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The Return of Iron Chef Japan, Part 1

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A long time ago, when I used to live in New York, there was a 2 hour long block of Japanese programming every morning from 7 to 9 on UHF channel 31 (I’ve forgotten what station that was). The programming originated from Fuji Sankei TV. The first hour was taken up by the news and such. The second hour was devoted to entertainment programming. One of the shows they aired was called Ryouri no Tetsujin (料理の鉄人). This was the original Iron Chef. continue reading...

On food, life, and such things

As I’m now re-booting my food blogs again, I thought I’d start off with a little musing about the future direction of this site as well as JustBento. continue reading...

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Basics: Japanese soy sauce - all you need to know (and then some)

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I’m still working on getting my sites organized in the background, not to mention my kitchen operational. In the meantime, please enjoy this updated and revised look at Japanese soy sauce. An exhaustive look at Japanese soy sauce. Originally published in December 2011. continue reading...

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Nora Ephron

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Essayist, journalist, screenwriter and movie director Nora Ephron passed away yesterday at the age of 71. She wrote about the joy of food as well as anyone. continue reading...

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All about dashi in The Japan Times

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Back to basics. continue reading...

House renovation and kitchen planning, an ongoing saga

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Renovating a house is a huge pain. Kitchen planning is the worst part. continue reading...

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Sashimi, raw eggs and more in The Japan Times, plus raw proteins elsewhere

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This month’s Japan Times article is about all the raw-protein foods that are eaten in Japan, and consuming them safely, plus how to make a great plate of sashimi. More on both topics below. continue reading...

Sketch diary: Cancer, the ladyparts version

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What it’s like to have endometrial (uteran) cancer. continue reading...

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Sketch diary: At a low point

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More from my sketch diary. continue reading...

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Eating sakura (cherry blossoms and leaves) article in the Japan Times

Sakurayu - cherry blossom 'tea'

My latest article in The Japan Times is about edible cherry blossoms and leaves. continue reading...

Sketch diary: it's harder than I thought

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I am two and a half weeks into a six week course of radiation therapy, to zap the remaining cancer cells in my body. Each session lasts about 10 minutes, and is completely painless. It’s the side effects that are the problem. continue reading...

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One year hence: My furusato, myself

It’s been quite a year. continue reading...

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Shio-kōji (salt kōji) article in The Japan Times

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It may look just like rice porridge, but this flavor packed, allergen-free flavoring ingredient is much more than that. I think it deserves a worldwide audience. continue reading...

Monday photos: New York cravings

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When in New York... continue reading...

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Setsubun and beans article in the Japan Times and food superstitions

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This month’s Japan Times article is about the traditions and superstitions surrounding Setsubun, which is coming up on February 3rd. continue reading...

Monday photos: This little pig is not a guinea pig

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Why do we have a problem with eating things with faces? continue reading...

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A super-efficient Japanese kitchen

A video showing one Japanese mom’s tiny yet super-efficient kitchen. continue reading...

What's in your kitchen? What is your kitchen?

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How would you describe your kitchen, and what’s stocked there? continue reading...

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Totally off topic: About your small business site or blog, and getting it noticed - what not to do

This has nothing at all to do with Japan, or food, or anything else that I normally write about here. But I am putting it on this site in the off chance that it will be read by regular folk. That is, people who just happened to land here, looking for a recipe perhaps. It’s not for web designers or developers or people who built stuff for the web. And it’s certainly not for so-called “SEO experts”.

But I just couldn’t take it anymore. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Winter in Provence

Winter in Provence

Some weeks to go until spring, but in the meantime the scenery is beautiful. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Santa

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My stepfather: accountant by day, Santa by nights and weekends. continue reading...

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Sweet potatoes (satsumaimo) in the Japan Times, plus an update

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This month’s Japan Times article is about sweet potatoes*, which are called satsumaimo in Japanese. continue reading...

Accidental butter

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From the age of 3 on, or so my mother says, I would always hang around the kitchen asking questions, tilting conatainers to my level, getting underfoot and in everyone’s way. After about age 5, I was reluctantly given some small, low-risk things to do, like making panko from day-old bread, or filling the salt and pepper shakers. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Coffee break in Japan

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In Japan, coffee is just as ingrained in everyday life as tea. continue reading...

Monday photos: The iPhone 4S as a camera for food bloggers

More iPhone 4S food shots

For this week’s Monday Photos, I’d like to get just a bit technical and look at the suitability of the iPhone 4S as a serious camera for food bloggers. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Sanma (pacific saury) is the quintessential fall fish

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The favorite fish of the fall season in Japan. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Hotel Le Royal Lyon

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A delicious, tiny morsel from a most elegant French hotel. continue reading...

