Japanify Ingredients

July 28, 2011

Japanify: Sashimi in Sesame Sauce + Ochazuke (Tea-Soaked Rice)

by Yoko Kumano

I visited my mom recently and she served me one of the best breakfasts I have had in a long time–tai chazuke. Chazuke is short for ochazuke, a common method of enjoying rice in Japan. A bowl of rice is topped with condiments and hot tea or dashi is poured over it. Tai chazuke is […]

June 9, 2011

Japanify Ingredients: Homemade Ponzu

by Kayoko Akabori

Kayoko here, filling in for Yoko. From here on out, just call me (Ka)Yoko. By now, I’m sure you know what ponzu is. I don’t even have to explain it to you. In fact, it’s such a part of our colloquialism that I don’t even need to italicize it! Oh you know, it’s that tangy, […]

April 7, 2011

Japanify Ingredients: Komezu (Rice Vinegar)

by Yoko Kumano

I used to be amused by the number of Kewpie mayonnaise tubes my 85 year-old grandma had stashed in her packed fridge in Tokyo. I would visit her house every few months to clean out her fridge. She would forget that she already had certain condiments and kept buying them because they would get buried […]

March 31, 2011

Japanify Ingredients: Sendai Miso

by Yoko Kumano

Before the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Sendai was a city that made my favorite miso. One tablespoon of Sendai miso goes into my dashi every morning for a breakfast consisting of miso-shiru, rice and umeboshi. In recent weeks, Sendai has come to symbolize much more to me than just a great producer of miso, […]

January 20, 2011

Japanify Ingredients: Homemade Kewpie Mayonnaise

by Yoko Kumano

When I was five, my family moved from the heart of the Silicon Valley (Cupertino) to the heart of Tokyo (Aoyama). Although it probably would have been a dream for trendy tots and tweens like Suri or Tavi, I was a tomboy who liked my suburban swing set in Cupertino and despised the high-rise buildings […]

November 18, 2010

Japanify Ingredients: Mirin

by Yoko Kumano

In an effort to demystify Japanese cooking, today’s Japanify post is a first in a series I will call “Japanify Ingredients.” I’ve drawn inspiration from some questions I’ve received from friends, for example: “I bought rice vinegar to make sushi one time, but it’s just sitting in my cupboard doing nothing. What else can I […]

August 19, 2010

Japanify Ingredients: Know Your Seaweed

by Yoko Kumano

The eskimos have many words for snow, just like the Japanese have many words for seaweed. For those of us on the other side of the pacific, the lack of words for seaweed is problematic. It is very confusing when reading the translated English ingredients for nori, iwanori, wakame and kombu since they all say […]

July 22, 2010

Japanify Ingredients: Tamari vs. Shoyu

by Yoko Kumano

I was always baffled by tamari. I had never used it until one of my friends and faithful readers of UM suggested that I should write about tamari vs. shoyu (soy sauce) on Japanify. So this week, I purchased San-J brand’s Tamari (I chose that brand because I happened to have San-J brand’s Organic Shoyu […]

May 6, 2010

Japanify Ingredients: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Dashi

by Yoko Kumano

One of the most basic things about Japanese cooking that baffled me before living in Japan was how to make dashi. I knew it was easy and that the ingredients were readily available, but I wanted to make it right. All from scratch. Here is the definitive guide to making dashi. The easiest way to […]