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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 11th printing.

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

Ring in the new year with refinement

| Dec 16, 2014

Ring in the new year with refinement

The quintessential washoku, or traditional Japanese cuisine dish, is nimono — vegetables and other ingredients simmered in a broth of dashi stock, sake, mirin, sugar and soy sauce or miso. Nimono can be made in advance and served warm or cold, saving the cook ...

Warm up over a shared hot pot

| Nov 18, 2014

Warm up over a shared hot pot

What comes to mind when you think of convivial home-cooked family meals? In Japan, the answer is usually nabe, or hot-pot cooking. A large communal pot is placed in the center of the dinner table on a portable burner, bubbling with a flavorful broth, ...

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, ...

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, ...