ocampo said that she feels that soy sauce can add a nice taste to sweet items.

Nine finalists out of 58 entrants cooked their dishes for the final judging at Hattori Nutrition College in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on July 29. Of the nine, the remaining six — from Thailand, Canada, Russia, Indonesia, Italy and the Philippines — were awarded bronze prizes.

The head judge was Hattori Nutrition College President Yukio Hattori, while the other judges were cooking critics Remi Hirano and Akiko Watanabe, as well as Isao Iimura, head chef of the Royal Park Hotel, where the awards ceremony took place.

This content is compiled by JT Media Enterprise Division.