Umami Mart Registry

Nagano Road Trip

By Sasha Wizansky On October 27, a crew from OPENharvest woke up at 5am and headed up into the mountains, into Nagano prefecture, for a series of farm and producer visits. As usual we made a few pitstops along the way. Tal,...

ほうとう (Houtou)

Now, I've always considered myself quite the noodle connoisseur, but I had never heard of the houtou noodle before. Originating in Yamanashi prefecture, Japan, the noodles are like thicker versions of udon, but flat, ribbon-like and looooong. It is served in a miso broth with...

定食 (Teishoku)

Teishoku is a pre-set meal -- a main dish, always with miso soup and a bowl of rice, and it builds from there according the chef's seasonal fancies (pickles, tofu, salad, etc). These meals are very popular during lunch, when salarymen and women can quickly run into...

Persimmon Tree

Photo by Kelly Ishikawa, a San Francisco-based photographer and the co-owner of The Perish Trust.

Radiation + Japan: Interview with Tadaaki Hachisu, Egg Farmer (Saitama)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-tTX5ktHFc *This is a part of an ongoing exclusive series on Umamimart, Radiation + Japan. Please check out these other posts and videos for more: Testing of Food in Japan, By Yoko Kumano Interview with Washio, Bar Owner (Tokyo), By Yoko Kumano

Outone Unagi Shop (Chiba)

Before leaving for my big trip to Japan, I knew that the one and only thing I really wanted to eat was unagi. Eel! It is quite a delicacy in Japan, and is pricey as hell. Often they are run by families that have been serving eel...

Tonikaku Ramen (Chiba)

Ramen is all the rage here on both coasts in the US, and it's still going strong in Japan. Strangely though, I didn't eat too much of it during this trip to Japan. Unlike Sam White, the host of our OPENharvest adventure, who had upwards of...

UmamiTV

OPENharvest Trip (Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9TPBDpeDyQ&feature=channel_video_title This is a short video by Tokyo-based photographer Nahoko Morimoto, which marvelously captures Yoko and my trip to Japan with the OPENharvest team. We spent three jam-packed weeks visiting farms, markets, taking brewery/distillery tours, and eating + drinking our way through Japan--all culminating in a huge event...

Hanging Onions

Frostopia Farm. Saitama, Japan. Photo by Kelly Ishikawa, a San Francisco-based photographer and the co-owner of The Perish Trust.

Radiation + Japan: Interview with Washio, Bar Owner (Tokyo)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEYg8KURILk&feature=channel_video_title Washio is one of my favorite nomiyas (watering hole) in western Tokyo. I spent an afternoon with fisherman, enka singer, bar owner extraordinairre Taro Washio and captured it all on video. For more enka pleasure, please watch this amazing music video by superstar Jero.

Radiation + Japan: Testing Report and Thoughts

By Howie Correa Within half a day of arrival from Ireland, I was excited to be heading out of endless Tokyo to visit a radiation testing facility at Natural Harmony, a produce distribution site in Chiba. It was a trip that seemed to be...

Hokutei Suisan Fish Market (Saitama)

By Sasha Wizansky On October 21st, chef Kanji Nakatani took a small group of the OPENharvest crew on a trip to the Hokutei Fish Market to visit fish purveyor, Katsuhiro Sato. Apparently, Sato was kicked out of the main local fish market many...

Beyonce + Dancing Japanese Cup Ramen Boyz = Best Commercial Ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAxQCC8bVxI&feature=player_embedded I spent the weekend with my good friend Naoko in her cabin in the woods this weekend in Nagano. We had a wonderful time catching up, sleeping, going to the onsen (hot springs), reading, and of course, watching tv. This commercial is by far the best thing I've seen...

Tuna Head at Tsukiji Fish Market

Look at this tuna head! It was fucking HUGE--I could easily fit my own head into its mouth. Its eyeball was so clear, it looked as though it were still alive, looking deep into my soul, prodding me to try its precious ruby red flesh. Sorry...

Mochi Tsuki and Shishimai Performance (Saitama)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AwoE-59pMqc The OPENharvest group visited the Hachisu residence in Kodama-gun in Saitama Prefecture. We enjoyed a Japanese farm food meal which included fresh edamame, natto, fall vegetable soup, ohitashi (blanched spinach) and mochi. After the meal, Harigaya-san and his troupe performed a shishimai (lion dance).

Rice Harvesting in Niigata

At 5am on a Thursday morning, groggy and jetlagged, 20 of us OPENharvest participants, with Food Light Project members piled into three vans headed for Niigata prefecture. As we drove through the quiet morning streets of Tokyo, we eagerly anticipated the adventures ahead....

Japanify

Japanify: Kombu Tsukudani

I am home in Berkeley after taking a week-long road trip through the American southwest with fellow Umamimart writer Anders, bookended by a five-day trip in NYC. I am so excited to be back in my own kitchen that I've stocked...