Most recipes are just blueprints that show you how to make one dish. The recipes here are not only delicious; they include building blocks and techniques you can use in ANY dish. So take these with you on your culinary journey and use them to elevate your everyday meals.
3 Things About Me
- I was born in Japan and raised in Napa, California, but I've also spent significant time in Australia and the Middle East. That's why you'll find authentic Japanese recipes together with dishes from my culinary journey worldwide.
- I've worn many hats, from chef to cookbook author to TV host, but my most important role is as a Dad to the next generation of #sciencegirl. As a lifetime nerd, it's important to me that there's science behind every technique and it's not just a hunch or assumption.
- I'm a perfectionist, so although I spend a lot of time developing and testing each recipe, there's always room for improvement. That's why my recipes evolve over the years as I discover new ways to make them better or more efficient.
These aren't your average recipes, so before you jump in, there are a few things you should know about how my recipes are structured.
- Ingredients - All recent recipes include a section in the headnotes detailing the ingredients I used and why they're in the recipe. I also incorporate suggestions for substitutions in this section where relevant. If you don't see this, please ask questions in the comments. You can also look in the recipe card for ingredients that are linked. This will lead to more information about that ingredient or a recipe to make it from scratch.
- Techniques - All recipes have techniques embedded throughout the post, but in recent ones, look for the subheading "Why This Recipe Works?" where I summarize the key techniques in the recipe.
- Measurements - Volumetric measurements are used for liquids and are specified in US cups (1 US Cup = 240 milliliters). For non-liquids, most of the quantities are specified by weight in grams (there's a button in the recipe card to convert these to ounces). I wrote about 5 Reasons to Use a Kitchen Scale, but to summarize: Weight measurements are more precise because it doesn't matter how compressed the ingredients are. For instance, 20 grams of parsley will always contain the same amount, whereas ¼ cup of parsley will depend on how tightly you pack the cup. And using weight measurements is actually easier because it takes the guesswork out of reading recipes and leaves less things to wash.
I develop my recipes to be as accessible as possible to people worldwide, but to recreate authentic global flavors, there are some ingredients that are necessary. Here is a list of my pantry staples and what they are.
- Soy Sauce (醤油 - Shōyu): Soy sauce is a liquid seasoning brewed from fermented soybeans and wheat. It's used throughout most of East Asia, but each country has unique variations. In my kitchen, I use Japanese dark soy sauce in the majority of my recipes unless I specify otherwise.
- Miso (味噌): Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste known for its savory, umami-packed taste. Depending on the ingredients and fermentation length, miso can range in flavor from sweet and mild to salty and intensely savory. If you want to learn more about miso and its many varieties, have a look at my What is Miso? post.
- Dashi (出汁): Another staple of Japanese cuisine, Dashi is a simple yet flavorful stock made predominantly from kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (smoked and fermented skipjack tuna flakes). It's the cornerstone of many Japanese dishes, providing a base of umami that subtly lifts other flavors, and you can read my How to Make Dashi recipe.
- Sake (酒): Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine made by brewing Japanese short-grain rice. Despite its status as a beverage, sake is also a key component in many Japanese dishes as it contains a high concentration of umami-producing amino acids. You can watch this four-part series of videos for more information about sake or check this post out to learn more about the taste of umami.
- Mirin (味醂): Mirin, a sweet rice wine, is another beverage commonly used in Japanese cooking. It imparts a mild sweetness that balances out savory flavors, and it's often added to glazes and marinades to lend a shiny appearance to food. You can easily substitute an equal amount of sake with half the amount of sugar. For example, a recipe that calls for 2 tablespoons of mirin can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of sake and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- Rice Vinegar (米酢 - Komezu): This vinegar, made from fermented rice, is a staple in Japanese and other East Asian cuisines. Known for its mild acidity and subtle sweetness, rice vinegar is integral in making sushi rice, as well as salads and side dishes.
- Toasted Sesame Oil (ごま油 - Goma Abura): Made by toasting unhulled sesame seeds before pressing them for oil, toasted sesame oil boasts a potent nutty aroma that can instantly add a deep warm flavor to any dish. Although it's prevalent in several Asian cuisines, it's a key ingredient in Korean and Chinese dishes.
Tools & Tableware
Having the right tools can make cooking a lot easier and presenting the food on beautiful plateware can elevate any meal. That's why I've partnered with a few shops to offer a curated collection of tools and tableware I use in my kitchen. These are affiliate links, so I get a portion of each sale, but it doesn't cost you anything extra and helps support this site.
- Tools - I don't use much specialty equipment, but I am very selective of the ones I use. Most of these are Japanese kitchen tools that are both versatile and easy to use. Here you'll find some of my favorite Japanese kitchen tools available worldwide (use coupon code "NORECIPES" to get 10% off). For other useful kitchen tools, I also have an Amazon shop with a list of products I use in my kitchen.
- Tableware - Most of the plates and tableware you see in the photos on this site are from Musubi Kiln. They have a massive selection of traditional and modern Japanese tableware. I've curated a list of the tableware I use in my photography (use coupon code "NORECIPES" to get 5% off).
How to Find Recipes
You can use the search bar below to look for a specific recipe or keep scrolling for a list of the most popular recipes on this site. You can also head to the Recipe Index to browse dishes by Course, Meal, Cuisine, Dietary, Type, or Main Ingredient. Finally, I also recommend checking out my personal favorites.