Kitchen Culture

Tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese kitchen
Komatsuna

Komatsuna

KOMATSUNA, a member of the brassica family of leafy greens, has been cultivated in Japan since the Edo period (1603-1868). The naming of the vegetable is attributed to the 8th shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune. It seems that during a visiting to a shrine near the Komatsu...

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EDIBLE SAKURA Blossoms & Leaves

EDIBLE SAKURA Blossoms & Leaves

Salt-Cured Cherry Blossoms & Leaves The blossoms and leaves of certain varieties of sakura are made edible by preserving them in salt, in a process known as shio-zuké. Deeply colored yaezakura blossoms are especially prized. When it comes to salt-curing leaves,...

Pom Pom Sushi

Pom Pom Sushi

Pom Pom Sushi Temari-Zushi 手まり寿司 Like many frugal Japanese women who managed households in the early and mid 20th century, my mother-in-law, Kiyoko Andoh, practiced thrift in and out of the kitchen. She saved bits and pieces of cloth, turning them into quilted...

Aku Nuki and Kogomi

Aku Nuki and Kogomi

KOGOMI こごみ・屈み Fiddlehead of the ostrich fern; Matteuccia struthiopteris What the Japanese call kogomi is commonly known in North America as fiddlehead ferns; they can be found in many parts of Canada, New England, the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. In Japan,...

Setsubun

Setsubun

ONI wa SOTO          FUKU wa UCHI Throw out the ogres!      Bring in Good Fortune!節分 SETSUBUN means “break between seasons” and such breaks occur many times during the year. However, today Japan celebrates the setsubun break that comes early in February and...

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March 2021

It is SAKURA SEASON...at table edible leaves and blossoms find their way into sweet and savory dishes.