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Sharing the beauty of Japanese Food

December 1, 2016

It’s no secret that Japanese food is currently experiencing a worldwide surge in popularity. In the past few years, because of the emergence of social media, it’s been easier and faster than ever to find recipes or to learn a bit more about a particular Japanese dish. With just a few clicks, people all over the planet can follow video tutorials to prepare delicious recipes, get inspired by beautiful photos of food creations, or even sign up to join a class or food-sharing experience.

Thanks to some individuals who are passionate about Japanese food and share the beauty of it on social media, Japanese cuisine is accessible to anyone who is interested in cooking it, and to those who simply enjoy looking at it. Meet some creators who are spreading Japanese food culture on an international level and find out more about their work through some of our interviews.

Ochikeron teaches how to make home-cooked recipes on Create Eat Happy


Cooking as a hobby since 2003, Ochikeron now shares her recipes with the rest of the world.

Tell us what you do:
I share Japanese "home-cooked meals" with people overseas. I’m based in Japan and I regularly upload videos on how to make Japanese food on my YouTube channel, and some of the dishes are kawaii!

What made you decide to do what you do?
I used to share my recipe ideas with people in Japan. After a few years, I decided to translate those in English on my blog, just to keep up with my English while living in Japan. A few years later, the Tohoku earthquake occurred, which made me decide to share something from Japan to the rest of the world. What I could share was cooking, so I am sharing my recipes since then until now, hoping that many people will learn about the beauty of Japanese home cooking.

Please tell us what you think is the beauty of Japanese food:
The beauty of Japanese "home-cooking" is very artistic and creative. Not only bentos, but also the simple dishes these days are like "fun DIY". Many people in Japan noticed it in the recent years, so I think there are way more people enjoying cooking at home than before. I want to share tons of creative recipe ideas from Japan to the world, including my original recipe ideas.

What is your favorite Japanese food?
My mom's homemade food, which is the best!

Do you have any tips for people who are just starting to cook Japanese food?
I always write and make videos with step-by-step directions. They are perfect for beginners. Actually, most Japanese recipes are written this way. People don't have to hesitate or think that Japanese cooking is difficult. If you just start cooking one time, you'll know you can do it over and over and you will grow to love it!

Shirley Wong creates beautiful and kawaii food creations on Little Miss Bento


Singapore-based and award-winning bento artist Shirley Wong shares her adorable Japanese dishes with her worldwide fans.

Tell us what you do:
I am a bento artist and food stylist working on recipe creations, I work for brands and I also teach workshops locally and overseas. Bento, cooking and food are things I enjoy very much, and you can see my creations on my blog Little Miss Bento and on my Instagram page. My head is often bursting with ideas on what to cook. Character bentos are my strength but I also love making traditional bento, japanese food, breads, tarts and sweets. I am a huge fan of Japanese culture and anything kawaii.

What made you decide to do what you do?
It was actually quite accidental! I started out packing a lunch box for myself purely for practical reasons, and never did I expect it would evolve into the career I have today.

Please tell us what you think is the beauty of Japanese food.
I think it’s the simplicity of letting the flavors of the food shine in the dishes, and the elaborate presentation that makes the entire meal so perfect.

What is your favorite Japanese food?
There are just so many I love! But really, I think if I can only choose one, I love traditional Japanese breakfast. A lovely bowl of hot miso soup, rice, salmon and some pickles.

Do you have any tips for people who are just starting to cook Japanese food?
I would tell them to use fresh quality ingredients to get the best results and taste of Japanese cuisine.

Nagomi Visit brings together Japanese locals and travelers for an experience of home cooking


Arisa Sanada, Chief Operating Officer of Nagomi Visit, organizes exciting culinary adventures in Japan between locals and visitors.

Tell us what you do:
Nagomi Visit allows travelers to visit local homes to cook and eat with foodies and families during their trip in Japan. We have hosts of various backgrounds ready to share delicious home cooking all over Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

What made you decide to do what you do?
Founder Megumi Kusunoki and myself started and are currently running Nagomi Visit. We simply wanted to make it easier for more of the world to see the everyday Japan. In 2009, Megumi visited Denmark for the first time and was invited to a local family's home for dinner. She met great people, ate delicious food, and learned many things but the only reason she was able to make this experience happen was because she was lucky enough to already know a local who invited her to their home. Nagomi Visit was a way to recreate this experience she enjoyed so much in Japan, without needing to have prior connections with a local.

Please tell us what you think is the beauty of Japanese food:
There is a lot of beauty in Japanese food but we are not here to exceptionalize Japanese food but rather hope more people do come to realize that there is a lot of variety in Japanese food than they might expect. There is a lot of history and stories that have yet to be discovered. While the fundamentals might remain the same, everything including Japanese home cooking keeps on evolving so we do hope everyone around the world gets to experience it.

What is your favorite Japanese food?
This is an extremely hard question to answer since I love so many dishes but I would say udon noodles. It is my comfort food but also represents the delicious flavors which essentially make Japanese cuisine Japanese. On a sick day it comforts me, on a busy weekday it makes me feel at ease. These are very simple ingredients but it never seizes to amaze me how delicious the soup becomes just by combining them.

Do you have any tips for people who are just starting to cook Japanese food?
Keep on trying! If you ever run into a new Japanese ingredient you did not like, it might just be that you did not try a good quality one or one that did not fit your taste. Even just basic ingredients such as miso or tofu, you’d be surprised with the variety in quality and flavors. Keep an open mind and buy a different kind of miso next time or maybe even try to make some on your own. Also, there is so much diversity in Japanese cuisine even within one dish, so just keep on trying all sorts of dishes until you find that perfect dish you would want to go back to making over and over again.

Interview: Vivian Morelli

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