Japan Eats! podcast

Japan Eats!

Heritage Radio Network

What is Japanese food? Sushi, or ramen, or kaiseki? What about Izakaya? Akiko Katayama, a Japanese native, New York-based food writer and director of the New York Japanese Culinary Academy, tells you all about real Japanese food and food culture. With guests ranging from sake producers with generations of experience to American chefs pushing the envelope of Japanese gastronomy, Japanese cuisine is demystified here!

247 Episoder

  • Japan Eats! podcast

    Saving Vanishing Culture And Tradition

    53:05

    Our guest today is Kou Sundburg, who is the founder of Kiraku. Kiraku operates multiple projects that aim to preserve Japan’s rich cultural and natural heritage for future generations. Kou has a strong business background with a unique bi-cultural vantage point of the Japanese tradition. Kou’s diverse projects include transforming abandoned machiya, or a traditional Japanese townhouse, in Kyoto into a Michelin-awarded luxury ryokan and reviving a sake brewery that was founded in 1793 but unfortunately shut down in 2012. Now the brewery became a micro-sake brewery to express the rich local terroir. In this episode, we will discuss how Kou came up with the business to preserve Japanese culture and tradition, his intriguing projects of hotels and restaurants that you would want to experience on your next trip to Japan, how seriously Japan is losing cultural heritage, and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

    Authentic Shochu Comes From Maryland, U.S.A.

    1:01:03

    Our guest is Takatsugu 'Taka' Amano who is the co-Founder and CEO of American Shochu Company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Shochu is a traditional Japanese spirit and it is more popular than Japanese sake in Japan. If you compare sake and shochu, 4.2% of liquor tax comes from premium sake, whereas 14.8% comes from shochu, according to the Japanese government’s data in 2019. But the number flips when it comes to overseas. In 2020, Japan exported about $212 million worth of premium sake but only $10.6 million of shochu was brought outside the country, which was just 5% of sake’s export. It is a shame because shochu is as delicious and artisanal as premium sake. That is why Taka decided to introduce the charm of shochu to America by producing his own brand in 2015. He makes 100% barley shochu with his wife Lynn Amano in Maryland and they have already won the 2020 American Craft Spirits Awards. In this episode, we will discuss why the successful biotech industry executive decided to produce the traditional Japanese spirit in America, how he studied shochu production techniques, how he produces his award-winning shochu with American ingredients in the climate of Maryland, why we should drink more shochu and much, much more!!!  Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

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    Supplying Japanese Seafood Culture for 40+ Years

    46:15

    Our guest is Nobu Yamanashi, the director of Yama Seafood. Founded in 1980 by his father Kengo Yamanashi, Yama Seafood has been one of the most reliable sources of high-quality seafood in the U.S. for over 40 years. Thanks to superior suppliers like Yama Seafood, our diet has shifted dramatically towards fresh seafood like sushi in the last decades. For example, people used to be frightened by the idea of eating raw fish in the 1950s, but now $300 per person omakase sushi dinner is not unusual these days. And it is hard to find a supermarket that does not carry sushi. Without a doubt, sushi has become part of New Yorkers’ diet because of the stable supply of premium fish. In this episode, we will discuss how Yama Seafood started when no one was buying specialty fish like tuna in the U.S., why Nobu decided to succeed in the highly demanding job in the seafood business, the changing needs for seafood in New York City dining scenes, why Yama Seafood has many employees who have worked for the company over 30 years, and much, much more!!! ***Here is a fascinating video about Nobu Yamanashi's job. Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

    Farming Japanese Sake Rice in Arkansas

    55:25

    Our guests are Mark Isbell and Chris Isbell of Isbell Farms in Arkansas. Isbell Farms has always been forward-minded and played an important role as a strong supporter of the American sake industry. It is a multi-generational family farm with a focus on the sustainable production of quality rice. And also, Isbell is the first American farm that produced Sakamai, which means Japanese rice varieties developed specifically for sake production. There are approximately 25 sake breweries in the U.S. and it is very exciting to see that the number has been increasing. These breweries often use Calrose rice, which is table rice, because sake rice is not readily available in this country. While Calrose has proven to be a right variety to produce high-quality sake, there is a solid demand for sake rice among American brewers. In this episode, we will discuss how a family farm in Arkansas started to grow Japanese rice, the types of sake rice they grow, a pioneering sake rice variety they have developed, and much, much more!!!  Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

    An American Chef Immersed in Nagano's Culinary Tradition

    52:14

    Our guest is Christopher Horton who is the executive chef at Sanrokunana (367) in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from the New England Culinary Institute, Chris worked at notable establishments, including Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., Andaz Hotel Tokyo, and INUA in Tokyo, which was one of Asia’s 50 Best restaurants. Nagano is known for its beautiful mountains and hot springs, and very importantly, great local produce. Chris naturally combines his western culinary skills and experience with the celebrated local food culture at his unique restaurant. In this episode, we will discuss how he got an opportunity to cook in Japan, his idea of Japanese cuisine and how he expresses it, what he has discovered in Nagano’s unique food culture, his close relationship with local farmers, and much, much more!!! Here is the link to the fantastic video "Story of Terroir: Shinshu Gastronomy <Spring>" where Chris introduces us to the essence of Nagano's culinary tradition. Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Cutting the Curd by becoming a member!Cutting the Curd is Powered by Simplecast.
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    All About Tuna/Maguro (And Sustainability)

