Kitchen Culture

Tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese kitchen
Kampyo

Kampyo

干瓢・かんぴょう・KAMPYŌ What is kampyō and how is it processed into edible ribbons? Bulbous fukubé gourds are harvested in the summer and set on a spinning wheel against a sharp blade. The ribbons of gourd that get shaved off are then hung to dry in the sun or well-ventilated...

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Yakumi condiments

Yakumi condiments

薬味YAKUMI A Lively Mixture of Aromatic Herbs Food cultures around the world employ various aromatic herbs and spices to stimulate the appetite, maximize flavor and promote healthful eating. Japan has a long history of using yakumi, condiments, that provide a benefit to...

Earthy Gobo

Earthy Gobo

ごぼう・牛蒡・Gobō (burdock root; Arctium lappa) Kimpira, named after a folk-hero celebrated for his fervent determination and fiery ways, is a quickly assembled, skillet-stirred vegetable dish finished with an incendiary 7-spice blend. Kimpira frequently appears on the menu...

Elusive Taste of Spring: URUI

Elusive Taste of Spring: URUI

うるい・UruiThe Elusive Taste of Spring Urui (Hosta sieboldiana) is in the lily family; it is often planted as an ornamental in gardens. It thrives in damp soil in areas of partial or dappled shade. It has been cultivated in Japan since the Edo period (1603-1868) though...

KUSHI (skewers)

KUSHI (skewers)

串・KUSHISkewers Galore Because spearing or threading food on skewers makes cooking over a fire easier and more efficient it's not surprising to find some sort of skewered food in nearly every food culture. There is (Brazil's) churrasco, (Spain's) pinchos, (Turkey's)...

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