Kitchen Culture

Tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese kitchen
ADZUKI red beans

ADZUKI red beans

小豆・あずきADZUKI   (Vigna angularis) Written with calligraphy for "small" and "bean" these diminutive (about 1/4-inch, less than 1 cm) red beans play an important role in Japanese cookery, appearing in both savory dishes and in sweets. There are several varitites...

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Salmon

Salmon

Four varieties of wild-caught salmon are commonly available in markets around the Pacific rim. Left, top to bottom + right: Sockeye (beni-zaké in Japanese) Coho (gin-zaké in Japanese) Chum (aki-zaké in Japanese) Chinook (kingu samon, in Japanese) 鮭・さけ・SAKÉ SALMON Fish...

KAMBUTSU: The Dried Darlings of the Japanese Pantry

KAMBUTSU: The Dried Darlings of the Japanese Pantry

In the photo above, there are five vertical columns, from left to right: KAMPYO (soaking in water with kombu; deep-fried to make chips; used as an edible tie for kombu rolls); KANTEN (sticks and powdered form, made into a savory bamboo shoot and asparagus aspic, lemon...

Moon-Viewing Dumplings

Moon-Viewing Dumplings

月見団子 TSUKIMI DANGO The moon can be seen shining from any place on our planet and people everywhere see beauty in a full, luminous moon. But ritual contemplation of the “moon of the middle autumnal month” (chūshū no meigetsu) has its origins in China. The practice...

CHAMPURU a Happy Hodgepoge

CHAMPURU a Happy Hodgepoge

チャンプル・CHAMPURU In the local dialect CHAMPURU means “hodgepodge.” It is essentially a stir-fry; the signature dish of Okinawa.  Every household will have its own version though most will include some sort of tōfu and lots of vegetables, most likely bitter melon or what...

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