    52:07

    Our guest is Masamitsu Ishibashi who is the president and CEO of Misaki Megumi Suisan based in Japan. Founded in 1986, the company has been focused on processing and sales of fresh seafood, in particular tuna.Tuna, or Maguro in Japanese, is one of the most popular fish among sushi lovers. Not only does the fish have a very special place in Japanese food culture, but on the other hand, sustainability is a major issue nowadays and seafood including maguro is one of the frequently discussed areas. Masamitsu is devoted to educating people around the world about the precious taste and flavors of maguro and at the same time he aims to become the most sustainable maguro purveyor in the world. In this episode, we will discuss how important maguro is in Japanese food culture, the characteristics of different parts of maguro, how Masamitsu exercises sustainability, and much, much more!!! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

    You Discovered You Like Sake. Now What?

    50:06

    My guests are Tim Sullivan & John Puma, who are the hosts of the Sake Revolution podcast.The Sake Revolution podcast started in January 2020 and each episode is so informative and so much fun that I have never missed an episode of the show. Tim is a sake expert and the founder of Urban Sake. He is also an honorable Sake Samurai as well. It is a title given by the Japan Sake Brewers Association to those who promote sake and Japanese culture. He joined us already twice in Episodes 32 and 100. John is also a sake expert and the founder of Sake Notes, which is a fascinating website all about sake. You may have tried sake and started to like it, but aren't sure how to move on to the next step of discovering the fantastic and profound Japanese national beverage. In this episode, we will discuss how you can proactively explore Japanese sake. Also, Tim and John brought a special sake, so they will teach us how to taste sake as well! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

    Sequoia Sake: Reviving 115-Year-Old Sake Rice in San Francisco

    54:46

    Our guest is Jake Myrick who is the co-owner and toji, or brewmaster, of Sequoia Sake in San Francisco, which was founded in 2015. It is the first local artisanal sake brewery in the city. In 2019, only 4 years after their first production of sake, the brewery received both the gold and silver awards for best sake produced outside of Japan at the  Tokyo Sake Competition. Jake has been relentlessly pursuing the best quality sake, and as a result, he has successfully revived the original sake rice brought to California from Japan back in 1906 in collaboration with UC Davies and local rice farmers. Now it is called Sequoia Sake Rice. In this episode, we will discuss how Jake got into sake and ended up opening a sake brewery in America, how sake rice is different from regular table rice, the outstanding quality of the sake rice Jake has revived, Sequioa Sake’s classic and innovative styles of sake, and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

    The Princess of the Rice Kingdom

    49:04

    Our guest today is Marie Akizawa, the 6th generation rice merchant Yamadaya Honten in Tokyo, which was founded in 1905. Rice is a quintessential food in Japanese culture since it started to be produced 3,000 years ago in the country. Japanese people enjoy plain rice like the best part of the meal. Also, Japanese chefs are crazy about their choice of rice. For instance, at a fancy kaiseki restaurant, the last savory course of the menu is often a bowl of shiny plain rice. You would be surprised how much deliciousness is packed in it! However, rice consumption in Japan has been steadily declining since the 1960s due to the diversifying diet of the people. But Marie is convinced that the future of rice is bright and its potential is huge. She is certified as a “rice meister” (rice expert) as well as a “kome shokumi kanteishi” (rice sommelier). She actively visits farms she works with and often participates in rice production. In this episode, we will discuss how essential rice is in Japanese food culture and the people’s mindset, Marie’s innovative and successful strategies to make rice popular again, different flavors of rice depending on the varieties and milling rates, how to enjoy rice at home and much, much more!!!  - Here is how to cook rice at home by Marie Akizawa!Serves 2:① Prepare 180g of rice and 200g of water, and a pot with smaller size.② Put 180g of rice in a bowl and rinse it with water, then drain the water quickly as the rice will absorb first- round water quickly.③ Add second-round water and stir it gently for about 30 seconds and drain water.④ Repeat this procedure three times.⑤ Drain the water completely and put the rice in the pot.⑥ Add the clear water of 200g and soak the rice in the water for 30 minutes or 1 hour.⑦ Cover the pot with a lid and heat it until it boils. Then leave it for 2 seconds.⑧ Turn down the heat to medium low for next 3 minutes, then simmer it with low heat for 5 minutes.⑨Then turn off the heat and let the cooked rice rest for 10 minutes.⑩ Gently overturn the rice and briefly stir with a flat wooden spoon to let the steam escape.⑪ Done! Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
  • Japan Eats! podcast

    Omotenashi at Café de Flore, Paris

    1:05:15

    Our guest is Tetsuya Yamashita, the only non-French garçon, or waiter, at Café de Flore in Paris. Café de Flore is one of the most iconic cafes in France. Garçon in France is different from a waiter in the US and Tetsuya exemplifies the difference in his outstanding style of service. To prove how distinctive he is, Tetsuya has been patronized by many regulars including the legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Also, he was invited by President François Hollande to the state dinner at the Élysée Palace when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Paris and got seated right next to the famed chef Alain Ducasse.   There is a unique concept of service in Japan called Omotenashi and Tetsuya is practicing the idea of Omotenashi at the quintessential café in Paris. In this episode, we will discuss how Tetsuya got the job at Café de Flore in Paris and became the top garçon, his philosophy of hospitality, how he keeps refining himself to offer the greatest service possible to his guests, and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.

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