The sake industry is filled with people who’re passionate about keeping Japan’s native drink alive domestically and overseas. Kyoko Nagano is one of those champions and works with small sake breweries all over Japan to spread the good word of nihonshu.
It was a pleasure to speak to Kyoko about her sake experiences and she’s got a lot of great information to share.
If it takes time to become acquainted with a person in any meaningful way, then a bowl of noodles needs to be raised for John Daschbach. After spending an entire year filming a master ramen chef, the Tokyo-based filmmaker’s latest film Come Back Anytime beautifully captures the feeling of finally getting to know someone.
Japan is famous for having some of the most unique food in the world, which also extends to snacks and sweet treats. As someone with a massive savoury and sweet tooth, it was a lot of fun to dive into a Sakura Co box that housed a themed range of Japanese snacks and discover new surprises.
When it comes to food recipes, I love mixing and matching ingredients from different cultures to experiment with flavours and indulge my own creativity. Many of my recipes are influenced by Japanese ingredients and one of the most recent dishes I’ve experimented with is beef and sake kasu pie with green beans.
Read on to learn how to make this crunchy and delicious pastry meal in your own kitchen.
How one man turned his trials into triumphs: The Story of Carl Rosa
By Kristine Ohkubo
“What if we viewed life’s challenges as tools that can actually help us prosper?” That is the question asked by Carl Rosa, the founder of the Sushi Club of Houston and several other highly successful businesses which promote Japanese cuisine and culture in the United States. It is a question which gives us pause to think, and also effectively encapsulates Carl’s own personal experiences beginning with the tragedy which struck his family in 2005.
Inspired by his incredible knowledge and love of Japan, I recently interviewed Carl to learn more about what fuels his passion and dedication to promote Japanese culture through carefully cultivated culinary experiences.
Japanese food is among the most diverse and multi-layered cuisine on the planet, with flavour profiles that spark the imagination. A large volume of regional Japanese food doesn’t get to be experienced outside of the country, so it’s wonderful to see businesses like Kokoro Care Packages changing that by offering bespoke Japanese food hampers from regions all over Japan.
Run by Lillian Hanako Rowlatt and Aki Sugiyama, Kokoro Care Packages is built on a foundation of bringing people closer together with new foods and tastes. I had the opportunity to see what was in Kokoro’s Community Favourites of 2020 package, which really opened my eyes to the huge range of regional Japanese products that are out there.
Natto. The marmite of Japanese food. Either you love it or you hate it and it’s definitely one of the most unique Japanese meals you’ll come across. This fermented soybean dish can be recognised by its slimy texture, pungent smell and cheesy qualities. It’s also recognised for its health benefits, helping to improve digestion, potentially lowering blood pressure and promoting a healthier heart.
After trying it for the first time recently, I’ve fallen into the ‘I love Natto’ camp and see it as an extremely versatile ingredient. It was one of the main attractions in my natto breakfast bowl and here is the recipe.
The Kokoro Files shares the stories of people who’re connected to Japan through heritage, food, culture and travel experience. The word ‘Kokoro’ is Japanese for heart, but it’s more than the physical organ. Kokoro is passion, love and connection all at once and Lillian Hanako Rowlatt channels that sentiment with Kokoro Care Packages.
Yamato Magazine caught up with Lillian about the story of her brand, her love of Japanese cuisine and her desire to help local farmers share their produce with a worldwide audience.
From chefs to bartenders, Japanese food and drink has touched the lives of many people. It’s been a catalyst for changing lives and bringing new conversations to culinary communities across the globe.
For Akiko Katayama, promoting Japanese cuisine has become a life-long pursuit and Yamato Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing her about her experiences. A tenured food writer, host of the Japan Eats! Podcast and representative of the New York Culinary Academy, Akiko is a leading expert in the world of Japanese food and beverages.
Read on to learn about how she became a food journalist, what it means to judge top-ranking chefs and how the story of Japanese cuisine continues to evolve.