blog

A short personal update...

This just a short update on what is going on with my health and things. continue reading...

filed under

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I really hate having to post things like this, but I should explain my lack of posts here... I've been in a lot of pain for the past couple of weeks, and it seems I have a very bad infection, which may or may not be related to the cancer situation. It is painful even to sit up straight, which means I cannot do much typing on my computer. I can type lying down on my iPad but...that doesn't work that well for longer texts. And to be honest, food is about the furthest thing from my mind right now...So posts will be a bit sparse until I feel better.

Thanks for your understanding. T_T I really hope this clears up soon so I can get back on my feet...or at least. my butt.

filed under

Technical note: The RSS feed and newsletter system has been switched to another service

A little technical note for people who read this site via Google Reader or another RSS reader, or subscribe to post updates via email:

I’ve switched over from Feedburner to another service called URI.LV. The reason I switched over is that Feedburner has kind of been neglected by Google (who owns the service) for a while now, and with their announcement that Google Reader is being shut down soon, it’s kind of logical to assume that Feedburner will fade away too.

  • If you are an email subscriber: You shouldn’t see much of a change at all, but there is a chance you may need to re-add the sender of the mail (thechef@justhungry.com) to your address book if the emails end up in your spam folder.
  • If you are an RSS reader subscriber: You should not see any change at all. If you want to be doubly sure you’ll continue to receive updates, subscribe to this link or click on the RSS button in the side bar and delete your Feedburner subscription.

(Incidentally, if you’re looking for a replacement for Google Reader and are Mac or iOS based, I’ve been using NetNewsWire for ever, even before there was a Google Reader. I highly recommend it. Otherwise if you’re looking for a web based solution Feedly looks pretty nice.)

This notice applies to both JustBento and JustHungry - it’s posted on both since not everyone subscribes to both. (AND WHY NOT??? (just kidding))

So that’s it for the techincal stuff. Going back to talking about food next time. ^_^

filed under

How do you manage your social media?

Pondering on the use of social media (a bit off-topic). continue reading...

filed under

Almost there....

An update. Finally, right? continue reading...

filed under

When it rains it really, really pours

maki-cranky.png
You'd think that having gone through major surgery, radiation therapy, a burglary, my father's death, and all that kind of thing, my life would be so much easier by now.

But, noooo. It's actually sort of worse. It's now the Attack Of The House. continue reading...

filed under

My sister Meg's amazing pastry skills

meg-wedding-cake.jpg

My sister is a pretty amazing pastry chef. continue reading...

filed under

They even took the freaking toilet paper!

I am back home from New York now, after my father’s memorial service last Sunday and an all-too-short Itoh sisters’ reunion. We got home late last afternoon, glad to be back, very tired after a long flight followed by a short one and a 2 plus hour drive.

And then…disaster. During our absence, our house had been broken into. continue reading...

filed under

Hiatus

Hozuki (physalis), Naraijuku, Japan

I'll be offline for a while (not sure how long), to take care of the health issues. There will be updates over on JustBento hopefully, as The Guy Does Bento series continues, but over here the lights will be dimmed until I get back. continue reading...

filed under

Japan earthquake

I know many people who follow this blog are interested in Japan. I’ve been translating Japanese news reports on my Twitter account for some hours now, and will try to do so for at least the rest of the day. If you’d like to follow along please follow @makiwi.

Update: I am still updating the news on my Twitter stream. If you want to do something, please consider donating to the Red Cross. In the U.S., you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the international relief fund for Japan. Elsewhere or if you want to donate another way, try the International Red Cross site at IRFC.ORG.

(All of my family/friends are ok. Thank you for asking.)

filed under

Hinamatsuri (Girl's Festival) article in the Japan Times, plus my aunt's antique hina dolls

hinadan-sacchan.jpg

A new article and recipe for Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Festival) in the Japan Times. continue reading...

One of these doesn't belong...? (Weekend contest!)

funnysandwiches1.jpg

It’s been another rather hectic week around here. So I’d like to loosen up a bit by closing the week out with a fun giveaway, just for the heck of it. I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate from our friends over at J-list/JBox, where you can find all kinds of cool, cute, and wacky stuff from Japan. continue reading...

Toshikoshi Soba (year-end soba) article in The Japan Times, plus a bit about my niece and nephew

img: a hot and steamy bowl of soba noodles to end the year

A new article in The Japan Times about toshikoshi soba. Plus, a little about my favorite food-eating model, Lena-chan, and her brother Lyoh. continue reading...

Winter fish article in the Japan Times and an evening meal at my mom's

japanese-fish-dinner.jpg

A new article in The Japan Times about winter fish, and how fish fits into a typical Japanese meal. continue reading...

