Kitchen Culture

Tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese kitchen
Hakusai

Hakusai

HAKUSAI・白菜 Because hakusai is such a favorite wintertime vegetable in Japan, I assumed it had a long, deep history in Japan's cookery. Not really. It seems that the original Brassica oleracea ancestor of hakusai is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe. What is...

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Ichiya-boshi (Overnight-Dried Fish)

Ichiya-boshi (Overnight-Dried Fish)

Ichiya-Boshi: Overnight-Dried FISH In the days before refrigeration, bountiful catches of fish were traditionally gutted, either split down the back or butterflied (belly-split), and dipped in sea water before being set out to dry in well ventilated spaces. This would...

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...

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...

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