site news

It will be a muted Christmas

I realize that compared to a lot of other food blogs, I don’t get that personal on this blog most of the time. I just wanted to mention though that posting may slow down a bit for a while. I know that I’ve promised some articles such as one on pressure cooking, and I had planned some festive Christmas-y recipes and such. However, yesterday we heard that Max’s mother Martha, who is in a nursing home, has suddenly taken a turn for the worse. So, it will be a rather somber Christmas around here.

My pressure cooker actually used to belong to Martha, until she went into the home a couple of years ago. Except for replacing the rubber gasket, it’s as good as the day she bought it more than 20 years ago. She used it all the time, mainly for steaming potatoes, but for a few other things too. I hope to put those recipes up here in due course.

In the meantime, here is her authentic Swiss cheese fondue recipe, which is the absolute best I’ve ever had. A cheese fondue with crusty bread was always one of our favorite meals to have together.

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Book giveaway ends today

Just a poke to remind everyone that the 4th anniversary book giveaway / “Food Memories” mini-contest ends today, at 1 minute before midnight CET. That’s 11pm GMT, 6pm Eastern, 5pm Central, 3pm Pacific, 9am Saturday in Tokyo, etc. There are already many wonderful personal stories…add your own! The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!

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Just Hungry 4th anniversary book giveaway: Hungry Planet

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[Update: The winner is announced!] continue reading...

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Christmas livery

I originally intended to tweak the innards of the site a bit to improve performance and readability - the front page was getting rather (very) unwieldly. That somehow escalated more and more, as they do if you are a web geek taking a busman’s holiday*, and now the site has had a complete makeover. (Yet again. It’s the 5th re-design in 4 years.) For good measure I have given it a Christmas look, to stay in place for the next month. Ho ho ho.

Things should work properly, but if they don’t, please let me know.

(And yes, that new Swiss chocolate sponsor on the right does ship internationally.) continue reading...

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200 recipes!

I just realized that the kuri squash and apple maple pudding recipe is actually the 200th recipe posted on Just Hungry. 200 spread out over almost 4 years may not seem like that much, but every one of them has been tried and tested, in most cases repeatedly, so…it actually is quite a lot for me! Judging from the comments and email I get, most of them seem to work fairly well for people, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

(I also realized that ‘pudding’ may not be the right name for it…it’s more like a pie, without the crust. Though if you chill it before eating, it does sort of become a squash-cream pudding. I’ll leave the name as is though - whatever it may be called, it’s really delicious!) continue reading...

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Site news: Cross-site search

A little site news: I’ve added a new search function to the site that will search both Just Hungry and Just Bento for your convenience. It’s using Google Custom Search, which is a very easy way of setting up multi-site searches. (The results do show ads on occasion, but there’s not much you can do about that in Googleland.) continue reading...

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Just Hungry and Just Bento, now with tasty full RSS feeds

For the longest time (like forever) RSS subscribers to Just Hungry have only gotten the excerpts. There was no deep reason for this…except that I was afraid that my often long-winded posts would annoy you if you wanted to skim, or something. Well, due to approximately 3.5 people mentioning they’d prefer full feeds…from now on all Just Hungry and Just Bento feeds will have the full shebang, so you’ll never have to visit the site again*! Banzai!

Not subscribed yet? Then here they are: the Just Hungry newsfeed and Just Bento newsfeed. (What is a newsfeed?)

*Though I hope you do, I like visitors. I’ll even put out the Chex mix.

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Announcing Just Bento, a site about healthy, tasty bento box meals

Just Bento, my new brand site dedicated to the making of bento box meals, is now officially open! It will have bento-specific recipes, tutorials and tips galore. While the majority of the bento box examples will be Japanese or Japanese-style bentos (geared and adapted for people who don’t live in Japan), there will be foods and recipes from many other cuisines too, just as on Just Hungry.

The focus is on bento lunches for busy adults, especially those who are looking to using bento lunches to regulate healthy eating habits and/or lose weight. Why? Because that’s how I use bento lunches. Late last year I made a resolution to try to lose some weight in 2007. While a lot of things I attempted in order to achieve that goal fell by the wayside, one of the things that ‘stuck’ was making bento lunches at least 2 to 3 times a week, if not more. So far, I have very slowly lost about 30 pounds (15 kg), and plan to keep going! I occasionally indulge in more luxurious and/or time-consuming bentos too, but that’s all part of keeping things fun and loose.

Time is of the essence in the morning, so every bento example will be presented with a graphical timeline besides step-by-step instructions. (See Bento no. 1 for an example). Most bentos will be take less than 30 minutes to make, and the majority will clock in at 20 minutes or under.

There are already several articles up on the site. And no, Just Hungry will not be neglected; there’ll be a lot of cross-referencing of tips, recipes and more between the sites. continue reading...

