Just Add Shoyu

Being Japanese (Canadian), people often ask me what I eat at home and if it is similar to those served at Japanese restaurants. I always have to explain, that Japanese food at a restaurant is quite different then the food prepared at home. For the record, very few Japanese people make their own sushi at home. It is just too time consuming and expensive to gather and prepare all the ingredients (analogous to homemade Dim Sum).

I would say “Japanese Canadian” food is a mixture between traditional “Japanese food”, Chinese, and western foods. Many of the food we eat could be technically be classified as Korean or Chinese, but has become such a staple in Japanese Canadian households that we do consider it part of our culture as well.

In addition, much of the food recipes have been modified to use western ingredients. Take for example, Spam sushi and Japadogs sandwiches.

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Center(JCCC) recently published a cookbook, a project that focuses specifically on Japanese Canadian food. Not only will you find traditional sounding recipes, but also foods from other cultures have become a part of the foods Japanese Canadians eat.

The book was produced using recipes submitted by and produced by countless volunteers within the Japanese community. For example, my aunt was the project manager, my cousin was a principle photographer, and I made their website. This book is more than a regular cookbook as it also describes the personal stores behind the recipes.

The book is now out; you can find it at Chapters and other cookbook stores or directly though the JCCC. The book looks awesome and has some great recipes (including one for my grandfather’s roasted chicken).

Click here to view the official Just Add Shoyu website: Just Add Shoyu

Various reviews of the cookbook:

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