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.
A sampling of REGIONAL OZŌNI
Top row, from left: Kanto (Tokyo area) style, Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka) style, Kanto, Kansai
Bottom row, from left: Tottori with adzuki-jiru, Miyagi with whole grilled goby fish, Kagawa (Shikoku) with anko-filled mochi, Hakata with buri and local leafy green (called katsuo na because it tastes somewhat like katsuo-bushi)
Make YOUR OWN HOUSE Version of OZŌNI
Members of the Kitchen Culture Cooking Club are scattered around the globe. PROJECT OZŌNI asks members to create a version of ozōni that showcases your particular location. Choose one or two foodstuffs that are special to your area; what the Japanese call tosan butsu or local delicacies. In addition, choose 2 or 3 more items (vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, poultry, and tōfu) to add volume to your bowl.
There are many possibilities for creating Ozōni but all must include:
Either round, hand-shaped and boiled or… rolled sheets, cut into squares, and toasted. The rounds are squishy-soft and loose their shape when boiled; the cut squares brown slightly, puff and split to reveal gooey-soft centers (think roasted marshmallows). Download a reference sheet about preparing and enjoying omochi.
shiru (broth) 汁
Either miso-enriched or… clear (what the Japanese call osumashi).
Broths can be Standard Sea Stock (dashi made from kelp and smoky bonito flakes), vegan Kelp Alone Stock, vegan Sankai Dashi (kelp and dried mushrooms) or Japanese Chicken Stock (Wafū Tori Gara Dashi).
tosan butsu (local delicacies) 土産物
Sourced from both land and sea – vegetables and fish, fowl, sea creatures – local delicacies can be poached, grilled, and simmered or kept fresh (aromatic citrus zest is a favorite garnish).
The Kitchen Culture Blog post for OZONI includes a classic KANSAI-Style Ozōni made with a miso-enriched stock and boiled omochi. Use this as a guide to creating YOUR OWN HOUSE OZONI.
Can’t wait to see YOUR OZONI!
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.
季節のゆず味噌・Kisetsu no Yuzu MisoSeasonal Citrusy Miso Sauce The Japanese delight in bringing elements -- often fresh produce -- of each season to table. Yuzu citrus fruits ripen from green to golden yellow as autumn turns to winter. As yuzu ripen, the peels become...
Chrysanthemums ・ 菊 KikuTo eat ... To use as a motif This month's theme is CHRYSANTHEMUM... to eat and to use as a motif in designing your autumnal menu. If you can source fresh, edible flowers try making KIKU NAMASU, sweet-and-sour pickled petals (yellow and/or...
食用菊 Shokuyō Kiku Edible chrysanthemums are one Japan's autumnal culinary delights. Commercially cultivated in various parts of Japan today (including Okinawa!) they were traditionally enjoyed in the Tohoku (Akita, Yamagata) and Hokuriku (Niigata) regions. Though...
かぼちゃ・南瓜KABOCHA Written with calligraphy for “southern gourd,” but pronounced kabocha, the name tells the curious history of this gourd in Japan. Kabocha arrived in Oita (on the southern island of Kyushu) in 1541 on a Portuguese ship. The previous port of call along...