Love and Art of Japanese Cuisine

Agedashi Tofu

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 from Just One Cookbook 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.

Follow @justonecookbook on Twitter

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  1. Nami! Your gracious spirit shines through in all that you do. It’s been a joy working with you on our interview and getting to know more about your food blogging ventures! ;)

  2. Correen I am so glad that you two had a chance to talk and wrap up this wonderful interview! Nami is a great person and I am really happy that you noticed that too..I enjoyed reading this very much! Nami, you rock!!!:)

  3. Great interview, Nami! And I agree with Correen about you…you are one of the sweetest bloggers around :)

  4. I have not been interested in this cuisine, but the interview was so interesting it makes me think I need to think again. I love the new look of the site too. Very clean and inviting.

    • Thanks Susan ;) I am sure Nami would give this advice…start off small by trying her recipes for sides or appetizers, that way you can taste Japanese cuisine in small bites.

  5. Thank you Correen for the interview! It was fun to get to know you and your site. I also want to thank everyone here for their wonderful comments!

  6. I’m so glad you got to “meet” Nami and interview her – I love her blog and I’m sure many more will come to love it too.

  7. I LOVE Nami’s website and she is such a great woman! I really enjoy reading this interview and getting to know her a bit better!!! Thanks! :-)

    • Manuela thanks for stopping by, I know Nami is just tickled to read all these sweet comments. Ooh, I stopped by your blog – it’s lovely and yummy too. ;)

  8. Correen, thank you for choosing Nami for this interview! Nami is a lovely, warm person and an extraordinary cook. Not to mention her photographic skills!
    PS I am also very happy to discover this fascinating website!

  9. Thank you for a lovely introduction and interview with Nami. I am learning so much through your super interviews – and it’s nice to know all these super food bloggers!

  10. Nami’s dishes reflect her immense pride and passion of her Japanese root, which is truly admirable. So, thank you very much Coreen for doing this interview with her.

  11. Nami is one the kindest, most talented cook I know in the blogosphere. One stop by her site and I was hooked! I always drool when she cooks up something in her kitchen, and often find myself wishing I grew up eating her amazing cuisine – in bento boxes, of course! Great job with the interview, Coreen, I thoroughly enjoyed learning a bit more about Nami ;-).

  12. Thank you all for reading my interview with Correen and leaving the kind messages here. All of you have been wonderful friends and I’m truly blessed to know you. Thanks Correen again for this opportunity! :-)

  13. Great interview! Really enjoyed reading more about Nami!
    Correen, I am sure your womanly instinct is right! I am sure she is a great person inside out! she is so sweet, friendly and helpful!! Great going Nami! Love your blog :)

  14. What a lovely interview! Correen, thank you for taking the time to ask Nami these great questions, I especially enjoyed the one about what she would cook if there were to be a surprise visitor for dinner. Nami, I enjoy knowing more facts about you!

  15. What a great guest post with Nami…she has a fantastic blog and I learn something new everytime I visit it (her beautiful photography makes me hungry too!). :)

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