Kitchen Culture Cooking Club

EXPLORE 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.

 

PROJECT Rice Flour

米の粉
PROJECT: Komé no Kona
Rice Flour

In Japanese cookery there are four types of rice flour that are commonlyused. One is made from uruchi mai or “table rice,” several are made from mochi-gomé or “sticky rice” and one is made from a combination of them. The different rice grains are processed by slightly different methods, producing flours of varying texture and viscosity. This viscosity is what the Japanese call ​NEBARI or “stickiness.”

With wheat flour the degree of stickiness, elasticity or chewiness usually depends on the amount of gluten in the flour and there are high-gluten flours (“hard wheat”) best suited to making bread and noodles… and there are low-gluten flours (“soft wheat”) more suitable for cakes and many cookies. 

When it comes to RICE FLOUR, ALL KINDS are GLUTEN-FREE.

Different rice flours can be characterized as high nebari (very sticky, chewy), moderate nebari (less sticky), and low nebari (barely sticky). Depending on the texture and amount of binding action you want in the final product, choose the most suitable rice flour.

This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club PROJECT is about understanding the different kinds of rice flours and how to use them. I’ve created a GUIDE to RICE FLOURS that can be downloaded for your reference.

Then head to the Kitchen Culture page to find out about tsukimi moon-viewing dumplings and how to make them. The classic version calls for using DANGO KO with moderate nebari (my choice when topping them with black sesame sauce or crushed édamamé zunda sauce).

If you prefer very chewy dumplings (my choice when I am topping them with powdery kinako and/or cinnamon) make them using MOCHI KO or SHIRATAMA KO.

If you like a softer more marshmallow-like texture, you’ll find JŌSHIN KO will be best.

To really understand the difference between and among the rice flours, try making the tsukimi dango dumplings with each of the four rice flours and compare.

Please track your kitchen activity with photos and a brief description. Then post your RICE FLOUR ADVENTURES to the Kitchen Culture Cooking Club.

Looking forward to seeing what you make in YOUR kitchen!

My September 2022 newsletter is all about TSUKIMI DANGO.

Recipes and Resources

Stock (Dashi)

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.

Click to download recipes for (vegan) Kelp Alone Stock or Standard Sea Stock + Smoky Sea Stock

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.

Quick Pickles

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.

PROJECT Rice Flour

PROJECT Rice Flour

米の粉PROJECT: Komé no KonaRice Flour In Japanese cookery there are four types of rice flour that are commonlyused. One is made from uruchi mai or "table rice," several are made from mochi-gomé or "sticky rice" and one is made from a combination of them. The different...

Moon-Viewing Dumplings

Moon-Viewing Dumplings

月見団子 TSUKIMI DANGO The moon can be seen shining from any place on our planet and people everywhere see beauty in a full, luminous moon. But ritual contemplation of the “moon of the middle autumnal month” (chūshū no meigetsu) has its origins in China. The practice...

Project Champuru

Project Champuru

チャンプルーPROJECT Champuru This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club PROJECT is about making champuru (a stir-fry that is a signature dish of Okinawa) in YOUR kitchen… and sharing with fellow members what you have made. Every household in Okinawa will have its own variation on...

CHAMPURU a Happy Hodgepoge

CHAMPURU a Happy Hodgepoge

チャンプル・CHAMPURU In the local dialect CHAMPURU means “hodgepodge.” It is essentially a stir-fry; the signature dish of Okinawa.  Every household will have its own version though most will include some sort of tōfu and lots of vegetables, most likely bitter melon or what...

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