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, ...

Umami: the taste we love but can't describe

Jul 19, 2014

Umami: the taste we love but can't describe

by Melinda Joe

The word “umami” is, in many ways, literally a mouthful. First coined in 1909 by Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda, the term translates roughly as “deliciousness.” With its satisfying, round consonants and open vowel sounds, the word approaches onomatopoeia — a phonetic approximation of the ...

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 ...