The Sharing of Shabu Shabu
Jan15

The Sharing of Shabu Shabu

by Mora Chartrand A shared homemade meal is a fine way to offer gratitude for friends and family and participating in the actual act of cooking the meal together makes it even more special. Shabu shabu (swish-swish) is the Japanese onomatopoeic equivalent for the name of a popular nabemono, a simple and delectable Japanese hot pot dish. It is a meal of near-paper-thin sliced meats (typically beef and pork), vegetables, and usually...

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The Vegetable Art of Noriko Nakane
Oct13

The Vegetable Art of Noriko Nakane

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Jimbocho Den Part.1
Oct03

Jimbocho Den Part.1

Jimbocho Den: Dishes Without Rules…Part I by Mora Chartrand Much has been written about restaurant Jimbocho Den since its 2007 opening by chef-owner Zaiyu Hasegawa, then a 29-year-old unknown. Today, he is no longer unknown. Den is almost always on the must-dine list of those passionate about Japanese cuisine, both from Japan and abroad. In addition to being awarded two Michelin stars, it has also garnered a coveted spot on the...

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Autumnal Eggplant  秋茄子 “aki nasu”
Sep12

Autumnal Eggplant 秋茄子 “aki nasu”

by Elizabeth Andoh Botanically a fruit, not a vegetable, eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a member of the nightshade family (as is the tomato and potato). Thought to have originated in India thousands of years ago, the Chinese were probably the first to make use of eggplant in a culinary manner. Widely known throughout Asia, eggplant most likely traveled to Japan in the 7th or 8th century A.D. (though it was not eaten by the general...

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Stagiaire by David Israelow
Sep04

Stagiaire by David Israelow

Stagiaire, literally “trainee” in French, often refers to short kitchen stints where a cook works for free.  This labor exchange is generally to learn from a great chef or as part of the process to obtain a job.  I was in Tokyo for the former. The only issue was I had no contacts, knew no Japanese and basically had no idea what to do.  But I was in Tokyo … step one, check.  Step two … Alone at tempura lunch in Roppongi, at...

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Master chef raises vegetables and creates magical lunches in an old farm house called Wappado
Aug16

Master chef raises vegetables and creates magical lunches in an old farm house called Wappado

by Mora Chartrand, the Foodies’ Foodie Wappado, a haven for those who yearn for a meal that expresses the terroir of the northern Kyoto countryside. Ōhara, a sleepy, agricultural hamlet just outside of Kyoto, is best known to visitors as the home of Jakko-in and Sanzenin temples, among others. It’s hard to match the rural beauty of this area, especially in the autumn. Ōhara is also well known for its fields of red shiso (赤ジソ) that is...

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