Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | food
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If nothing else, the pandemic of 2020 has caused many of us to hunker down and go out much less than before – if at all. With restaurants, bars and clubs shut down, many shops closed other than essential businesses for groceries, gas and whatnot, and no concerts, movies or other events to attend, our entertainment options became limited. And yet,...

Since before the coronavirus pandemic hit, I’ve been a fan of Namiko Chen and her website JustOneCookbook.com, which collects her recipes for the food she grew up with in Japan and now cooks for her family and friends in the U.S. My wife came across the site first and forwarded me various dishes that sounded delicious. I began following Nami’s...

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to eat. I’m a foodie. I love restaurants (I’m opinionated about them, too). And, I love to cook. I post photos of my food on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and even use the hashtags “#twEATs” and “#foodporn.” I like all food from around the globe, from burgers and pizza to Middle Eastern, Italian,...

I love kaki. That's Japanese for persimmon. Not everyone knows what a persimmon is, so let me explain. Persimmons are a popular fruit that is grown through much of Asia. The Japanese call it "kaki" (kah-key). Kaki are wonderfully sweet when they're ripe, but depending on the strain of kaki, they can be bitter. I learned to love kaki as a kid growing up in Japan.

Something that can't be replicated by a "fake" Japanese restaurant in the US: Homemade Tofu served as part of a multi-course feast at Ukai, a lovely traditional Tokyo tofu restaurant. I’m still pondering the process of cultural assimilation, and how I get so frustrated when Japanese culture – especially Japanese food culture – gets appropriated by people who don’t really appreciate the culture.

My friends (and anyone who follows my social media “food porn” photos) know that I’m a snob about Japanese food. I have strong opinions on the best tonkatsu fried pork cutlets, real vs. fake sushi and Japanese restaurants staffed by non-Japanese who can’t pronounce menu items correctly. And, because I love ramen, I hate bad ramen – and in Denver bad ramen is much more common than the good stuff.