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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:

A short history of Japan's long noodles

| Jun 19, 2015

A short history of Japan's long noodles

Soba, udon and ramen noodles are all well-known outside of Japan, but sōmen — the thin, white wheat noodles that are similar to Italian angel hair pasta — is not as famous. Yet these delicate noodles are very versatile, since they can be served ...

Nanban dishes are fit for a barbarian

| May 15, 2015

Nanban dishes are fit for a barbarian

The first Europeans on Japanese soil were the Portuguese — a handful of passengers on a Chinese ship that got blown off course and washed ashore on Tanegashima, an island off the coast of current-day Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Kyushu, in 1543. For almost ...

Sake: Best drink for 'washoku'

| Jan 21, 2015

Sake: Best drink for 'washoku'

What are good alcoholic beverages to enjoy with “washoku,” traditional Japanese cuisine? While beer, shochu and even whisky and wine are popular choices, the best match by far is sake, the national beverage of Japan. After all, washoku has been developed over many centuries ...