japan

There really is a butter shortage in Japan

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Butter shortages in post-modern Japan. continue reading...

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Hamburg Steaks or Hanbaagu/Hambaagu in the Japan Times

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A brief history of the hambaagu in Japan. continue reading...

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What Japanese kids like to eat, now and then

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Japanese kids like western style food a lot it. continue reading...

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The history of ranking restaurants in Edo, plus eggs in Japan

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Eggs, plus the history of ranking restaurants and food in Japan. continue reading...

Kanten vs. agar plus tokoroten in the Japan Times, plus a sweet version

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About the difference between kanten and agar, plus cool, slippery glassy noodles. continue reading...

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Maybe you can't have it all...

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Goryo Hamaguchi: Earthquakes, Modern Medicine and Yamasa Soy Sauce

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The life of a remarkable man, who used his wealth to help people in many meaningful ways. continue reading...

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Tokyo vs. Paris, Japan vs. France, from a food point of view

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Is Tokyo really a better place for a tourist to visit than Paris? As a Tokyo-native and current resident of France, I may have a few thoughts on that. ^_^ continue reading...

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Kinou Nani Tabeta? A manga about food and life, plus: Caramel Stewed Apples

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[Update] As of March 2014, Kinou Nani Tabeta?, re-titled What Did You Eat Yesterday? is now being released in English by Vertical! Volume 1 is available now. I am re-featuring this review that I wrote in December 2010 to commemorate this happy news. ^^

Kinou Nani Tabeta? (What did you eat yesterday?) is a wonderful manga series that features lots of delicious recipes. One of them is a supremely simple recipe for stewed caramel apples. continue reading...

Katsuyo Kobayashi, 1937-2014

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Yesterday, it was revealed that cookbook author and TV chef, presenter and teacher Katsuyo Kobayashi (小林カツ代) had died on January 23, 2014. She was 76 years old. She was one of the biggest culinary influences in my life. continue reading...

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Masataka Taketsuru, The Father of Japanese Whiskey And His Two Loves

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(I originally wrote this elsewhere but I thought you might enjoy reading it too without having to sign up there. :) So here it is. It involves a fine beverage, a man who made it his life’s works, and a story of enduring love against the odds.)

Whiskey first became widely available in Japan (least amongst the wealthy) in the 19th century, mostly in and after the 1870s, although it seems to have been introduced in the 1850s. Whiskey distilling in Japan did not get going until the 20th century though. The establishment of distilleries in Japan was spearheaded by a small group of men who fell in love with whiskey, and wanted to establish distilleries in Japan. continue reading...

Washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) designated as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Japanese cuisine is now a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. continue reading...

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Artisanal rice and "ancient" heirloom rice in The Japan Times

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About a trend in Japan towards growing delicious artisanal rice - article in The Japan Times. continue reading...

Rubber ducks in Osaka

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The great city of Osaka is invaded by one giant rubber duck…and a small edible one. continue reading...

About shokupan, or Japanese sliced bread

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Thick slices of nutritionally empty white bread for the win! continue reading...

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Pictures from Japan

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A quick update to show I’m still alive ^_^ Also some photos from Japan. continue reading...

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The English version of Cookpad, the largest recipe site in Japan, launched today

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The English version of the biggest recipe site in Japan launched today. continue reading...

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Food packaging labeling for allergy-causing substances in Japan

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Last year I uploaded a series of printable cards for communicating dietary restrictions in Japan. This is a follow-up of sorts to this, with some information about food package labelling and allergy-causing products.

There are seven substances that must, by law, be indicated as being present on packaged foods that contain them in Japan. I’ve listed them below in this order: English: kanji: hiragana or katakana: roma-ji. continue reading...

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Japanese Cooking 101, Lesson 2 Bonus: Sushi Rice (Shari) plus Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Chirashizushi

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Once you know how to cook perfect Japanese style rice, sushi rice is a snap. continue reading...

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Japanese cuisine the most popular foreign cuisine..? What's your favorite?

This bit of news crossed my path today via Twitter, and it has me scratching my head a bit. In December 2012, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) conducted a web based survey in 7 countries - China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, France, the United States and Italy. continue reading...

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2-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake: You can still help

Today, March 11, is the 2nd year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the north-eastern coast of Honshu, the main island of Japan. I would write many things about it, but I’d like to focus on some ways you can help the victims of the earthquake, besides the usual places such as the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, that you may not have been aware of. continue reading...

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Pondering two food documentaries: Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Kings of Pastry

Two documentary films that show the importance of sushi, and pastry, in their respective cultures. continue reading...

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Recipe for Dorayaki, Doraemon's favorite snack

Doraemon's favorite snack

When I wrote about dorayaki, the sweet pancake-sandwich that is cat-robot Doraemon’s favorite snack for the Japan Times back in October, I promised to post a recipe for making the little pancakes. Well finally here it is! continue reading...

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Osechi (New Year's Feast): The Next Generation

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This year’s New Year’s feast back home in Japan was taken over by the next generation of women in our family. continue reading...

Shusse-uo (fish that get promoted) plus yellowtail teriyaki

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Fish that get on in life, plus a super-simple recipe for teriyaki fish made in the oven. continue reading...

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The Return of Iron Chef Japan, Part 2

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On Friday October 26, 2012 after 13 years, Ryouri no Tetsujin returned to the airwaves on Fuji TV. Does it live up to the legendary original? continue reading...

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...

All about dashi in The Japan Times

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Back to basics. continue reading...

Printable cards for communicating dietary restrictions in Japan

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A selection of print and cut cards to communicate your dietary requirements and restrictions in Japanese. I’ve edited it to add some more information about food product labeling. continue reading...

Dining Out in Japan

A collection of handy things for eating out in Japan.

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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...

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...

One year hence: My furusato, myself

It’s been quite a year. 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...

A super-efficient Japanese kitchen

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

My father's favorite Tampopo scene

How my late father related to a particular scene in the movie Tampopo. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Last chance sushi at Narita Airport Terminal 1

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The last meal before departure. continue reading...

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Monday photos: Kaki (Persimmons)

Persimmons (kaki)

To me, persimmons or kaki (柿)are the quintessential fall fruit. Although there are by some counts around 1,000 different varieties of persimmons in Japan alone, they can be broadly divided into two types: sweet (amagaki) and bitter or astringent (shibugaki). The ones in the photo above are the sweet kind, which can be eaten as is as soon as they are ripe. 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...

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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Many-flavored Japanese Kit Kats: not really

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The famous flavored Kit Kats sold in Japan are not quite what you'd call delicious treats. 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...

The House Vermont Curry Mystery

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How a Japanese curry mix got to be named after a New England state not exactly known for curry. continue reading...

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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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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...

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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Organic and natural farming article in The Japan Times - how/where to shop (including Michi no Eki)

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This month’s Japan Times article by me is about organic and natural farmers and retailers in the Kanto region of Japan (that’s the area that includes Tokyo), including the thorny subject of how they are dealing with radioactive substance contamination on their crops. Because of space constraints I had to leave a lot out of course (that’s the nature of newspaper articles) so here are some supplemental things. continue reading...

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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