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Edmonton’s Izakaya Tomo takes its name from owner and chef Tomoya Mutaguchi, and bringing the authentic izakaya experience to Alberta is his passion. “I used to love to go to Izakaya when I lived in Japan,” he explains. “I just want as many people as possible to know about Izakaya food.”

Izakaya have extensive menus, and dishes are meant to be enjoyed over the course of an evening, so for someone new to the izakaya experience it can be a bit intimidating. If you’re not sure, take direction from the Chef himself and order his favourite, the pork shoga yaki (stir-fry pork and onions in ginger sauce).

For a family-style meal at home, Chef Tomoya shares a recipe for sukiyaki, served in the nabemono or Japanese hot-pot style. With a more freestyle approach to cooking, he suggests not following the recipe – at least not exactly. “Change the balance of flavours depending on your ingredients, the weather, your guests’ preferences, even the atmosphere,” he says. But don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients. “Use good beef and good eggs,” he adds, “and cook your onions in beef fat. It makes them taste better.”


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