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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 take on the humble burger

| Oct 14, 2014

Japan's take on the humble burger

There are two dishes that can be translated as “hamburger” in Japan. One is the all-American favorite, a beef patty sandwiched in a bun, which in Japanese is called hanbāgā. The other kind is similar to a Hamburg steak or Salisbury steak, made with ...

The raw appeal of eggs

| Sep 16, 2014

The raw appeal of eggs

The average Japanese person eats around 320 eggs (tamago) per year, according to the International Egg Commission, placing it in the Top 3 worldwide. (In comparison, the average American eats around 250 eggs per year.) Eggs are enjoyed in many sweet and savory dishes, ...

Blazing a trail for Japanese sake in China

| Sep 10, 2014

Blazing a trail for Japanese sake in China

Masato Nakatani is the sixth-generation head of Nakatani Brewing Co. in Nara Prefecture, and one of the most outstanding figures involved in developing the worldwide sake market. Nineteen years ago, Nakatani began brewing sake in Tianjin, China, and the high-quality “Asaka” sake enjoys nearly ...

Nihonbashi: Historic and modern

| Sep 10, 2014

Nihonbashi: Historic and modern

Nihonbashi is a business district in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, which grew around the bridge of the same name which has linked the sides of the Nihonbashi River since the 17th century. It is an area where people can experience the fusion of both historic ...

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 ...