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Onigiri galore, and shooting them

In case you don’t follow Just Bento, but read Just Hungry for the Japanese stuff, be sure to check out my onigiri magnum opus. In case you are wondering, yes I made all those onigiri and shot them over the weekend. It took 8 cups of rice! Some are stored in the freezer, but regrettably, many were consumed on the spot by the photographer and me.

Shooting white rice against a white background, especially on a cloudy day, is not easy. But the other weekend project we managed to finish finally really came in handy - the shoestring ‘studio’ box. continue reading...

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just beta

I am almost ready to give birth to a project that’s been incubating for ages. It’s still rather sparse (or, as they say in Web 2.0 speak, ‘beta’). If you take a look let me know what you think….

[Update:] Thank you for all of the positive comments! (If you have any criticism that’s welcome too.) As you can probably see already, the site will be quite tutorial-heavy, especially since there are already a growing number of bento blogs. As I’ve written in Bento Basics, the focus of most of the bentos (I’m sure there will be some exceptions) I’ll be writing about are 1) brown-rice based with a large portion of vegetables, 2) made in 20 minutes or under (with some prep work) and 2) 600 calories or under (a bit more for bigger guys). They won’t be that cute - at least inside the bento box. I don’t have a lot of patience for cute-fiddling in the morning. You can of course add cuteness with the bento box itself or the wrapper for the bento box.

The site is still ‘beta’ because I’m still ironing out some background kinks, but you can already subscribe to it and things.

Incidentally, I started to make a concerted effort to make bento earlier this year, as part of an overall ‘eat healthier, dammit’ thing. It’s been a really positive experience health-wise and taste-wise, and as one side effect I’ve lost about 30 lbs (15 kg or so) since the beginning of the year. Does that give you an incentive to start making bento too? :) continue reading...

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Quechup is not ketchup, or kosher

A little non-food business. I have been getting tons of invites from people I don’t know (and a couple I actually do) for yet another social networking site called Quechup. It seems that sometime during the signup process, this site makes it possible for people to send invites to all the people in the GMail and other online mail service address books. It’s kind of interesting to see who has my address in their address books, but nevertheless…if you want to avoid this annoyance, just avoid Quechup. continue reading...

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And my last supper would be...

This seems to be the week of appearing on other great food blogs! I was asked, amongst other more illustrious food bloggers, what my last meal would be by Chew On That. Check out the great answers!

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Interview on Culinate

Liz Crain of Culinate interviewed me recently, and the result is now up on their site. I always feel funny reading interviews of me, but nevertheless Liz did a great job. (I didn’t realize I average 15 posts a month… is that too little or too much?) You get to find out about my dad’s infamous restaurant business card collection! Food obsession must be inherited. continue reading...

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Recent comments

In case you left a comment here in the past few days and wondered where why it wasn’t approved - I suddenly stopped getting comment notifications, which is why I didn’t even know they were there. My apologies as I try to figure out if Drupal, Gmail or another interweb gremlin is at fault.

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Back! Apologies, and a mystery

I’m back home from Provence, both in the physical sense and the interweb sense. I actually lost Net access for the past two weeks (we thought we had something more convenient but it turned out we needed to drive 30 minutes one way to get to a WiFi spot, and well…other things sort of took priority). What I need to get into my head is that in this day and age, being offline for so long is not a good thing. It’s sort of like being MIA, for a lot of people that know me. Yes, I confess I didn’t even check my email for two weeks. So…if this affected you in relation to your food related questions and so on, I apologize. Next time I go away I’ll make sure I can at least get online once a day.

I’ll have a lot, lot more to say about my trip later on, but in the meantime, here is a little mystery. Can you identify these? (Click on the image to get a bigger view. RSS readers will have to go to the site to do this.) I’d never seen them in this state before.

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While the food in Provence is glorious - the freshest vegetables and fruit ever, tons of fresh garlic, and delicious cheeses, fragrant herbs - I really, really missed Japanese food. I did bring a (very small) bottle of soy sauce with me, but no rice or any other ingredients. (Curiously I found nori and soy sauce at the local hypermarché, but no Japonica rice, or most other needed ingredients. So I’m not sure what rice the people of Provence make sushi with.)

Last summer, I had to make an emergency stop at a small Japanese-Korean restaurant in Aix-en-Provence to take care of the withdrawal symptoms, but this year I toughed it out for three whole weeks. But anyway, the first thing I did when we got home last night? Make a potful of rice and have a bowlful with an umeboshi. I think the older I get, the more Japanese I’m getting. If my long term plans to Get A Place In Provence work out, I’m definitely going to have to sort out the Japanese food supply situation. continue reading...

