Jun 8
2009

Washoku Warriors

in Japan, Washoku Warriors

Elizabeth Andoh may not be a name that you are familiar with, but if you have any interest in learning to cook Japanese food, it should be. Ms. Andoh is American born and raised, but has made Japan her home. She did her formal culinary training at the Yanagihara Kinsaryu School of Traditional Japanese Cuisine, in Tokyo. She is now a writer (she has written three books on Japanese cooking and is Gourmet‘s correspondent in Japan), lecturer, and a business consultant, specializing in Japanese food and culture. She is the only non-Japanese member of the presitgious Japan Food Journalists Association (JFJ). She also runs A Taste of Culture, a culinary arts center in Tokyo. So basically, for those of us whose native language is English, Ms. Andoh is the Japanese cuisine guru.

One of her books is called Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen. This book explores the principles of washoku (literally means “the harmony of food”), a set of principles in fives that takes into account color, taste, ways of preparing food, the diner’s senses, and the outlook brought to bear on both the cooking and the dining experience. The book is basically a master class on Japanese approaches to prepping ingredients for cooking, the basics of the different techniques used to cook those ingredients, and the equipment required for each procedure.
I am starting a cooking project where I am going to dust off some of my rusty Japanese cooking skills, hopefully learn some new ones, and eat lots of yummy food in the process, by starting to cook through Washoku. I’ve spoken with a few people who are going to play along, but I’d love it if more of you joined in!

At least initially until we figure out the rhythm of things, 1 or 2 (if they’re simple) recipes will be chosen at the beginning of the month. You will have all month to work on them and then send me a short write up (what you learned, what you liked/didn’t like, etc.) and a picture by the end of the month, and I’ll post a round-up at the beginning of the next month.

The first challenge will be the Rice Bowl with Three-Colored Topping (San Shoku Domburi) on page 153. This recipe is really 2 recipes, as you have to make Gingery Ground Chicken (page 258) to go in it. If you would like to participate, just try out this recipe and send me a write up (rachael (at) lafujimama (dot) com) by the end of the month, and I’ll be posting the round-up on July 1st. **NOTE: The round-up date has been changed to July 15th in order to allow some of the participating members to receive their books!

Any takers?

In other news, the polls opened this morning for the Marx Foods Sausage Recipe Challenge, which I cooked up the Baked Rabbit Sausage Stuffed Kabocha for.
So go check out all of the fun recipes and vote (and if you decide that you like my recipe, I definitely wouldn’t turn down a vote)!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }



Amber June 8, 2009 at 10:19 am

Count me in! That sounds amazing…. I'm off to buy the book.

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Bob June 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Sounds like fun. I always want to do these things, but I don't want to commit when I might (will probably) flake out. But I will be watching! :D

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Fuji Nana and Fuji Papa June 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm

We're in.

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K and S June 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm

My friends in Oakland took her cooking class while in Tokyo and loved it. Good luck with the challenge, I voted for you :)

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Stumptown Savoury June 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Andoh's book is really quite excellent. It'll be interesting to watch you cook your way through it.

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oysterculture June 9, 2009 at 7:35 am

Sounds like a wonderful time. I wish I could commit, but alas this time, I will root from the sidelines.

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mamakd June 9, 2009 at 8:36 am

Yeah!!!! I am so excited! You just made my otherwise dismal week look up. I can't wait!

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Sarah June 14, 2009 at 10:01 am

I love cooking for guests but living alone I just can't seem to find the motivation. I'm hoping this will provide just that (and yummy meals to boot!) so I'm hoping I'll get my act in gear to join in! Yay!

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Fuji Mama June 14, 2009 at 10:43 am

Sarah–I totally understand! I cook WAY more being married and having kids than I did when I was living alone. I find a lot of joy in cooking for others. I don't think I would be a food blogger if I were still living alone!

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Fuji Mama June 14, 2009 at 10:43 am

Wahoo! Sounds like we're going to have a great group to start out with!

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DeliciosoMama June 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Count me in I too! I reserved a copy at the library and should get it in the next few days. I'll keep an eye open for a good buy on Amazon…I DO have a birthday coming up !!

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Abigail (aka Mamatouille) June 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Brilliant idea! Can't wait to read more about what all of you cook – I'll join in by drooling. :)

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maybelle's mom June 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm

sounds like fun. Need to find that book.

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Fuji Mama June 16, 2009 at 9:20 am

maybelle's mom– Great! We would love to have you!

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Tina @ Squirrel Acorns June 26, 2009 at 9:41 am

I am going to try to participate, but I'm not sure if I will be able to make the first challenge deadline of the 15th because of birthday parties and vacations. However, I'll do it anyway, and then hopefully be able to participate on time in the 2nd challenge.

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Shelley June 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I would definitely like to try doing this! We are getting ready for vacation so I may or may not get this recipe in, but I'll try. I'm going to the library tomorrow to get the book.

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Foodfreak July 2, 2009 at 12:18 am

I just found this and I love the idea, actually it will be the perfect excuse to finally buy the book :D – heading over to Amazon right now… and hoping I can make it in time for the 15th

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Nolwenn July 23, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Is it still possible to join ?

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