Shinmai (new harvest rice) and onigiri article in the Japan Times

onigiri-shiomusubi.jpg

I have a new article in today’s edition of The Japan Times, available online here, or in the print edition. continue reading...

To RSS subscribers to the "Recipes only" feed

A message to people who are subscribed to the "Recipes only" RSS feed. It's come to my attention that that feed has been broken since mid-March. I don't have the time to troubleshoot it properly at the moment, so you'll be getting the 'everything' feed (recipes and articles) for the time being. Sorry for the inconvenience! continue reading...

filed under

Crafts vs. cooking: different markets (or, would you pay for a downloadable recipe?)

We pay for single craft patterns. Why don’t we do the same for single recipes? continue reading...

filed under

Eggplant article and eggplant-beef-miso recipe in The Japan Times

A new article and recipe by yours truly is now available on The Japan Times web site, as well as in its print edition if you’re in Japan. The subject this time is eggplants (aubergines). It also includes a recipe of course! The recipe combines delicious fall eggplants with a miso-meat sauce or sorts.

Incidentally, although the original recipe calls for thinly sliced beef, it works well with ground beef too. This is a shot of a version I made using ground beef.

nikumisonasu-alt.jpg

This dish is great hot or cold, so make some for dinner and save a little for your bento the next day. Really yum!

Major site maintenance coming up this week

This week, both JustHungry and JustBento will be making a long overdue move to another server, undergoing major background maintenance/repairs and other things, so you may see some disruptions in service. Please bear with me on these. Everything should be back to normal by the end of the week (fingers crossed). Thank you for your patience. I'll update this post when everything is back to normal. continue reading...

filed under

MasterChef deja vu

A mini-rant of sorts, about MasterChef, the show I used to love. continue reading...

filed under

3 posts about Satoshi Kon

Pointing to something non-food on my personal site. continue reading...

filed under

Combatting Summer Fatigue article in The Japan Times

Chicken and shrimp soba salad with sesame sauce

There’s a new recipe from me, on another site - take a look! And a bit about the, uh, photo shoot… continue reading...

News from Maki

Maki had to undergo emergency surgery yesterday, July 6. Everything went well, and she is recovering now, although she may well have to stay at the hospital for a week or so.

We keep the site up and running as good as possible, but it will take some time until new articles will be possible.

In the meantime "Get well soon, Maki!"

filed under

News about The Just Bento Cookbook, and no I'm not abandoning Japanese food!

As if the excitement, or stress, depending on how you look at it, of the move to France and the new/old house wasn’t enough, on Monday I got word from my publisher that my bento cookbook was sent off to the printers finally! I have lots more news about it over on Just Bento, in case you don’t follow things over there. continue reading...

filed under

Instant ramen and cup noodles are very, very bad for you

Ramen!

(Edit note, May 2010. I have revived this piece from the deep archives. I wrote this originally written back in 2007, and since then the popularity of instant ramen has continued to grow.

To reiterate: Although it’s often marketed as a quick and easy meal, instant ramen is junk food It should be regarded on the same level, nutritionally speaking, as a bag of potato chips. I’m not saying you should totally avoid instant ramen, or for that matter potato chips. I indulge in both myself. However, making cheap instant ramen an everyday staple, as some college kids and low-income families do, is about the equivalent nutritionally speaking of serving corn chips as your staple carb with meals. (Hmm, I guess there are people who do that…)

Incidentally, I’ve gotten a fair number of angry emails and comments to this post over the years, as though I’m attacking a fundamental right of people or something. I find this very interesting.) continue reading...

filed under

Happy Valentine's Day from Japan!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you from Japan!

kobato2 continue reading...

Menu For Hope winner, please get in touch!

Just a quick note here: If you are the Kristina Johnson who won the Just Hungry Menu For Hope prize EU25 (check the winners' list) please get in touch via the contact form :)

filed under

In Japan!

dinner-011510-1

I’m in Japan! I’ll be here for the next three months. I am here primarily for two reasons: My mother is in hospital; and the bento cookbook photoshoot will commence next month. But of course I’ll be filing plenty of reports on what I’ve done, not to mention eaten, here! I’ll be taking and uploading photos every day, which you can follow here on flickr.

The photo above is of dinner last night with family - a seafood nabe and a sashimi assortment. Delicious and so simple, and not at all easy (or inexpensive) to recreate properly outside of Japan!

filed under

It really has been quite a year....with more to come

oldwashhouse.jpg

How has the year been for you? 2009 has been a year of change and turmoil for me. It looks like 2010 is going to be just as exciting and turbulent as 2009 was. There’s a lot to look forward to though!

