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.
PROJECT Miso Soup
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 items floating in the miso soup are likely to reflect the season. Year-round, and throughout Japan, many miso soups will include tōfu in some form along with scallions, leeks and/or leafy greens. Another common addition is wakamé (sea vegetable).
Using the recipes below as a point of departure, create your own HOUSE MISO SOUP and share it with us at Kitchen Culture Cooking Club.
Often miso soup will resemble a chowder brimming with chunks of root vegetables and hefty cubes of tōfu. Perhaps the best known is kenchin-jiru, credited to be resourceful monks at Kenchō-ji Temple (建長寺) in Kamakura who used scraps from preparing other meals. Nearly every household and casual eatery, too, will serve a similar soup. Some versions will have a clear broth, others will be thickened and seasoned with miso.
Show Us Your Kitchen Project
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.
December is a busy time… The Japanese aptly call the final month of the year shiwasu, written with calligraphy for "professor" 師 and "running about in a tizzy" 走. In Japan shiwasu is a time of frenzied activity that culminates with Oshogatsu (New Years) when families...
In Japan today, two types of Western-style potatoes are regularly enjoyed: mékuin (May Queen) and danshaku ("Baron"). The former was developed in Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century and made its way to Japan via America shortly thereafter. Mékuin...
Most white-fleshed potatoes generally fall into either of two categories: fluffy OR waxy. Fluffy potatoes are high-starch and tend to crumble when simmered; they are perfect for mashing, and when making korokke (croquettes). The Japanese often describe these dishes as...
The Japanese eat a number of "unusual" foods, and TONBURI (とんぶり) surely qualifies as one of them. Tonburi are the seeds of Kochia scoparia/Bassia scoparia, also known as 箒草 hōki-gusa. Branches of the mature kochia plant are crafted into hōki brooms (yes, brooms that...