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The kitchen as disaster zone

We’ve had a bit of a Plumbing Disaster in the kitchen, which has necessiated the removal of everything from shelves and such up onto higher ground (not to mention the disposal of many ruined food items). This has meant cooking activities have had to take a short pause. Hopefully the kitchen, my sanity, and cooking (and posting thereof on this blog) should be back shortly.

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A slightly slower pace for the next couple of months

Things may be just a bit slower on Just Hungry for the next couple of months, since I’ll be on the road a lot. I do have several articles piled up on the back burner though, so you shouldn’t miss much (hopefully) in the way of new stuff to read. What may be slower is my comment and new user registration approval rate, as well as replying to comments, but I’ll try to get to them when I can.

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A way to log in finally

A number of people have created accounts here to avoid the necessary evil to reduce spammers that is the CAPTCHA thingy. But you may have noticed that there was no way to actually log in. Oops. Now there is - on every page you should now see a login / register link. I’m still trying to figure out what additional benefits I can bring to registered and logged in users…but for now, if you are logged in, you’ll no longer have to solve the math question.

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Pop-up images

If you visit this site using a browser (this won’t work if you’re using a newsreader), and click on an image, in most cases you’ll be able to see a larger version of the image in popup “window” (it won’t open a separate browser window, but pop up right in your current window.) For all recipe step-by-steps for example, you can click on the small image thumbnail to bring up a better view. Note, this only works for the more recent articles posted since early February , but I’ll be using this feature in all future posts. continue reading...

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Upcoming list

More site housekeeping: I get quite a lot of emails that request certain recipes or ask questions of a general nature. Rather than reply in an email, which helps one person, I usually prefer to reply in the form of an entry here. So (though I may live to regret this!) I’ve made my list of upcoming planned recipes and other articles public. You can take a look there to see what I am working on or planning to write up. (There’s a permanent link to the page from the contact form as well as in the footer about area of every page. continue reading...

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Just Hungry reference handbooks

Handbooks are mini-guides to specific topics, with several pages. They are used as a more or less permanent repository of information.

See the list of available handbooks below. continue reading...

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Site changes

Just Hungry has had yet another site makeover. This is the fourth incarnation of the site in 3 years, and I think by far the biggest one. Besides a cosmetic facelift, it's been converted to a new backend engine, Drupal. Although Drupal is tad more complicated (for me, not you I hope!) than the blogging platform the site was running on previously, Movable Type (or the version before that which was on Movable Type's sister Typepad), I think it's going to make the site even better. Here are some of the changes that are in place right now. continue reading...

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Advertising on Just Hungry

Advertising and requests for reviews

(Updated April 2013)

Just Hungry is the leading Japanese cooking blog on the web. Readers are mainly interested in Japanese food and cooking, Japanese culture, healthy eating, food related travel, and great food in general. continue reading...

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Subscription options for Just Hungry

Various subscription options for Just Hungry. continue reading...

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The Just Hungry Site Tour

This page is a work in progress, highlighting some of the best and/or most popular posts on Just Hungry. Please also take a look at the recipe index, feature article index, and the blog archive index. try the search function if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Japanese Recipes and articles

I’m from Japan, but I’ve been living outside of Japan for much of my adult life. I love the food of my homeland, but trying to recreate some dishes without easy access to all kinds of Japanese ingredients can be tough. A major feature of Just Hungry is on cooking Japanese food at home, trying to achieve authentic flavors with limited access to these ingredients.

The Basics: If you’re new to Japanese cooking, start here: continue reading...

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About Just Hungry

About and FAQ page. (日本語のプロフィールは こちらです) continue reading...

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Calling Menu For Hope winner "johanna"!

Quick note: The winners of the Menu For Hope prizes have been announced! If you're the "johanna" that won EU07 (the hamper) please contact me so we can arrange things. :)

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De-lurk and tell me about you, and what you want!

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I had meant to do something like this earlier but - well I forgot :). But a post on Roger Johansson's web development blog 456 Berea Street (one of the best out there, I might add, for any budding or not-so-budding web developers) which was in turn inspired by web designer Veerle Pieters (her blog is one of the prettiest on the interweb!) prompted me to do this once and for all.

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Three years of Just Hungry

Three years ago, I decided on a whim to branch off a bit from my main blog, which was mostly about web development and other matters, and start a blog about food, just food - and Just Hungry was born. On November 29, 2003, I posted my first entry. 450 or so entries later it's still here! It's now become a much more visited site than I ever imagined, and I am constantly amazed and surprised at how many people take the time to write me great emails or leave comments. continue reading...

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Off to England

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I am off to England for about a week. While it's supposed to be partly for work, somehow I've managed to schedule an awful lot of food-related things in there. One of them will be my first molecular biology..I mean.. gastronomy... experience, at The Fat Duck, on Hallowe'en. Concidentally, BBC 2 is going to be showing part 1 of a two-part documentary about Heston Blumenthal that very evening. We're going to lunch so it should be fun to see that after having experienced the restaurant.

