Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | food & dining
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My mom doesn't cook as much as she used to. She used to cook everything -- mostly Japanese food of course. She even used to make her own tofu. After my dad passed away in the early '90s she cooked for herself for years, making large portions of dishes to freeze and re-heat as meals for days. But lately she...

This about takes the cake for lame-ass non-issues. WUSA9, Gannett's DC affiliate (and sister station to Denver's KUSA 9News, the top-rated station in Denver and home to Adele Arakawa, the Japanese American top-rated anchor), posted this video and text followup about the Obama girls' private school serving Asian food on Dec. 7: "Sidwell Friends School, Sasha and Malia Obama's School,...

Here are complete day-by-day photo albums of our trip to Japan on Facebook (you don't need a Facebook account to see them, but you'll need to log in to Facebook to share or post a comment). Many of the photos (like the food shots, for instance) will be included in individual blog posts. DAY 1 - Flight to Japan, arrive in...

I recently returned from a fantastic trip to Japan, with my wife Erin Yoshimura and my mom. We flew first to Sapporo in the northern island of Hokkaido, where one of my uncles lives, and then traveled to Nemuro, my mom's hometown on the easternmost tip of Hokkaido, where another uncle lives. Then we flew down to Tokyo for a...

Last week an over-eager reporter for WCCO, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis, aired a "gotcha" investigative piece about a local puppy mill that had apparently shipped dogs to a meat shop in New York City's Chinatown, where the intrepid reporter, James Schugel, got a clerk to say on the record that they do indeed sell dog as food. The only problem...

Many thanks to FOX 31 weekend anchor Deborah Takahara and reporter Chris Jose, as well as the FOX 31 crew and Dragonboat Race Association of Colorado (DRACO) members who manned the dragon boat for this shoot on a hot summer day! My wife Erin is the executive director for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. We volunteered for the first seven years...

We're addicted to the Food Network because we're amateur foodies who believe deeply that food is the gateway for most people to learn about other cultures. I'm always amazed when I find people who are closed-minded about trying different types of cuisines, and I've always lived by the rule that if somewhere in the world, someone eats a dish, I'm willing to try it... at least once. Living by this rule, I've had some funky food, including insects, plants that you wouldn't think are edible, slimy sea creatures that I'm not sure other sea creatures would eat, and animal parts that would probably make a PETA supporter faint. We love all kinds of cuisines from around the world, and obscure indigenous specialties from around the U.S. One of our favorites is Korean cuisine. You can trace a lot of Japanese culture to China or Korea, including food. Yakiniku, grilled marinated thin-sliced beef, is Korean bulgogi (my favorite). Gyoza dumplings are either Chinese potstickers or Korean mandu. Kimchi is, well, it's a purely Korean original: Pickled napa cabbage that's deeply infused with hot chili pepper and briny salt. It's a staple of Korean cuisine, an ubiquitous side dish, delicious and really healthy to boot. My mouth starts watering just thinking about it. Erin and I even cooked up our own Soon Doobu Jjigae spicy tofu soup one night, and look forward to trying more Korean recipes. Growing up in Japan, we had kimchi pretty regularly. My mom used to make it (she hardly cooks anything anymore) when I was a kid. Its pungent odor would fill the house and embarrass me once we moved to the states if my white high school buddies visited, but I even got my giant football player friend Bubba to try kimchi. Like some other Asian dishes, it doesn't taste as stinky as it smells. A new PBS series, "Kimchi Chronicles," explores the richness of Korean food in a fascinating way that's part-travelogue, part food program and part a journey about identity. The series has been rolling out in some markets, but here in Denver it premieres July 2 on Rocky Mountain PBS (Channel 12 in Denver) What makes the show so intriguing to me is the star, Marja Vongerichten, who is wife of superstar New York chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.