When I was a college student in Tokyo, I would often pass mobile food stalls, called yatai, late on blustery winter nights and be completely overwhelmed by the powerful aroma of oden, or Japanese hodgepodge stew. Oden’s pungent smell and taste have made it a perennial favorite with drinkers, no matter the season. It is
one pot cooking
I have over a hundred and thirty English language books on Japanese cuisine on my bookshelves, and yet I feel I’ve only begun to skim the surface. In the past few years, there have been scores of Japanese cookbooks, Asian fusion cookbooks, you name them, published around the world. It is hard to keep up!
NOBODY REALLY SEEMS TO KNOW the origins of sukiyaki. One theory is that in the old days farmers slipped a little flesh into the vegetarian diet imposed by Buddhist strictures by grilling (yaki) meat on a plowshare (suki). In 1873, Emperor Meiji declared that beef was acceptable for consumption, and from that time on it