Warm up over a shared hot pot

| Nov 18, 2014

Warm up over a shared hot pot

by Makiko Itoh

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, ...

The raw appeal of eggs

| Sep 16, 2014

The raw appeal of eggs

by Makiko Itoh

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, ...

Why not add a little booze?

| May 20, 2014

Why not add a little booze?

by Makiko Itoh

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

by Makiko Itoh

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 ...

Juiced for a citrus winter

| Jan 14, 2014

Juiced for a citrus winter

by Makiko Itoh

One of my favorite winter pastimes growing up was to snuggle under the futon covering a kotatsu (heated table), doing my homework or watching TV, as I methodically worked my way through a big bowl of Satsuma mikan, the little oval-shaped oranges that are ...