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IMG: Masataka Takateru

Whiskey first became widely available in Japan (least amongst the wealthy) in the 19th century, mostly in and after the 1870s, although it seems to have been introduced in the 1850s. Whiskey distilling in Japan did not get going until the 20th century though. The establishment of distilleries in Japan was spearheaded by a small group of men who fell in love with whiskey, and wanted to establish distilleries in Japan.

The Mystery of Japanese "Sauce"

Bulldog sauce bottles

Miso, soy sauce, bonito flakes...these are the kinds of ingredients you'd expect to be used in Japanese recipes. But there's another ingredient that appears very often, and it's usually just called "sauce" or so-su (ソース). What is this "sauce" anyway?

Type:  feature Filed under:  japanese ingredients yohshoku
IMG: peach pasta with basil

Juucy fragrant peaches work surprisingly well in this summertime appetizer pasta.

IMG: umeboshi

My mother came for a visit this week, bringing along a pot of her homemade umeboshi. I asked her to tell me how she makes them; not only did she write it down for me, she even had pictures she'd taken of her attempts in the past couple of years! So, here is my mom's version of how to make homemade umeboshi. I've freely translated her Japanese explanation to English.

My mother [my grandmother - maki] used to make umeboshi every year. When I lived in New York, I was too busy working to do much cooking, let alone umeboshi! But now that I am retired, I'm trying to remember how to do things the old way. Homemade umeboshi is so much more delicious than store bought, so they are worth the effort.

IMG: A spoonful of strawberry jam

I've left it until rather late in the season, but here is a recipe for a a very basic yet utterly delicious strawberry jam.

IMG: Nerikiri wagashi

Kyoto, the former imperial capital, is the top tourist destination in Japan for many good reasons. A lot has been written about this city already, and it's impossible to describe in a few sentences - so I'm not going to try to. Instead, I'll share some of my favorite destinations in a series of pictures and short descriptions -- as postcards if you will. Here's my first postcard from Kyoto.

Kyoto is a city that hits the sweet spot for me in more ways than one. It is dripping with history, has fantastic shops, great art and craft galleries, and so many places to have a wonderful meal. It also has a lot of literal sweet spots. Perhaps because of its history as the seat of the imperial court, where ladies influenced much of the culture, there are many amami dokoro, or places to enjoy a bite of something sweet, both traditional and modern.

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The Just Bento Cookbook 2 cover

Believe it or not, a sequel to The Just Bento Cookbook will be here soon.

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Some of the dishes offered by ChefCuisine

ChefCuisine is a new method of delivering top restaurant quality meals to the home. It's intriguing...but will it succeed?

Japanese Cooking 101, Lesson 2: Prep and Cook A Great Bowl of Japanese Rice

How properly cooked Japanese rice should look

jc101-ricebowl1.jpg

A perfectly steamed bowl of plain rice is the unquestioned star of a Japanese meal. And here's how to cook it, in copious detail - in Lesson 2 of Japanese Cooking 101: The Fundamentals of Washoku.

Type:  recipe Filed under:  basics rice washoku japanesecooking101

makiunhappy-sm.jpg

Attempting to turn cranky Maki into happy Maki through the power of fermentation. Plus a recipe for hummus with miso.

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