Japanese Foods


The Mighty Little Red Bean
Azuki, a member of the legume family, is an annual vine. Said to have originated in East Asia, it was discovered in its cultivated, or domestic form, and, interestingly enough, has no known wild counterpart. As documented in an ancient Chinese pharmaceutical text, ...Read More

Chirashi Sushi

The “Family” Sushi
Chirashi sushi, or “scattered sushi,” is the fun and festive looking dish families enjoy when it’s time to celebrate happy events, such as birthdays and graduations, seasonal festivities, like flower viewing or summer fireworks, and any other special occasion! That said,...Read More

Curry Rice

Japan’s Comfort Food
You’re in Tokyo and it’s lunchtime. An acquaintance suggests Italian, French, Brazilian, but you feel like something Japanese. You head out to the street, anticipating a plethora of sushi restaurants, but what catches your eye are...Read More


A Small Universe in a Bowl
The word donburi is the abbreviation of the word donburibachi, which is a deep, sturdy ceramic dish about the size of an oversized rice bowl used to hold rice or noodles. Some have lids, some don’t. Donburi also refers to the meals...Read More


Unripe, Green, and….Delicious!
In the heart of summer, when the sun's rays are beating down relentlessly and all you want is to find a nice bit of shade (or a/c), the delicious legumes called edamame are coming into season. The light, savory taste accompanying an icy brew will ...Read More


Savory All-Purpose Seasoning
How many of you are familiar with the Japanese seasoning called furikake? From the verb furikakeru, which means to sprinkle something, it refers to a flavorful condiment made up of a variety of different ingredients that is generally eaten sprinkled over hot rice,...Read More


Celebrating the New Year with Potstickers!
Gyoza, known as potstickers in the west, are those delightful little packages typically filled with ground meat or seafood and vegetables, wrapped in a thinly stretched skin made of flour, water and salt. The plump little crescents overflowing with flavor are...Read More

Japanese Sake

Sake has played a central role in Japanese life and culture for the past 2,000 years, and the knowledge and techniques involved in sake brewing have spread to every corner of the nation. In fact, sake is such an integral part of the Japanese diet that having some knowledge of it can add to one’s understanding of Japanese history,...Read More

Japanese Green Tea

Healthy & Delicious
Tea in Japan is not only a beverage. Consumed by the potfuls, it still is more popular than coffee, and has, for a long time, been part of the people’s vernacular. For instance, nichijousahanji meaning “an everyday or routine occurrence” is written with the character for tea,...Read More


King of Grapes
How many of you readers are familiar with the deep purple, large globed grape known as kyoho? Kyoho, which can translate to "large mountain grapes," are considered the King of Grapes due to their size and unrivaled flavor. They were originally developed in Japan,...Read More


High Quality Powdered Green Tea
That vibrant green color! That refreshing, delicately sweet aroma combined with a mildly bitter bite and slightly vegetal flavor! This powdered substance that we call matcha is one variety of green tea whose history extends back hundreds of years in Japan (in Japanese,...Read More


Tasty and Healthy Fermented Food
Miso is a fermented food made from soybeans, malted rice, and salt. It is paste-like in texture and appearance, with colors ranging from creamy beige to reddish dark brown. It has a pleasant, almost nutty aroma with an enjoyable but not overpowering salt tang. The most common use for miso is,...Read More


Sweet or Savory, Soft and Chewy
Mochi, or omochi as they are sometimes called, using the honorific prefix "o," have been around for centuries in Japan. Made from mochigome (glutinous rice) which is steamed and then pounded to a wonderfully soft texture, they are then shaped according to the occasion. ...Read More


Nutrition Powerhouse with a Deep, Dark Shine
What's this? Shiny black, paper thin, with a faint hint of ocean breeze? No doubt this was a common reaction when first coming across a sheet of nori. Now it's a lot more familiar and has become quite popular here in the U.S. Nori is an edible marine plant,...Read More


The pleasures of a slow simmered stew!
Mention that you’re serving oden for dinner, and you can be sure you’ll have a few folks knocking on your door around 6:00pm! Japanese people love their oden; a slow-cooked homey dish, consisting of ingredients that typically include daikon,...Read More


The “anything goes” food!
Nothing works up an appetite like a nice hike on a warm, early spring day! Okonomiyaki is a wonderful dish, so named because you are free to add any ingredients that you like (okonomi means “what you like” and yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”). The base consists of wheat flour, ...Read More


