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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:

'Oden': Japan's traditional winter fast food

| Jan 20, 2017

'Oden': Japan's traditional winter fast food

The shelves of Japan’s convenience stores change with the seasons, but winter brings a particularly unusual addition: stainless steel food warmers installed next to the checkout counter containing oden, a stew of tofu, boiled eggs, daikon, fish cakes and other ingredients simmered in a ...

'Sobagaki': An ancient soba recipe

| Nov 18, 2016

'Sobagaki': An ancient soba recipe

New-harvest rice, known as shinmai, is the culinary star of autumn in Japan. But there’s another grain that is just as eagerly anticipated at this time of year in many parts of the country: shinsoba, new-harvest buckwheat. There are two yearly crops of buckwheat ...

'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 ...