Author Archives: Yoko Kumano


January 24, 2017

Japanify: Chikuwa Toast

by Yoko Kumano

Kayoko, Johnny, and I spent last week in paradise (aka Yelapa, Mexico). Watching whales from our balcony while reading Invisible Man was the highlight of my trip. You couldn’t beat the scenery, but unfortunately the food was not at paradise-level. While on vacation, the subject of chikuwa came up (probably because we were craving it). […]

January 15, 2017

Sake Gumi News: To a Fresh + Fruity Year (January 2017)

by Yoko Kumano

January sakes ship today for Sake Gumi, our monthly sake subscription club. If you like what’s on deck here, you should join! I love starting the new year fresh – drinking fruity, cold sakes that pair well with all the seafood and shellfish that is in season this time of year. For January’s Sake Gumi selections, I […]

December 26, 2016

Japanify: Crispy Butter-Shoyu Mochi Wrap

by Yoko Kumano

As a kid, when New Year’s rolled around, I dreaded eating ozoni, a dashi soup that includes a big ball of boiled mochi (rice cake), some fish cake and mitsuba. For the same reason that I don’t like Matzo Ball soup, I am not a big fan of ozoni because I don’t like balls of […]

December 20, 2016

Event Recap: The Complete Cocktail Manual Author Event and Demo

by Yoko Kumano

Kayoko and I always been a fan of Lou Bustamante’s write-ups in the SF Chronicle. Every year we look forward to his thoughtful picks for his annual Bar Stars column, where he highlights the Bay Area’s best and brightest bartenders. So when we found out he was coming out with his book, The Complete Cocktail […]

December 15, 2016

Sake Gumi News: funk•y (December 2016)

by Yoko Kumano

December sakes ship today for Sake Gumi, our monthly sake subscription club. If you like what’s on deck here, you should join! funk·y \’fuŋ-kē\ adjective1. Having or using a strong dance rhythm, in particular that of funk. 2. Strongly musty. 3. Odd or quaint in appearance or feeling. This year was funky. 2016 was full of unexpected […]

November 29, 2016

Japanify: Miss Blanche (Fuyu Persimmon Kanten)

by Yoko Kumano

Feeling stuffed post-Thanksgiving? After a few days of leftovers drenched in butter, I found myself reaching for fruits of all kinds at my grocery store. It is the height of persimmon season and I’ve been eating at least one a day this month. To demarcate the period between one gluttonous holiday (Thanksgiving) and another (Christmas), I […]

November 15, 2016

Sake Gumi News: Kimoto + Yamahai (November 2016)

by Yoko Kumano

November sakes ship today for Sake Gumi, our monthly sake subscription club. If you like what’s on deck here, you should join! I am a Scorpio. We are said to be independent, intense, observant, loyal, wild, and resourceful in our best moments. The rest of the time, we are obsessive, suspicious, and secretive. Although I’m not a […]

October 24, 2016

Japanify: Kasuzuke Salmon

by Yoko Kumano

  I’m always stealing ideas from my family. The latest cooking technique I stole was from my Aunt Judy (who also inspired Kayoko’s Happy Hour post last week), who specializes in making drinks and savory foods to along with it. Aunt Judy had read somewhere that a beef restaurant in Japan was trying to find […]

October 15, 2016

Sake Gumi News: Legends and Folklore (October 2016)

by Yoko Kumano

October sakes ship today for Sake Gumi, our monthly sake subscription club. If you like what’s on deck here, you should join! To coincide with the coming of Halloween, this month’s Sake Gumi theme highlights the images of Japanese legends and folklore that often adorn sake labels. From the Gegege no Kitaro characters that appear on one-cups […]

September 26, 2016

Japanify: Soboro Donburi (Crumbly Chicken Bowl)

by Yoko Kumano

During my last visit to Tokyo, my grandma sent me home with some store bought, vacuum-sealed beef soboro. It had been a really long time since I had Soboro Donburi, so I was happy to indulge in some nostalgia when I got back to California. Soboro Donburi is typically made up of three toppings on […]