For New Year’s Eve, we are just going to have a quiet evening in, with some sparkling cider from our old home town. Tomorrow we’ll be having ozouni. We still don’t know where we are settling yet — it may be France, it may be Switzerland, or…somewhere else. I still have a lot of work to do, on the bento book and other things, and I am leaving for 3 month stay in Japan in 2 weeks. That will be the longest time I’ve spent there in ages, and I’ll have lots to report on from there.

In any case, thank you so much for your continued support of Just Hungry and Just Bento this year. :) Happy New Year!

filed under

MasterChef U.S. version casting call

Longtime readers of Just Hungry may know that I am a big fan of the UK cooking-competition show MasterChef. I’ve written about it here several times, and even did my own ingredient challenge for six weeks one year. I also watched most of the Australian version, and commented on it a bit too. Well now there is going to be a U.S. version of MasterChef. continue reading...

filed under

Per Se: Jackets required, huh?

I’m in the New York area at the moment, doing some family things, required government-oriented paperwork and so on. Whenever I’m here I do like to treat myself to at least one interesting restaurant meal. So, this time around I thought of going to Per Se, the famed Thomas Keller establishment. I’ve never been to a Thomas Keller establishment.

I went to their pretty but so user-unfriendly Flash-only website (see my rant against this deplorable practice) and, after having to reload the site because it was coming up blank a few times, was dismayed to find that they require jackets (though not ties) and ‘no tennis shoes’ (I guess they mean sneakers…tennis shoes, how quaint) for lunch and dinner. I am travelling light and only have shoes of the ‘tennis’ variety, and my planned dining partner (who is a much more exacting and well-travelled gourmet than I am) is rather firmly anti-jacket, so it looks like Per Se is out for us. Bummer. continue reading...

filed under

More on the new theme

Thank you for all of your comments about the new theme/event! I have been mulling over it, and I while I still haven’t decided on the name yet, I have more or less decided on what it will be: continue reading...

filed under

An idea for a new theme/event

I know that I have sadly neglected this blog for some weeks now, as I struggle with completing the first draft of my book. (My main problem is I keep revising the recipes…but that’s another story.) I know that digging up things from the archives does not really constitute true updating! Anyway, I do have an idea for a regular theme or event of sorts, to commence probably in the new year (or when the book is further along in the birthing process).

The tentative title of the theme/event is Japanese Ingredient Focus Seminar (too formal?). I know that many Japanese ingredients are unfamiliar to non-Japanese readers. So the goal will be to become as familiar as possible with it, in a specific time period, say 2-3 weeks. I’ll announce the ingredient beforehand, so people have time to get a hold of it. Then we will try various recipes using that ingredient, from simple to not-so-simple.

How does this sound? Let me know if this sounds interesting to you. I’ll also accept suggestions for ingredients to tackle. continue reading...

filed under

I am only what I am. I hope it's enough.

rena_udon2_0.jpg

My niece Rena tucks into teuchi udon (handmade udon).

I am occasionally asked via email or Twitter or even in person, to post a recipe that is Asian but not Japanese. In most cases, I have to say that I have no idea how to make it. Well that wouldn’t be exactly true: I could look it up online or in cookbooks and replicate a recipe here. But then, so could you. So could anyone. continue reading...

filed under

Shopper's Guide to Pesticides iPhone App

3 years ago, I mentioned a handy list of produce ranked by how much pesticide is used to grow them. The higher (=more pesticides) the ranking, the better it would be to stick to organically grown.

I recently got a new iPhone (yes…I’m the very opposite of an Early Adopter of tech gadgets) and discovered that the same list is available as a free iPhone app called DirtyProduce. Here’s a screenshot of the opening page:

dirtyproducep1.png

It doesn’t do much beyond list the Dirty Dozen (the most heavily pesticide-treated fruits and vegetables), the Clean 15 (the last pesticide-used) and the full list of 47 produce items, but it’s handy to have around with you. Who knew for instance that peaches were the most pesticide-laden fruit or vegetable? I tend not to peel my peaches, and I ate, oh I don’t know, a few tons of them over the summer. I may start peeling them next season, or look for non-treated ones.

Anyway, if you do have an iPhone, take a look. And if you don’t, there is still the PDF list to print out and carry in your wallet.

filed under

iSnack 2.0 (Vegemite 2.0) and other bad product names

isnack2_0.jpg

iSnack 2.0? Really? Were they serious? continue reading...

filed under

And the winner of the Izakaya book is....(and a small update)

The winner of the Izakaya Cookbook is… Mireia! Congratulations to Mireia, and thank you to everyone who entered. Look for more great giveaways on Just Hungry in the future!

