Black Hills chef elevates beef experience with Japanese flavors, embracing ‘infinite’ culinary possibilities

The event pairs one of Western South Dakota's biggest imports -- beef -- with international flavors.
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 3:55 AM MDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Adding a new dish to your recipe book can be a hard choice to make, especially with the variety of food available in the world.

With South Dakota being in the central US, it can be a little bit harder to experience different cultural foods in the state, but that shouldn’t deter you from trying out new cultural experiences when you are cooking.

“When you start to incorporate other cultures into your kitchen, you start to welcome in the infinite possibilities you have as a cook,” said Chef Restaurateur and Bokujo Ramen owner Justin Warner.

Those infinite possibilities also apply to one of Western South Dakota’s more iconic food items, beef.

“Do that beef with the best respect that you can, and that means to prepare it in the best way possible in as many ways as possible,” explained Warner.

One of those possible ways is to use traditional Japanese ingredients such as wasabi, seaweed, tonkatsu, and various other flavor combinations.

“So when it comes to Japanese condiments, there’s no need for fear; there’s no need to be trepidatious about playing with these ingredients because they are already good,” said Warner.

Plus, pairing beef with foods like Japanese mayo and tonkatsu is a great way to get a glimpse into how another country is able to put its spin on what many in the US are used to.

“Having somebody like Chef Rika here is a great way to illustrate that there is a whole world out there that eats beef that isn’t fortunate enough to eat South Dakota Beef all the time. So maybe we can learn a little bit from them and incorporate some of their pantry ingredients into our pantries,” explained Warner.

While incorporating those ingredients into one’s daily cooking routine, Chef Warner hints at not losing focus on what making food actually means.

“Whether it’s people gathering in the ramen shop over a bowl of soup or a hundred ranchers joining us to see what a Japanese take on South Dakota beef looks like, That’s what I think we need more of in all of our lives. Slow down, talk about things, have a good meal, and relax,” said Warner.