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.
Five ways to use fermented fish sauce
There are lots of ways of using fish sauce. Here are a few popular examples:
(top, left) NABÉMONO (hot pots that get assembled ahead and simmered at table) are often made with a seasoned broth. IKANAGO NABÉ seasoned with funky ikanago shoyu, is brimming with fish, seafood, tofu and vegetables.
(bottom, left) A few drops of ishiri fish sauce added to the pot as daikon simmers imbues it with deep flavor. The tender-simmered daikon is then brushed with ishiri sauce and broiled. Daikon no Ishiri Yaki, multi-textured and richly flavored.
(top, right) NIMONO (simmered or stewed dishes) are yet another way of cooking with fish sauce Here, potatoes and squid are stewed in an ishiri-laced broth; a dab of mustard adds a spicy accent.
Here, fish sauce was used to marinate chicken before dredging it in cornstarch and deep-frying. This dish is known as Tatsuta Agé, a reference to the burnished color of autumnal maples along the Tatsuta River in Nara Prefecture (center, right).
Here, fish sauce has been used to make takikomi gohan. Takikomi is a method using seasoned broth instead of water to cook rice. When squid-based ishiri fish sauce is used, the dish is called ISHIRI GOHAN (click to download).
Using this recipe for ISHIRI GOHAN as a point of departure, create your own dish using ishiri or one of the other fermented fish sauces described in the post Funky Fish Sauces.
Please share what you make in your kitchen by posting a photo and brief description to Kitchen Culture Cooking Club. Looking forward to seeing what you make.
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.
There are lots of ways of using fish sauce. Here are a few popular examples: (top, left) NABÉMONO (hot pots that get assembled ahead and simmered at table) are often made with a seasoned broth. IKANAGO NABÉ seasoned with funky ikanago shoyu, is brimming with fish,...
An Honorable Bowl of Soup The Japanese have several words to describe their ubiquitous soup seasoned and enriched with miso. The prosaic miso shiru 味噌汁 is a generic word meaning "miso-thickened broth" while miso ji-daté 味噌仕立て is a functional, culinary term meaning...
In most Japanese households, miso soup is served daily, often as part of breakfast, though it could just as easily appear at lunch or dinner. Most Japanese have strong regional preferences when choosing what miso to use (details posted to Kitchen Culture blog); the...
Kumquats are called kinkan 金柑 in Japanese, meaning "golden citrus." The fruit is native to south-east China where they have been cultivated for hundreds of years, though the scientific name is Citrus japonica. There are dozens of varities of kumquats but the round...