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 Cold Noodle Salad

Make a COLD NOODLE SALAD in your kitchen

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 SAUCE or DRESSING accordingly. If making a classic dipping sauce for sōmen, soba or udon start with umami essence (a vegan version is available, too) and adjust intensity of flavor with stock (either Standard Sea Stock or Kelp-Alone Stock). A sesame-enriched sauce is served with chūka soba; it can be clear or creamy-and-thick.

CHOOSE some CONDIMENTS: as a general rule, grated GINGER accompanies sōmen and udon, WASABI is served with soba, and various kinds of NEGI (scallions and leeks) are served with all types of noodles. In addition, uméboshi plums and shredded shiso leaves pair well with sōmen, udon and soba. Thin slices of lemon, lime are also refreshing.


Toppings for Cold Noodles

Eggs make a great topping to all sorts of noodle dishes. Impatient Coddled Eggs (WASHOKU pg 292), thin sheets of omelet sliced into ribbons (WASHOKU pg 290) and rolled omelet are all good choices.

More topping ideas can be found  on the Cold Noodles Part Three post.

Topping items that can be made ahead and store well for several weeks in the refrigerator include: Gingery Enoki Mushrooms with Carrots (pg 127 KANSHA) and soy-simmered shiitaké mushrooms.

Show Us Your Kitchen Project

Ready to SHARE YOUR KITCHEN PROJECT with others?

KITCHEN CULTURE Cooking Club members, head over to our Facebook Group. Not yet a member? Please join – membership is opt-in and free of charge.

Looking forward to seeing what you’re making in your kitchen…

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.

Cold Noodles Part Three: Hiyashi Chuka

Cold Noodles Part Three: Hiyashi Chuka

For centuries, the Japanese have adapted and adopted foods and food ways from many culinary traditions. Asia in general, and China in particular, has probably been the greatest source of “inspiration” over the years. In fact the highly popular Japanese summer noodle...

UMÉSHU Plum Wine

UMÉSHU Plum Wine

In Japan, early June is the time for UMÉ SHIGOTO (plum work), transforming the harvest of not-yet-fully-ripe fruit into a sweet liqueur (uméshu)  and/or sour, lip-puckering salt-cured uméboshi. If you are able to source green, not-fully-ripe Japanese umé plums it is...



The two major components are: BROTH and TOPPINGS. Start by picking a broth that will define the character, and general flavor profile, of your ocha-zuké. The recipe for making KELP-ENRICHED TEA BROTH offers several options for using different teas such as smoky hōji...



Ocha-zuké, rice moistened with green tea broth, is Japanese comfort food at its most basic – a reliable stand-by that can be quickly assembled as hunger, or the mood, dictates. A delicious way to enjoy leftover rice, ocha-zuké is a favorite, late night snack of...



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