Kitchen Culture Cooking ClubEXPLORE and PRACTICE Japanese cooking in your own kitchen
About Kitchen Culture Cooking Club
Welcome to the Kitchen Culture Cooking Club, a community space providing encouragement to those who want to EXPLORE and PRACTICE Japan’s washoku wisdom in their own kitchens.
To facilitate this, themed projects will be posted to this page periodically. Project Assignments and links to relevant reference material stored on this site will be posted to this page. Anyone, anywhere in the world, with a sincere interest in Japanese food culture is welcome to browse the contents of this page and then replicate the themed project in their own kitchen.
For those who wish to display-and-discuss their projects with like-minded people, I invite you to become a member of the KITCHEN CULTURE Cooking Club Facebook Group (formerly the TSUDOI Project), an interactive community space. If you are not already a member, please apply. Members are encouraged to post photos and a short description of what they make in their own kitchens in accordance with the chosen theme.
Bring a Bounty of Sea Vegetables to YOUR Table
Resources and recipes for preparing three versitile sea vegetables: ARAMÉ, WAKAMÉ, and HIJIKI.
Cooking with ARAMÉ
Aramé is often listed as a substitute for hijiki in soy-braised nimono dishes. Like hijiki, aramé is dark brown and when sold as kizami or “cut” aramé, it is thread-like in appearance. But aramé is a type of kelp, while hijiki is an algae. Find out more about aramé and get a recipe for soy-stewing it, Tsukuda Ni-style. Download recipe and information on aramé.
Prepare WAKAMÉ dishes
Calcium-rich WAKAMÉ (Undaria pinnatifida; a type of algae) finds its way into simmered dishes, soups and salads. Here is a primer on using fresh and/or dried wakamé: DOWNLOAD Anatomy of Wakamé.
This recipe for Cucumber Wakamé Salad is refreshing on hot, humid days… while Ordinary Miso Soup is comforting in chilly weather. KANSHA (pg 147) has a recipe for Wakamé with Tart Ginger Dressing and WASHOKU has a recipe for Pork and Wakamé Dumplings (pg 260-261) and a Tosa Sea Salad (pg 216).
Make HIJIKI dishes
Serve this soy-simmered HIJIKI as a side to fish, chicken or eggs or toss it with sushi rice and used to stuff inari pouches (of fried tōfu). It is also terrific tossed with a creamy tōfu sauce and served as a side to almost any other dish.
If you want to make hijiki-stuffed inari-zushi, the recipe for fried tōfu pouches is here.
Additional recipes for hijiki can be found in KANSHA (pg 187 combined with sun-dried radish strips + pg 48 mixed with rice that is then made into toasted omusubi rice bundles) WASHOKU (pg 187).
Show Us Your Kitchen Project
Recipes and Resources
Dashi stock is essential to making soups and simmered or stewed dishes. Dashi is also used when making many egg dishes and all sorts of sauces, dips and dressings. Using good dashi will make a noticeable difference in the outcome of so many dishes you prepare.
How to Cook Rice
In Japanese, the word for cooked rice, ご飯 GOHAN, is the same as the word for a meal, ご飯 GOHAN. Indeed rice is central to the meal. Download the Rice with Mixed Grains recipe.
How to Prepare Sushi Rice
Sushi dishes are made with rice that has been seasoned (with sweetened vinegar) AFTER being cooked. Download the Classic Sushi Rice recipe.
The Japanese enjoy a wide variety of tsukémono pickles, many can be assembled quickly and are ready to eat within a short time.
Download a recipe for Quick-Fix Hakusai Cabbage.
Celebrating the Bounty of the Seas The inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago have been consuming sea vegetables –KAISŌ 海藻 -- for millennia. Early evidence of consumption of aramé, wakamé, and hijiki has been found in burial mounds dating back to the Jomon Period (c....
Using the basic description and recipe (for Banana-Ginger Ice) in the Kitchen Culture blog post, try making different flavors: Kuro Goma (Black Sesame), Matcha (Green Tea), and Ichigo (Strawberry) are especially tasty. KANSHA (pg 230) has a recipe for Brown Sugar Ice...
Ama-zaké has been part of the Japanese pantry for thousands of years. During the Muromachi period (1392-1573) ama-zaké consumption took on a regional identity: In and around Kyoto, it was sipped in the summertime as a stamina drink to fortify a heat-weary metabolism,...
FIRST... choose your NOODLE: thread-thin sōmen ... or thick, slithery-chewy udon ... rustic wholegrain soba ... or curly-springy chūka soba. NEXT... decide if you want to serve your noodles DIPPING-STYLE (tsuké-jiru) or POUR-OVER STYLE (kaké-jiru) and choose your DIP...