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Makiko Itoh

Makiko Itoh writes the Japanese Kitchen column and is the owner of two popular blogs about Japanese cooking: and 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:

'Kuri': The nutty staple of ancient Japan

| Oct 14, 2016

'Kuri': The nutty staple of ancient Japan

Fresh chestnuts are one of the few things in Japan that are truly seasonal and not available year-round like so many other food products these days. Chestnuts (kuri in Japanese) have been consumed here since prehistoric times. Charred chestnuts that are more than 9,000 ...

'Yamaimo': Japan's slimy mountain yam

| Jul 15, 2016

'Yamaimo': Japan's slimy mountain yam

Japanese have a fondness for slippery, slimy food that people from other food cultures often find puzzling. Sticky nattō (fermented soy beans), mozuku and tororo konbu (two kinds of slimy seaweeds) may take some getting used to, but once you do they can be ...

A brief guide to dining after a disaster

| May 20, 2016

A brief guide to dining after a disaster

The earthquakes that hit Kumamoto last month likely have many people in Japan thinking about disaster preparedness. The country is in one of the most seismically active regions of the world, and no stranger to other disasters either. Stockpiling emergency supplies can seem like ...