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A full review of Supermarket Woman by Juzo Itami

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Looking in-depth at an old favorite. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Yuzu miso container from Yaosan, Kyoto

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A container that reveals what lies within. continue reading...

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Monday photo: Sack of bread, Aix-en-Provence

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A photo and a story, first in a series. continue reading...

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The "Indo Karii" at Nakamuraya in Shinjuku, Tokyo plus the three degrees of curry hotness

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Japanese curry hotness levels, and my favorite childhood curry. continue reading...

What's your national dish - or, is there any such thing?

Scenes from the Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum (新横浜ラーメン博物館)

Did you know that ramen is considered to be one of the two main National Dishes of Japan? continue reading...

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Kyoto jo-gashi (wagashi) and iced matcha in the Japan Times

Kagizen Yoshikusa, Kyoto

This month’s Japan Times article is about Kyoto sweets. continue reading...

Obsessively obsessing about my kitchen

The kitchen

The current object of my obsessions is this space. continue reading...

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Setsuden article in The Japan Times, plus suzumi or 'keeping cool' the traditional way

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This month in the Japan Times, I talk about setsuden (cutting down on electricity consumption) and suzumi (keeping cool). continue reading...

Japanese ingredients: Myoga or Myouga

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About myouga, the shallot-shaped, gingery flower bud that’s a ubiquitous garnish on, or with, many Japanese summertime dishes. continue reading...

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Clearing up the tea testing confusion (with updates)

This is a follow up to my previous post about above-safety limits levels of radioactive elements (namely, cesium) found on tea grown in Kanagawa prefecture. There seems to be some confusion over how tea is tested, due to some misleading news reports. (Note: I have updated this post several times to reflect new events.) continue reading...

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Keeping Japan Going, Part 2: Konbini love, plus there are angels

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I’ve talked about the awesomeness of konbini, or Japanese convenience stores, before. Actually, almost everyone who has been to Japan raves about the awesomeness of konbini. continue reading...

Radiation contamination found on tea grown in Kanagawa prefecture (Ashigara tea)

Regarding the radiation contamination detected on tea leaves grown in Kanagawa prefecture. continue reading...

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Spring vegetables article in the Japan Times

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A new article in the Japan Times about spring mountain vegetables, plus a bit more about vegetables. continue reading...

How one retailer is dealing with the vegetable crisis in eastern Japan

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There is an ongoing crisis of confidence regarding the safety of vegetables from a farming area that mainly serves the Tokyo metropolitan area. I went to my favorite produce seller in Yokohama to see how they are dealing with it. continue reading...

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Greetings from Japan

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I’m writing to you from my mother’s home in Yokohama, Japan, where I’ve been since Tuesday. It was another lovely early spring day today. The weather was warm enough to go outside without a coat. Kids were playing outside all day, since schools don’t start until next week. Their shrill voices waft all the way up to my mom’s 8th floor apartment. Normally I’d be a bit annoyed, but not now. continue reading...

Japan Earthquake: How to help, personal update

Update, how to donate. continue reading...

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Respecting traditions

Pondering a little about religious and cultural traditions, and food. continue reading...

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A visit to Serious Eats HQ, New York

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Yesterday, I had the opportunity of visiting the World Headquarters of Serious Eats in New York. What a great place it is. continue reading...

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Everything in osechi ryouri (Japanese New Year's feast food) has a meaning. (And a confession..)

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Take a look at some homemade osechi ryouri, or traditional New Year’s Day feast food. continue reading...

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Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます。 continue reading...

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Taimeiken, Nihonbashi, Tokyo - home of Tampopo Omuraisu (rice omelette)

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I finally made it to Taimeiken, an old time yoshoku restaurant in Nihonbashi, to indulge in the original Tampopo Omuraisu (rice omelette). Yes, that Tampopo. continue reading...

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A visit to Obana, a traditional Edo-mae unagi-ya (old Tokyo style eel restaurant)

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A little slice of old Tokyo in an out-of-the-way area of Tokyo, Obana is an unagi-ya (eel restaurant) that even someone who’s not an unagi fan can love. continue reading...

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A visit to the Shin Yokohama Raumen (Ramen) Museum

Scenes from the Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum (新横浜ラーメン博物館)

A museum that pays homage to a single type of dish? Why not - this is Japan after all. continue reading...

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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.

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