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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 11th printing.

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

Hone your knowledge of Japanese kitchen knives

May 27, 2017

Hone your knowledge of Japanese kitchen knives

Japanese kitchen knives have a worldwide reputation for excellent quality and artistic beauty. The trouble is, there’s so much mythology and romance surrounding them, not to mention a bewilderingly wide range of prices and types, that it can be difficult to make a choice. ...

'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 ...