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 join the KITCHEN CULTURE Cooking Club Facebook Group (formerly the TSUDOI Project), an interactive community space.


PROJECT Grandchildren are kind

PROJECT Grandchildren are Kind

Grandchildren are Kind (mago wa yasashii 孫は優しい) is an acronym that helps Japanese remember the seven food groups that help support a healthy diet.

The food groups are: beans (mame), sesame (goma and other seeds and nuts) sea vegetables (wakame), leafy greens and root vegetables (yasai), fish and seafood (sakana), shiitake and other fungi, and potatoes (imo rui).

To jump-start your project, here are some recipes for a variety of sea vegetables (wakame, hijiki, arame),  bean (tofu), and (air-dried) fish.


Sea Vegetables

海藻類 kaisō rui

Visit Project Bounty of the Seas for lots of recipes using sea vegetables such as ARAMÉ, WAKAMÉ, and HIJIKI.


Chilled Tofu with Toppings

冷奴 hiya yakko, chilled blocks of tofu topped with various seasonings — the simplest maybe a dab of wasabi — and enhanced by seasoned soy concentrate (either the VEGAN version or UMAMI Essence.)

Himono (dried fish)

干物 himono

Drying fish was an old-fashioned way of extending shelf life before refrigeration was widely available.  一夜干し ichiya-boshi (literally, “overnight-dried”) are dried for hours in cool evening and night-time breezes while 天日干し tenpi-boshi (literally, “sunlight-dried”) are dried for an hour or so mid-day.

Find out more about preparing and enjoying these sorts of fish in this post from my archives.


To learn more about health-promoting MA-GO-WA-YA-SA-SHI-I menus
visit my Kitchen Culture blog and
read my July, 2024 newsletter.

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.



  MA-GO-WA-YA-SA-SHI-I(Grandchildren are kind) This acronym helps speakers of Japanese remember the names of food groups that support a healthy diet. Each of the seven sounds represents a food group, while the total spells out a lovely adage (lauding the kindness of...

Junsai, a summertime delicacy

Junsai, a summertime delicacy

JUNSAI (water shield; Brasenia schreberi) grows naturally in lakes, ponds and slow streams in many parts of the world but only Japan and China have a long history of cultivating the plant as a food. The Japanese especially love foods with a tsuru tsuru (slippery,...

Project: Enjoy Junsai

Project: Enjoy Junsai

潤菜料理 (junsai ryōri) JUNSAI (water shield; Brasenia schreberi) grows naturally in lakes, ponds and slow streams in many parts of the world but only Japan and China have a long history of cultivating the plant as a food. Young, unfurled sprouts covered in slippery,...

PROJECT Cooking with Early Summer Bounty

PROJECT Cooking with Early Summer Bounty

初夏の幸の料理 (shoka no sachi no ryōri) The Japanese delight in cooking with seasonal produce and in the early summer that means making delicious dishes with new peas and beans. Using the recipes below as a point of departure, create your own BOUNTY-of-EARLY SUMMER DISH...

Recent Posts & Projects

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