Most of the preteens in the after-school program at the Edgerley Family South Boston Boys & Girls Club had never tried Japanese food … much less cooked it.

But through a collaboration of Table for Two, SHOWA Boston Institute, and the Boys & Girls Club, the youngsters are getting a taste of international cuisine. 

Table for Two has been providing Japanese cooking classes for the Club’s preteens through its Wa-Shokuiku program, a unique food education program in which American students learn about Japanese food and culture through hands-on activities.

The SHOWA students, who are full-time Japanese college students attending school in Boston to learn about American culture, volunteer at the Club and are helping with the cooking classes.

“It’s fun,” the Club kids agreed. “It’s our first time eating Japanese food. We get to try new food. It’s so good!”

Michele Drennan, faculty at SHOWA, said the goal of the Boys & Girls Club program is to teach Japanese cuisine for healthy eating habits.

At a recent class, the students learned about, cooked, and ate Okonomiyaki, a Japanese street food.

Kyoka and Meguny, students at SHOWA, were helping the preteens cook. “It’s fun,” Meguny said. 

Alex Desta, a Club staffer, said a lot of the Club members don’t get an opportunity to experience different cultures.

“It’s good to have the kids learn something new and a new skill like cooking,” Alex said.