A small update

I’m in the throes of frantic ‘must-meet-deadline’ mode for my own book. If I meet my first deadline (in less than 2 weeks!!!), I should at least be able to take a shower…I mean, pull my head above water for a bit and update here. Until then, please bear with me!

(Incidentally, doesn’t it bug you when people say ‘please bare with me’? No I don’t want to take my clothes off with you. Geez.

I’m going off on a tangent. Back to work.) continue reading...

filed under

Yep I'm working on a book

So, I’m writing a book, and a deadline looms. continue reading...

filed under

Roar! The Hungry Tiger is back!

One of my favorite food blogs is back! continue reading...

filed under

The earlobe in Japanese cooking

earlobe.jpgDuring a bout of procrastination, I came across this post on Serious Eats about making udon from an translated-to-English Japanese cookbook classic, Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji. You know this is a classic, since the original forward for it was written by M.F.K. Fisher! Anyway, the author of the Serious Eats post gets quite excited about the instructions in the recipe (which apparently calls for egg yolks…more about this later) saying to knead the dough until it’s the texture of an earlobe.

Actually, the earlobe (mimitabu 耳たぶ) is used quite commonly in Japanese cooking. What? you say? Well…here’s how. continue reading...

filed under

The book giveaway winner is announced, plus some more news

The winner of The Enlightened Kitchen book is… emalie from Australia!

If you didn’t win this time, stay tuned, because I have a couple more books to give away in the next couple of weeks which I am sure will be of interest to Just Hungry readers. continue reading...

filed under

Maki on the radio!

I was interviewed on WRS Geneva, an English-language radio station in Geneva (Genève), Switzerland, this past Tuesday, on their food programme called Stir It Up. The MP3 is up now for download (link now corrected!), so if you want to know how I sound, with a stuffed nose (from allergies...agh!) complete with my totally mixed up accent, my segment starts after the rhubarb at around 9:45. It might be of interest to people who want to know why I started blogging about Japanese food after moving to Switzerland of all places. (Cross-posted to Just Hungry and Just Bento.)

filed under

Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you live?

(The survey is now closed. Thank you for everyone who took the time to comment/answer!)

In connection with a project I’m working on at the moment, I’d like to take a short 5-question survey of Just Bento and Just Hungry readers.

I assume you are here because you have at least some interest in Japanese food and cooking. My questions are as follows. continue reading...

filed under

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes

Scene from a market. continue reading...

filed under

American kitchens: Why cups, and not weight? Where's the kitchen scale?

Where I ponder the question: Why do American cooks do things with cups, not weight? continue reading...

Happy Easter!

Easter bunny bread

A bit too late already for many people I know...but I just wanted to share this bunny bread from my favorite patisserie in Zürich. :)

filed under

A followup report on being vegan in Japan

Asha, the reader who sent me the question that inspired me to write Japan: A Survival Guide for Vegans has sent in a great follow-up comment. I’ve posted it here so you won’t miss it. She found it a lot easier to follow her vegan regime in Tokyo than in Nagasaki, where she has been living. That makes sense I thin: any major metropolitan area these days is likely to have many people who are vegan or at least interested in a vegan way of eating, while the same might not hold true for more regional towns (Nagasaki has a long history of being a very international city, but is much smaller than Tokyo of course.)

What follows are Asha’s words. continue reading...

filed under

I'm moving! I'm moving! But where to go?

Let’s pretend that there are no tiresome restrictions like visas and such. If eating well were the only criteria, where in the world would you move to? continue reading...

filed under

My Japanese language blog and Twitter

I know that quite a lot of people who follow Just Bento and/or Just Hungry are interested in Japanese culture in general. So, this is a very-infrequent plug for my Japanese language mini-lesson blog and Twitter account. The Twitter account is separate from my main chatty Twitter (@bentotips, where I actually rarely tweet any bento tips…); it’s at @mainichinihongo. There is also a companion blog, Hungry For Words, which has longer lessons on occasion. The lessons are not very structured or anything - I just talk about words or phrases that pop into my mind.

So, if you are studying Japanese, or just interested in nihongo, take a look! It’s all part of my mission to spread Japanese culture over the world, like gomashio on rice ^_^.

(Cross-posted to Just Hungry and Just Bento.) continue reading...

filed under

Related sites

Share food, change lives
Play Freerice and feed the hungry

Hello!

Just Hungry is a site about Japanese food and home cooking, healthy eating, the expat food life, and more. [log in] or [register]

About this site

maki Just Hungry is a site about food. There are lots of recipes and much more. You may want to read about Just Hungry, or contact the site owner, Makiko Itoh. To dive in real deep, try the site map.

This article is from justhungry.com.