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.
Good to the last drop WATERMELON
Most watermelons are quite large and (unless you are feeding a crowd) are not easily consumed in a single session. This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club project is about finding ways to enjoy every bit of watermelon — flesh and rind — over a period of several days to several weeks.
Make FROZEN WATERMELON SLUSH in your kitchen
Simple-to-make, refreshing dessert:
Cut 500 grams (1 pound) watermelon into chunks. Remove seeds and place pieces in a storage bag. Freeze for at least 2 hours.
Transfer the frozen chunks to a blender with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and flash-process until slush. Serve immediately or place in a freezer-safe container to scoop out later.
Make WATERMELON JAM in your kitchen
JAM is a great way to use bits and pieces of watermelon, especially the flesh that remains after scooping out melon balls for fruit salads and compotes. The flesh from bruised or split melons also can be used to make jam.
Download a recipe for Watermelon Jam.
Make WATERMELON SALADS in your kitchen
Watermelon lends itself to both sweet and savory salads. Combine with other fruit and moisten with lemon juice or simple syrup to make compotes… or pair with vegetables and dress with kuro zu (brown rice vinegar) or balsamic vinegar. Herbs such as chives, mint or shiso can enhance fruit salads.
Make WATERMELON SANDWICHES in your kitchen
Fruit-and whipped cream-filled sandwiches seem to be a Japanese invention, though the origins of them are not entirely clear. There are a few accounts of encountering fruit sandwiches in the diaries foreign residents during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). I remember my own surpise the first time I was served a banana and strawberry sandwich. It looked like tomato-and-cheese… but wasn’t!
Recently, Japanese fruit sandwiches have had a come-back and many are quite elaborate. I make grape and watermelon sandwiches with (unsweetened) cream cheese. Give it a try!
Can't wait to see YOUR Watermelon Project!
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.
Ama-zaké has been part of the Japanese pantry for thousands of years. During the Muromachi period (1392-1573) ama-zaké consumption took on a regional identity: In and around Kyoto, it was sipped in the summertime as a stamina drink to fortify a heat-weary metabolism,...
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...
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...
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...