After four years in Tokyo, Yoko relocated to the Bay Area. She loves dips, dashi, and deals.

February 21, 2017

Japanify: Takikomi Gohan

by Yoko Kumano

Takikomi Gohan (mixed rice) is one of those comfort foods that fills the kitchen with an earthy aroma. I love cooking this in the winter and coming home to the flavors of shiitake mushrooms and hijiki. I also throw in mushrooms that happen to be in season for an extra layer of flavor. Matsutake mushrooms […]

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). […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

August 29, 2016

Japanify: Summer Slurp Series: Avocado Walnut Soba Salad

by Yoko Kumano

There are ingredients that I always keep in stock in my kitchen; they are my daikoubutsu (favorite foods). Without them I feel like I have no fall-back option when sipping on sake or wine. Two of these ingredients are avocado and nuts. I regularly incorporate both into sauces, dips, and salads. They are really handy when […]

July 18, 2016

Japanify: Shochu Root Beer Float

by Yoko Kumano

I’ve combined all of my loves into one recipe. It’s the Shochu Root Beer Float! I know that whisky is often used to spike root bear floats so I chose a shochu that has qualities of whisky. Kannoko Mugi Shochu is a barley shochu that is aged in oak barrels for three years making it a […]

June 29, 2016

Japanify: Simplified Japanese Curry

by Yoko Kumano

Kayoko and I taught a class on how to make Japanese curry from scratch two years ago and the resulting recipe was epic. It delivered great results, but at the expense of toiling in the kitchen all day and collecting a laundry list of ingredients. Who has time for that? Not me. The following recipe […]

May 25, 2016

Japanify: Crabshroom Rice

by Yoko Kumano

I wanted to make something simple and mouthwatering for the Canned Crab Challenge. Sarah’s Snow Crab Jeon is a tough act to follow, so I also wanted to make something that could potentially complement her recipe. So to pair with her protein-heavy dish, I decided to come up with a carb dish. I had tried […]