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Japanese Food Lab | Hida: Preserving Traditions

Mar 21, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Join Japan House Los Angeles for a HIDA exhibition tour followed by a lecture on iconic Hida dishes and workshop on “hohba sushi”.

The leafy, forested region of Hida is known for its exquisite wood craft as explored in the current exhibition “Hida | A Woodwork Tradition in the Making.” But the forests have influenced much more than design heritage. They have also shaped the area’s cuisine, infusing even the simplest country dishes with the flavors and spirit of the surrounding trees and the hardy soil of mountainous Gifu prefecture. Perhaps the most distinctive element used in the region’s cooking is the Hohba (magnolia tree) leaf, which are abundant in Gifu but rare elsewhere. The leaves are prized for their delicate scent and purported health benefits (including healthy gums and relaxing sleep), and are used in Hida for cooking and wrapping food, including roasted meats, rice cakes, and sushi.

To celebrate the exhibition and this unique culinary heritage, special guest Norihiko “Hiko” Muto, senior manager at Katsuya Restaurant Group and Gifu native, will lead a Japanese Food Lab dedicated to Hida’s food traditions and how they can be preserved for generations to come.

After a 15-minute guided HIDA exhibition tour, Muto will introduce several iconic Hida dishes. These range from familiar foods like pickled vegetables, miso, and tsukudani (traditional preserved Japanese dishes), which are given a notable Hida twist, to specialties rarely found outside Hida, such as Hohba Sushi.

Muto will guide participants in creating their own Hohba Sushi with salmon and miso, which they will wrap in an authentic Hohba leaf to take a piece of Hida home and savor.

Program Details:

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM | Check-in at Level 2 counter
11:00 AM – 11:15 AM | HIDA gallery tour
11:30 AM | Japanese Food Lab

*Not suitable for vegetarians due to seafood products. Participants must be 18 and older.

About Norihiko “Hiko” Muto

Norihiko “Hiko” Muto was born in Gujo City, Gifu prefecture and came to the United States in 1983 to study English. While he was still a student, he began working as a dishwasher in a restaurant, and became passionate about the business of food. He went on to work in many restaurants and bars across Southern California, both inside the kitchen and front-of-house, and has been involved in launching and consulting for numerous restaurants. He is currently senior manager at Katsuya Restaurant Group, and a certified shochu advisor and sake sommelier.


Mar 21, 2020
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Japan House Los Angeles
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028 United States


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