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Makiko Itoh

Makiko Itoh writes the Japanese Kitchen column and is the owner of two popular blogs about Japanese cooking: JustHungry.com and JustBento.com. She’s the author of “The Just Bento Cookbook,” now in its 6th printing.

For Makiko Itoh's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Japan's historic love of corn

| Aug 19, 2014

Japan's historic love of corn

The fact that corn or maize has a Japanese name — tōmorokoshi — indicates that it entered the country centuries ago, before it was the norm to import the name of a food as-is and spell it out phonetically (as with tomatoes or asparagus, ...

Why not add a little booze?

| May 20, 2014

Why not add a little booze?

Mirin is a staple of Japanese kitchens, yet few people know what it actually is. Although these days it’s thought of solely as a cooking ingredient, mirin was originally regarded as an expensive, high-class beverage. It was the tipple of choice of wealthy ladies, ...

Springtime for bamboo

| Apr 15, 2014

Springtime for bamboo

Few plants are as useful as bamboo. A member of the grass family, it is fast growing and very prolific given the right growing conditions, which makes it eco-friendly too. The bamboo plant is indispensable in the Japanese kitchen, where every part of it ...

Juiced for a citrus winter

| Jan 14, 2014

Juiced for a citrus winter

One of my favorite winter pastimes growing up was to snuggle under the futon covering a kotatsu (heated table), doing my homework or watching TV, as I methodically worked my way through a big bowl of Satsuma mikan, the little oval-shaped oranges that are ...