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Off topic: my other site is up again

I know some people who follow Just Hungry also used to read my makikoitoh.com site, where I mostly talk about things like design in general, web design and development in particular, and so on. It's been dormant for a long time but I've just re-designed and revived it so please give it a visit!

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Food Destinations #2 roundup coming very soon

Just a quick note to say, first of all, a big thanks to everyone who participated in this second round of Food Destinations. The roundup will be posted very soon (hopefully today...just waiting for a couple of promised late entries... :))

Food Destinations #2 deadline is Saturday!

fdshinybuttonblue.jpgA reminder that the deadline for Food Destinations 2: My Local Greenmarket is this Saturday, September 2nd. I haven't gone out to my local market yet myself, and I sure hope that the miserable grey weather we are having will clear up by the end of of the week!

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New location and new design, moving pains

I have moved Just Hungry to a new server. Because of DNS issues for the next day or so you may not be going to the right location. You will know if you're at the right place if you see a new site design, without the gigantic fennel top. (Edit: oddly enough, justhungry.com seems to be resolving all over, so if www.justhungry.com takes you to Giant Fennel, please try clicking on plain justhungry.com.) continue reading...

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Late Spring Makeover

smallfennel.jpgIt’s been more than a year since the last design for this site was implemented, so it’s about time for a new one. I managed to break the whole site horribly earlier today, especially in Internet Explorer, but it should be fine now. If the pages look wonky please try clearing your browser cache. It should look rather green, since at the moment I am really into green, especially of the vegetable variety. continue reading...

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Another Reminder About Food Destinations, and Summer Travel Plans

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The picture above is of the World's Best Baguette (I swear, it is the best baguette I have ever had) perched on top of a map on top of the dashboard of our rental car last summer. continue reading...

Food Destinations Update

A quick update on the Food Destinations event: I've extended the deadline by a week, to the 17th, but by all means if yours is done by the 10th please send it in! The reason I'm extending the deadline is simply that I'm unexpectedly busy beyond words and I don't think I can reasonably summarize the entries soon after the 10th. continue reading...

Introducing a new author

I would like to introduce a guest author to Just Hungry. Some of you know him and love him.. he is The Max. Max will bring some Authentic Swiss Flavor to Just Hungry, plus his vast knowledge of wine and spirits.

He’s jumped into the Hungry Pool with both feet by making his first entry an IMBB one!

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Food Destinations reminder plus news

I wanted to remind everyone that we have about 2 weeks to go for the Food Destinations event. A few entries have already come in. By the way, a few people have mentioned that they already have several existing review-type entries on their blogs. If that fits you, what about a re-review/index that points to your past reviews? If you do put together an article like that (or already have), please send me the link! The main objective here is to have a listing of reviews from foodies around the world, after all. continue reading...

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Advertising and promotion policy

This page has been replaced.
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Food Destinations: A New Food Blogging Event

This is a food blogging event. Deadline: (updated) May 17, 2006. Email address: fooddestinations [at] gmail (dot) com.

fooddestinations.jpg continue reading...

I'm just being very me

I Was Just Really Very Hungry got a mention in the L.A. Times (registration required), alongside such illustrious company such as two of my favorite food blogs, The Accidental Hedonist and SliceNY. continue reading...

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Update: the cupcakes and muffins are pouring in!

A quick note: the entries for IMBB 13 are coming in in waves! So far there are well over 50 entries, and the deadline isn't past yet. I'll try to post them all as soon as possible. Oh..and write up my entry too. Stay tuned for a deluge of cupcakes and muffins!

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I was just very busy.

Hi everyone! Well it has been a while since I posted, and I've gotten many comments, emails and IMs wondering if I'd stopped updating this site. Well, I haven't. I've just been very busy with other stuff.

I've also been wanting to update the design for some time, and this past week I finally got around to that task too. The new design is a bit less busy than the old one (I think anyway), and it feels ready to accept fresh new entries now! continue reading...

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England, England

I am off to England via France (we are driving there...) early tomorrow morning. I will be totally offline during that time (I really need a break from the computer, since I work with it all the time, so I'm not even bringing my laptop...), but I'm hoping to gather some good food tales while I am there. continue reading...

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Out of commission

Just a quick note: I haven't been posting lately here because I hurt my left arm recently (and I am left handed), and doing any kind of serious cooking with one arm is sort of difficult. :) I hope to be cooking and posting more as soon as I can though.

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The obsession started early

One of my earliest conscious memories is food related.

It is of a vast sea of shiitake mushrooms, stretching out forever and ever before my eyes. I think I must have been around 2 years old when I saw this, and the bounty of shiitake caps was probably just a boxful of them. continue reading...

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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.

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