Japanese Rice Balls
Nothing works up an appetite like a nice hike on a warm, early spring day! Let's have lunch! I brought sandwiches, what'd you bring? Onigiri? Wow, so many different kinds! PB&J goes back in the bag, pass the onigiri! Onigiri are rice balls, ...Read More

Osechi Ryori

Enjoying and Sharing New Year's Special Foods
The year is drawing to a close, everyone is running around trying to get all the loose ends (clean the house, pay off your debts, etc. etc.!) neatly tied up before they can finally relax for a few days and enjoy their New Year's osechi ryori. In Japan, ...Read More


Mention that you’re serving oden for dinner, and you can be sure The cornerstone of the Japanese diet is rice, and the mainstay of the traditional Japanese meal is a serving of rice and a bowl of miso soup. Even as times change, ...Read More


New Crop Rice
New crop rice, called shinmai (shin=new, mai=rice), is always looked forward to with great anticipation and enthusiasm. The rice, harvested each year from fall through the new year, has a higher moisture content, and cooks up slightly softer,...Read More

Shio Koji

Traditional Seasoning Back in the Spotlight
Shio koji (salted rice-malt) is the latest craze coming from Japan’s ever-evolving food culture. Shio koji is a fermented seasoning made up of rice that has been inoculated with the mold (specifically, a type of fungus) Aspergillus oryzae. It is then called koji,...Read More


Good drinking, good eating!
Shochu is a distilled alcoholic beverage special to Japan made from a variety of ingredients, the most typical ones being sweet potatoes and grains like rice and barley. Recently, shochu has been gaining popularity in leaps and bounds in the U.S. and other countries....Read More

(Soy Sauce)

The Defining Flavor of Japanese Cuisine
Shoyu, or soy sauce, is one of the world's oldest seasonings. A fermented and aged product, generally made of soybeans, grains, and salt, its name is a bit of an anomaly, as the characters used to write shoyu actually mean fermented food oil—no mention of soy beans!...Read More


Japanese Buckwheat Noodles
The word soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat and also the slender noodles made from buckwheat flour (sobako). The noodles often include binders such as wheat flour or Japanese yam. They have an earthy, yet refined flavor. Soba noodles are...Read More


Chilled Noodles for Those Hot Summer Days
During the fierce dog days of summer in Japan, everyone tends to lose their appetite. And just when you think you might starve, here comes somen to the rescue! Somen, thin wheat noodles, are easy to make and easy to eat -- ...Read More


A Quintessential Japanese Meal
Loved by young and old alike, sukiyaki is one of Japan's quintessential dining experiences. It's often seen gracing the table on special occasions and livens up any party! The delicious harmony of salty-sweet sauce and...Read More


Here, There, Everywhere!
Sushi, probably the most well-known Japanese food. Nowadays it has leaped over the borders of Japan to be found in myriad forms on menus worldwide, deliciously merging with indigenous ingredients and flavors to form the perfect fusion food. When we hear the word sushi,...Read More


Here, There, Everywhere!
Since designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, the traditional cuisine of Japan, washoku, has drawn ever more attention from all corners of the globe. Of the classic foods included in washoku, it would be no exaggeration to say that it is tofu (doufu in Chinese, dubu in Korean),...Read More


Classic Japanese Noodles
Unassuming in their simplicity, udon are some of the most popular noodles in Japan. These plump and chewy noodles are made of only three ingredients: wheat flour, salt and water. After being vigorously kneaded to ensure that the texture of the noodles will be just right, ...Read More

(Japanese Plum)

Enchanting the Senses, Inspiring the Heart
In the midst of the cold Japanese winter, a promise of spring appears—the Japanese plum blossom. The delicate, small flowers stand out against the stark branches in varying colors from white to red, and release their unmistakable fragrance into the icy air. The fruit of this tree is often translated as plum,...Read More


Japanese Freshwater Eel
Japanese tradition has it that eating unagi no kabayaki (freshwater eel that has been grilled and seasoned with a salty-sweet sauce) on a certain day (Day of the Ox, according to the Chinese zodiac) during the hottest part of the summer helps you ...Read More


Traditional Japanese Sweets
Wagashi have a long and delicious history dating back over 1,000 years. The word wagashi is made up of wa-, meaning ‘of Japan’, and –gashi, from –kashi, which interestingly means fruit! This is because what eventually evolved into the confectionery that we know as wagashi began as simple fruits,...Read More