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Japanese Cooking Technique and Cooking show Websites / Resources

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I am seeking out websites to study the different techniques in the creation of particular dishes. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. ...for two cooking show resources, but not websites...

    A pair of Japanese TV shows that I recently came across on Torrent sites (on d-addicts, I believe) were "Gourmet Ranking Special" and "Spring Sushi Special". While they are not strictly cooking shows, they try to do in this pair of shows a review of some of the unique sushi bars in Japan. All of their picks seem to be shops run by passionate and inspired itamae-sans.

    With reasonably long reviews of each sushi-ya and itamae-san, the program reveals from each chef 1 to 3 special techniques that he uses to make his sushi special in some way. The resourcefulness and creativity they show are truly inspirational.

    Of course with a format like this nothing is going to be covered in-depth, and while this program is applied only in the narrow area of sushi, (well, sushi being narrow is really an understatement...), I still found it to be one of the more interesting shows that I had come across in Japanese food programming. I guess part of it is being able to see the real behind-the-scenes workings of a sushi-ya in Japan, rather than a heavily produced in studio version of Japanese cooking.

    [Having grown up on a lot of food programming on Japanese TV, there were always shows that featured interesting tours and profiles of various Chow-worthy restaurants in Japan. Somehow I haven't been able to find Torrent sites for much of this content at all. Anyone have any sources?]

    5 Replies
    1. re: cgfan

      Thank you for the reccomendations cgfan. I am not familiar with torrents but the other day at the store in the back of Mitsuwa - I asked what Japanese band was playing and the employee told me to look up Omiatsando on Torrents. I assume it is a file-sharing program.

      Is d-addicts, www.jdorama.com?

      Did you grow up in Japan, Cgfan?

      1. re: kare_raisu

        As far as I know jdorama and d-addicts are separate sites. The nice thing about d-addicts is that they cover Torrents for Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Singaporean, etc. programming. And the way the search is set up you can restrict the search to just, say, Japanese dramas, or, say, to just Korean TV. (Dramas are separated out from the rest of the TV programming, so for instance you can have an easier time looking for a particular variety show by doing a TV search. This excludes dramas from the search, which makes finding the odd TV special or variety show easier as most of these sites are heavy on the dramas...)

        "Did you grow up in Japan?"
        No, but Japanese TV programming was widely available, and what we didn't get off the air we got through VHS tapes... I miss that, and probably should consider getting "TV Japan" someday...

        1. re: kare_raisu

          kare raisu, I sent you a flickr email on how to use the torrents to get these files.

        2. re: cgfan

          cgfan, I am assuming the shows you mention "Gourmet Ranking Special" and "Spring Sushi Special" are in Japanese, but do they have English subtitles by chance?

          1. re: Pablo

            I just checked, and they're both subtitled. They are both really interesting, but I have not been able to finish the download for part II of the Gourmet Ranking Special. Presently there seems to be no seeders for part II of this Torrent... Currently stalled at ~80%, waiting for it to pop out of hibernaiton...

        3. Kare, Pick up a copy of "WASHOKU". This coffee table size, award winning cookbook will teach you EVERYTHNG about Japanese cooking, techniques, recipes and tradition. A truly great book.

          1. thank you for the help thus far!

            1. I would recommend you get a copy of Japanese Cooking, A Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, 1980 Kodansha International, ISBN 0-87011-399-2.

              IMHO, it is the ultimate guide to Japanese food and techniques.

              Itadakimasu!

              1 Reply
              1. re: bkhuna

                I second that suggestion. Tsuji turned me into a Japanonphile like nothing else. His descriptions are phenomonal and his recipes spot on

              2. I teach Japanese homestyle cooking in the East Bay. My passion is for the type of cooking that Japanese grandmothers used to make. The menus consist of traditional dishes that you don't find in sushi restaurants. Please checkout my website at www.ayakoiino.com. There are a few recipes you might be interested in as well as the upcoming class announcements.

                3 Replies
                1. re: yuzu

                  Very interesting concept and beautiful website!

                  I'm particularily impressed/intrigued by your experience at Oliveto. Were you there under Bertoli, or was that after he left? I agree that the emphasis on seasonality and fresh ingredients are shared between Japanese and Italian cooking, though their idiomatic tastes are, of course, quite different.

                  1. re: cgfan

                    Yes I was there under Bertolli and as he transtioned out of the kitchen. It was an amazing place to work, not necessarily because of Bertolli, and the things I learned there will serve me well for many years to come.
                    Having travelled in Italy for the first time recently I was also struck by the familiarity of regionality. Passing up the chance to buy oranges at a road side stand in Bascilicata my husband convinced me we were sure to find them over the next hill in Puglia. I could have killed him for his American deficit of regional sense. Of course there were no road side stands selling oranges in Puglia. Like tea in shizuoka prefecture, there is something particular the product and it's place.

                  2. re: yuzu

                    Wow, do I wish you were in Southern California. Loved your website!

                    Traditional homestyle Japanese cooking is what I want to learn to do - the proper way to shave katsuo for dashi; simple miso, perfect rice not from a rice cooker and gobo (which always befuddles me in the kitchen).

                    Do you ever teach classes on the weekends? Perhaps a trip to the Bay Area is in order.

                  3. Walters recommended "Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen", a great book by Elizabeth Andoh. She is a fascinating woman, American born and raised, who's been living in Japan for 20-odd years. She runs a cooking school there, and her newsletter is like an anthropological study of Japan's culinary traditions, as is her award-winning book.

                    Check out her website http://www.tasteofculture.com/display...

                    Note: you do not have to download the Japanese language pack when viewing her website. Simply click "cancel" when prompted.

                    1. My favorite japanese cookbook:

                      The Japanese Kitchen
                      Hiroko Shimbo
                      forward by Ming Tsai

                      Wonderfully thorough when covering technique. Some favorite recipes include: shoyu ramen broth from scratch, tofu daisies, and satsuma-age (golden brown fish cakes).

                      As i was flipping through the book, i just realized what your name is: curry rice?