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Calling all Harajuku girls, otaku boys, and just about anyone who’s a fan of Japan. The creators of Brooklyn, New York’s Sumo Stew are bringing their obsession with sumo culture and Japanese food to D.C. on Sept. 13 at Right Proper Brewery’s Production House + Tasting Room from 6:30–9:30 p.m. The event combines streaming sumo wrestling, bento boxes, a bubbling pot of chankonabe, and Japanese booze, and is from photographer Michael Harlan Turkell and Harry Rosenblum of the of The Brooklyn Kitchen.
Turkell was bit by the Japan bug when he traveled to Kyoto for his honeymoon. While there, the newlyweds took a four-hour train ride to Fukuoka on Japan’s southernmost island to see a sumo tournament, and Turkell’s been a sumo fan ever since. Put it this way, if there a fantasy sumo league, he’d be the commissioner.
It’s no surprise then that participants of Sumo Stew will get to try the traditional food of sumo wrestlers—a giant pot of protein-rich soup designed to help the athletes add to their bellies. Zentan’s Chef Yo Matsuzaki has stepped up to the challenge and will be preparing a version with miso-sesame dashi broth loaded with chicken and pork meatballs, shrimp, salmon, cabbage, and mushrooms.
Additionally, guests will each receive a loaded bento box with Japanese-inspired dishes from area restaurants, including crispy miso kushi-katsu from Kaz Sushi Bistro. The restaurant’s chef and owner, Kaz Okochi, hails from Nagoya, where panko-crusted pork in a sweet miso sauce is the signature dish. Other menu items include:
Toki Underground: Cold Tofu Salad, 1000 Year Egg, Bonito, Tare, and Sesame Oil
Hazel: Summer Corn Donburi, Cilantro, Togarashi, Lime Aioli, and Cojita Cheese
The Red Hen: Hiyashi Chuka “Italian Style”, Tsukemen Noodles (provided by SUN NOODLE), Marinated Squid, Pig’s Head, Calabrian Chilies, Pickled Cucumber, and Smoked Onion Tare
Red Hen Chef Mike Friedman reveled in the experience of developing a dish that pulls inspiration from Japan. “I’ve always been interested in Japanese culture, and it’s the cuisine I go for when I’m not working,” he says. Of course, he put an Italian twist on his dish by using coppa di testa (head cheese) from his other restaurant, All Purpose. Turkell says the goal was to showcase how chefs from all cultures pull influence from Japan.
Drink-wise there will green tea, Right Proper beer, Nikka Whisky served mizuwari style (mixed with water), sake, and shochu neat or on ice with a slice of cucumber.
Tickets are $50 and include a bento box, bowl of chankonabe, dessert from Buttercream Bakeshop, a beer ticket, and two drink tickets. Additional drinks will be available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to those rebuilding after the recent earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan.