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 Watermelon

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.

On the Kitchen Culture blog you’ll find more about WATERMELON and a recipe for making Sweet, Sour & Spicy Watermelon Pickle from the rinds.


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

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.

Frozen Ices

Frozen Ices

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,...

Project Cold Noodle Salad

Project Cold Noodle Salad

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...

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...



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