Love and Art of Japanese Cuisine
I’ve not officially met Nami from Just One Cookbook in person, although our communication via e-mail, along with my browse through her blog confirms my womanly instinct that she is a lovely person inside and out. Sit and sip a cup of hot tea…enjoy getting to know Nami as much as I have. Thank you to foodie Sandra for introducing us.
Sum up in a paragraph what Japanese cooking means to you.
As I live in the US, eating Japanese food helps keep me grounded and makes me feel connected to my home in Japan. After having kids, I make sure that my kids know where their heritage comes from by teaching them the language and cooking Japanese food at home. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food, quality of ingredients, and presentation. Not just in restaurants, moms and housewives all over Japan consider each of the elements as they prepare their daily meals. This is apparent even in the lunch bento box kids bring to school everyday. Each bento box usually includes a variety of dishes, full of seasonal colors represented by different ingredients.
You have mentioned that you would like to pass on the love of cooking to your children…while they are very young what are some things that you allow them to participate in when you are preparing food in your kitchen?
As a food blogger, I take pictures during the cooking process as well as when the dish is complete. I try to cook while my kids are in school or taking naps so I can focus on my project. However, I also know the importance of involving kids in the kitchen. My mom taught me all the basics of cooking before I went to college and I was already familiar with many recipes. I want to do the same for my kids and so far they already show quite a bit of interest in cooking. As they grow older, I plan to teach them more and more kitchen skills such as cutting vegetables.
Are you a super-store or farm market shopper?
I used to enjoy farmer’s market until I became too occupied with kids’ activities. I really miss shopping for fresh produce at farmer’s market. I love finding new produce and checking out artisan bread and pastries. These days, I go to Japanese and Chinese supermarkets for Japanese/Asian ingredients once a week and I also shop quite a bit at Trader Joe’s. We go to Costco once a week as well to buy milk and fruits. My kids are fruit monsters and they finish lots of fruits in a week!
If your husband buzzed you from the office that he was bringing home a few co-workers for a late dinner what are 3 or 4 things you would start whipping up in your kitchen?
Assuming that I have all the ingredients in pantry and fridge, I would prepare the dishes below because they are all easy, quick and yummy dishes…
1. Pork Shabu Salad with Ponzu Dressing has hints of Japanese citron (Ponzu), sesame and ginger.
2. Baby Carrot Beef Rolls is surprisingly easy to create and imparts a slightly sweet taste.
3. Chicken Karaage with Sweet Chili Sauce can be spicy-kissed for the adults and once you start eating this dish it’s hard to stop
4. Grilled Yellowtail Collar (Hamachi Kama) is very juicy and delicious!
What is your proudest moment as a food blogger. Please explain how it came about.
I’m sure most food bloggers feel the same way, but when someone makes a dish using my recipe from the blog and tells me how great it was, I always feel content and proud. These emails or comments are usually from people that I have never met in person, and they can be from anywhere in the world but I still feel connected to them. As far as the proudest moment, it’s probably the first time I was selected for the Foodbuzz Top 9. I was still a newcomer to the food blogging world and I never thought my recipe was going to be selected out of 4000+ posts from the Foodbuzz Community. It gave me a lot of confidence to continue sharing my recipes.
Nami was born and raised in Japan and now lives in San Francisco with her husband and 2 young children. Her website, Just One Cookbook, features quick & easy Japanese home cooking recipes with step-by-step pictorial directions. She shares not only traditional food such as Tempura and Tonkatsu, but also contemporary food that local Japanese restaurants in the US don’t offer, yet are enjoyed by most households in Japan. She enjoys cooking and eating good food, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
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