Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Have you lived In/been to Japan?
A: Nope. Though I am currently planning a trip there. With any luck I will be leaving in the spring of 2017. I have always wanted to go to Japan, it has been my number one travel goal since childhood. This trip will be the culmination of my greatest ambition.
Q: How did you get interested in Japan?
A: I'm always a little stumped by this one, because to me it seems like everyone should be interested in Japan. Admittedly it's usually people who are older than me by a bit who ask this one, since my generation has been more exposed to Japanese pop culture than most. I grew up with Ghibli films, Pokemon, Dragon Ball, and sushi. And that was after my earliest years. My father has always love the Japanese esthetic and ever since I can remembered I have been surrounded by books about Japanese art, architecture, and craft.
Q: Do you speak Japanese?
A: Sukoshi. That is to say, a little bit. I'm learning more everyday!
Q: Can you read/write Japanese?
A: I get this a lot when people see my artwork, which incorporates Japanese writing. I can read hiragana pretty well. This does not mean that I understand what I am reading, simply that I can sound out the words based on the characters. Hiragana is one of the three writing systems of Japan, and uses symbols to represent sounds, similar to how the roman alphabet works. If you're interested in learning hiragana, this is the site I used. As for kanji, the system of symbols or logographics that were adopted from Chinese, I am no where near being able to read any of that. There are somewhere around 50,000 of them, though the average person only knows between 5,000 and 2,000. Still, there is a lot of ground to cover.
Q: Why Japanese food?
A: Why not? Japanese food is delicious, healthy, and best of all easy. Unlike Chinese food, it isn't oily, uses less sugar, and has a very clean flavor. Unlike Thai food (which I also love), it's flavors are uncomplicated. And though I have never eaten much Korean food, besides the delicious barbecue, something about kimchi has more or less turned me off of the whole concept.
Q: Are there other types of food you like to cook?
A: Yes! I actually love to dissect the primary elements of many international cuisines. Some of my favorites are Indian, Norwegian, and British. My family is French Canadian and so a lot of the flavors I grew up eating at my grandmother's house were classic French peasant foods. I still find those flavors facilitating and comforting.
Q: Is it hard to cook Japanese Food?
A: Oh my god, no, it is so easy. That was the reason why I started this blog, so that I could prove that to you guys.
Q: Do I have to re-equip my kitchen to cook Japanese food?
A: Not at all, most Japanese food can be cooked with exactly the equipment you all ready have. You'll need a sharp knife, a few different sized pots, a sieve, and a decent skillet. Besides that, there are some items that might make your life easier, but they're not mandatory. For a list, check out my Kitchen page.
Q: Will I be able to find the ingredients for Japanese food if there isn't an Asian market in my area?
A: Absolutely. The closest Asian market in my area is three hours away, I've only been there once. The basic ingredients for Japanese cooking should be at your local grocery store in the "Ethnic Section" (or as I call it, the Ethnicities-Other-Than-Our-Own Section). If there is something that you can't find, chances are Amazon will sell it. For a list of common ingredients check out the Pantry page.
Q: Why Don't you have recipes?
A: I am a student myself, so the recipes I cook are not my own. Therefore, I always send you to the original recipe. My blog is all about my personal experience with learning how to cook Japanese food. My journey, my advise, and the information I have dug up on various subjects. If you would like some recommendations for recipe blogs and cookbooks, head over to the Resources page. Also I do give instructions for the basics of Japanese cuisine, on the Basics page.
Q: Did you study Japanese culture in college?
A: No, though that does sound like fun. All my knowledge was easy enough to acquire via the internet and books. I love learning about various aspects of Japanese culture. I also love passing that information on to you, my beautiful readers.
Q: Did you go to culinary school?
A: Nope. I learned all of my cooking skills via my mother and grandmother. Actually, I come from a long line of cooks. My great grandmother cooked for a rich family in Nova Scotia. This is where she stole the recipe for date doughnuts. The woman she worked for was super stingy with these treats, only giving one half doughnut to each of her guests. My great grandmother (or Big Meme as we call her) stole the recipe and would make them for all the children in her poor, French Canadian, neighborhood. We still make those same doughnuts today.
Q: Did you go to art school?
A: Another question I get in relation to my artwork. The answer is no, I am self-taught. My mother always made sure that we had plenty of art supplies when I was growing up, so I've been drawing everyday since I could hold a crayon.
Do you have a question for me that wasn't answered above? Feel free to ask it. Seriously, I love hearing from my readers!