Welcome to Mari’s East West kitchen!!

Hello — Konnichiwa!

Welcome to Mari’s East West Kitchen!

I’m a native Japanese food enthusiast and world traveller. Food is my passion, both eating and cooking (in that order — I love cooking because it’s creative, and I can eat my delicious creations.) One of favorite pastimes is reading cookbooks… I bring these to bed and dream about them into the wee hours of the night. (My husband says when I do that, I look so happy in my dreams, and I’m often drooling… )  One of my first memories is standing on the chair in my grandma’s kitchen at about 3 years old, very curious, asking a million questions, and begging to help her here and there. We were probably making piroshki. (My grandma isn’t Russian, we are supposedly 100% Japanese, yet my grandparents moved to Manchuria in 1920s, and she learned various Russian recipes from Belarussian ladies in the neighborhood. When Japan lost the war, they lost everything, but she was able to bring the recipes back to Japan in her head – a smart woman!  Likewise, when I came from Japan in 1988, naturally I brought a lot of Japanese recipes and stories with me, and as I go back every year, I bring back more and more.

In Japan pretty much everyone is a foodie. Yes, a lot more than in the US, where I live now. I ended up in the San Francisco Bay Area, probably the top foodie city in the entire US.  Everybody here is interested in healthy and easy gourmet meals, especially Japanese food. Whenever we have a party or potluck, people always ask me how to make the Japanese dishes I bring.  So, I thought – what if I create a blog to share what I eat and prepare for friends and family? Wouldn’t that be fun??? Very often I throw things together and create something unique from what I have on hand, and I am passionate about teaching others to do the same. And l love connecting with people around the world, so this could be a great way to make new friends!

One disclaimer — I’m just a food enthusiast, and not necessarily a purist. So depending on my mood, I cut corners or do creative things, which may horrify purists. Yet my attitude is that if it’s delicious, healthy and fun, it’s all good.  Food is all about LOVE and nourishment – there shouldn’t be any stress around it.

So what can you expect in this blog?  I’m planning to introduce Japanese food and food culture to you.  Some recipes you can make easily at home of course, and also what you need, what you can substitute (including for vegetarians), and how you can use these ingredients in other ways (then you too can create “fusion” dishes.)  Some funny travel and food stories.  And yes, favorites and bizzare foods.  Not the really bizzare kind like Andrew Zimmern on Food Network, but Japanese staples that may sound a bit weird to non-Japanese.  From time to time, I may write about food from other cultures.  One reason is that Japanese cuisine has adopted many foreign foods as if it’s their everyday food, so I it’s been in my blood since birth (like these piroshkis)!   I also love travelling and learning about local culture and of course food, so when I come back from my travels, I recreate some of these local dishes in my kitchen to savor the good memories long after we return home. 

Oh, and I’m planning to bring some reports from Japan some when I go back, but also regularly from my good friend Kogure-san (Ko-grei-san), a professional chef.  I think it would be great fun for my readers –  just like travelling there for a while for free!

I would be thrilled if you experiement with some of my recipes, and let me know how you liked them.  I learned how to cook dishes from other countries that way – and you can do it too!  Also if you have any questions or requests, please let me know.  I’ll try to do my best to answer, or have Chef Kogure help you.

So welcome to my blog — I’m so happy to have you to visit my kitchen to share some good food and friendship, and talk about many different kinds of food all day long!

Happy cooking — and eating!!



11 thoughts on “Welcome to Mari’s East West kitchen!!

  1. Hi! I’m equally thrilled to learn about Japanese food and food culture. I’ve always loved Japanese food so I really can’t wait to read what you’re going to share! 🙂

    Can’t wait! 😀

  2. Hello Jasline! Welcome to my blog! You are the first visitor, and I’m so excited to have you — you found me a few minutes after I published my blog.

    I liked your blog. It’s funny you put a trailer of a Japanese movie with a dog named Mari. (Yes, Mari is pretty popular Japanese women’s name as well as dog’s.) I need to find the theater or a DVD.

    Keep an eye out for my first posting around mid-July.


  3. Mari, congratulations on the opening of your blog! Sounds very interesting….^-^

    I’m not much of a cook myself, so, among other things, I’m looking forward to learning about how you cut corners.


  4. Congratulations on you first blog! I will be looking forward to some recipes. I’m from Nebraska where steak and baked potatoes are our ideas of a great meal! Personally, I like veggies and rice better.
    My question is this: Is Japanese food similiar to Chinese cooking?

  5. Hi Mari!

    Well, the trailer purely happens to be a coincidence. 😀 I just watched the movie recently. It’s really touching (because I’m a BIG fan of dogs :D).

    I can’t wait for the first posting! 😀


  6. Hello Mari!

    Leslie (in Japan) sent me a link to your blog. I’m so glad, and look forward to learning more about Japanese cooking. Reading your introduction, we clearly share the same sensibilities (good, healthful, fun, interesting food) and I have always wanted to learn more about Japanese food and cooking style.

    Best wishes,
    Beth W.

  7. I’m so pleased that I found your blog. I’m trying to learn to cook Japanese style. I want the many health benefits and I love so many of the flavors. I’m adding your feed to my igoogle page so I won’t miss a recipe. I started a blog too, but I haven’t been able to keep it current.

  8. Hello, Jasline,

    Thank you for your comment again. I couldn’t figure out how to respond to a reply to my reply…. A lot to learn on this blogging thing! Slow learning process, but a lot of fun!

    I’ve posted a few recipes, so hope you are enjoying them. If you have any request, please let me know!


  9. Hello Beth,

    Welcome to my blog! I’m so excited to have friends of friends refer my site. This is so cool! Expanding circle of friends around the world!

    Please come visit again, and leave your comments!


    PS: Thank you, Leslie!

  10. Hello, Renee,

    Thanks for leaving me a comment, and add my feed to your igoogle page. Your blog looks beautiful and professional!
    I hear you — it is hard to keep writing regularly. For me, it’s a low learning curve, yet it’s really fun to share my thoughts and recipes, as well as meeting people around the world! I hope you start writing yours as well.

    Just curious — how do people who sent me a comment see my replies? Do they have to check back their comment, I guess?


  11. Hi Mari — re your replies: that was a puzzle for me, too. What I usually do is to put in a comment myself (as you have done) and call myself “Beth here. . .” which readers have come to know is “me” replying, plus I send my reply to their e-mail address. After a time, you’ll find that most of your comments come from a few loyal readers, so the e-mail exchange will be entirely appropriate and comfortable. Finally, there is a way for you to have the most recent comments appear in a sidebar module. This adds interest, and lets readers see your response to their comment quickly and easily. Hope this helps!

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