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 Yakumi

薬味
PROJECT Yakumi

This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club PROJECT is about making YAKUMI, fresh herb and spice mixtures, in YOUR kitchen… and sharing with fellow members what you have made, and how you are using it.

Use yakumi to top dishes such as chilled tōfu, fresh tomatoes or stewed eggplant. Cold noodles served with yakumi to be added to soy-based dips are a Japanese summertime classic (a great beat-the-heat strategy!). Yakumi can also be folded into an omelet.

Here’s a BASIC RECIPE to use as a point of departure for creating your own house version of YAKUMI.

More about yakumi on my Kitchen Culture post.

What will YOU make? Please post to KITCHEN CULTURE COOKING CLUB. Japanese washoku dishes are always welcome… maybe tossing with sushi meshi and making a chirashi-style scattered sushi platter? or stuffing  fried tōfu pouches to make inari-zushi?

Or, try this yakumi mix tossed into a pasta… or stuffed into a sandwich…?

I look forward to seeing your post!

My June 2022 newsletter is all about yakumi.

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.

Yakumi condiments

Yakumi condiments

薬味YAKUMI A Lively Mixture of Aromatic Herbs Food cultures around the world employ various aromatic herbs and spices to stimulate the appetite, maximize flavor and promote healthful eating. Japan has a long history of using yakumi, condiments, that provide a benefit to...

Earthy Gobo

Earthy Gobo

ごぼう・牛蒡・Gobō (burdock root; Arctium lappa) Kimpira, named after a folk-hero celebrated for his fervent determination and fiery ways, is a quickly assembled, skillet-stirred vegetable dish finished with an incendiary 7-spice blend. Kimpira frequently appears on the menu...

Project CUTTING & SLICING

Project CUTTING & SLICING

PROJECT Cutting & Slicing This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club PROJECT is about cutting & slicing ingredients to maximize flavor, texture and appearance while minimizing waste. Specific examples below focus on gobō cut three different ways:...

Elusive Taste of Spring: URUI

Elusive Taste of Spring: URUI

うるい・UruiThe Elusive Taste of Spring Urui (Hosta sieboldiana) is in the lily family; it is often planted as an ornamental in gardens. It thrives in damp soil in areas of partial or dappled shade. It has been cultivated in Japan since the Edo period (1603-1868) though...

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