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Episode 3 – 5 things you MUST KNOW about cooking plant based Japanese food


Base ingredients for seasoning and local produce is all you need to get started, no exotic vegetables, no exotic herbs, or spices or specialized cooking equipment!

Show Notes

You’re listening to the daidokoro video podcast. Hi, I’m Pat Tokuyama and you’re about to discover some of the tastiest ways to feed your mind, body, and soul. A pharmacist by training, you may know me as the founder of all day I eat like a shark, the food blog, YouTube channel, or as author of several Japanese cookbooks. If you desire to live a healthy life and are looking for a different way forward with a hunger for growth, then this video podcast is for you!   

Daidokoro is a Japanese term for kitchen. And I’m glad you’re here! With each episode, we’re going to be bringing clarity to your cooking by blending Japanese tradition and life lessons into bite-sized bits that even a shark would enjoy. Ready to make some magic happen?    

Five things that you need to know about cooking plant-based Japanese food. So the first is going to be that it’s simple. Once you have the base ingredients, which I talked about in another episode linked in the show notes below, all you need are the local produce festivals and things that you can get at your local supermarket. That’s all you need to get started. No exotic vegetables, no exotic herbs, no exotic spices, and no specialized cooking equipment, though it might make your life a little bit easier for some cases, but not all. 

The second thing is that it’s easy. So you don’t need to have gone to cooking school, culinary school or worked in a restaurant, or have some sort of an extensive cooking history. Even the most basic or beginner cooks can cook plant-based Japanese food because it’s not that technically complicated or challenging. You’re not trying to create a fine dining experience with a bunch of different ingredients and tweezers and plating and all that stuff you’re just doing homemade plant-based Japanese food, which is as simple as it gets, it’s easy. And if you don’t think so maybe you can think about the first time that you’ve ever tried something. And then you tried it again and again. And then again, maybe by the fourth or the fifth time that you tried it, it was a lot more simple and easier than you first tried it. So maybe even think back to when you cut your first dish. And then you tried it again a second or third time or maybe even the first time that you rode a bike and how it’s now second nature to you if you can ride a bike.  

So the third is that it’s more flavorful and delicious and colorful than you might think. So Japanese flavors can be very refined and very subtle. In some cases, they’re not going to be in your face like Indian food, or super spicy like some Thai food or some Mexican food can be. And that’s what makes it unique. That’s what makes plant-based Japanese food unique. And you know what else makes it unique and what it has a lot of umami. So we’ll be getting into umami in a different episode. But that’s really what helps to bring out the natural flavors of the food are the ingredients that make up each Japanese dish. And that’s what other types of cuisines don’t have. And that’s what I think makes plant-based Japanese food a little bit unique in that regard. And if you consider that that’s actually an advantage for you because you can take what you learn with plant-based Japanese cooking, and umami, and how to use those ingredients that bring out the flavors of the vegetables and the ingredients in plant based Japanese food. Yeah, you can apply that to other types of cooking or cuisines to get even better results there as well. So how about that, and it’s not restricted to just ingredients. 

Also some of the cooking techniques which we’ll be talking about in other episodes.   So the fourth thing that you might want to know about cooking plant-based Japanese food is that your entire meal can be plant-based. And essentially, so it could be something as simple as a rice bowl or donburi or something a little bit more complete with several courses or side dishes known as okazu, more of a teishoku style meal. So maybe something with a bowl of rice, a bowl of soup, few vegetable dishes, and then maybe a main dish with a piece of tofu or other protein of choice. Or if you really wanted to get fancy and treat yourself well you can also try to make something more of a kaisaki style, which is multiple courses, many, many small dishes, or even shojin ryuri which is also a little bit more involved with many different small dishes. And if you’ve never heard of shojin ryuri, that’s essentially Buddhist cuisine. That’s what the monks eat in Japan. And if you ever get a chance to visit Japan, and some of the temples there where you can actually stay over for nights and during your stay. They’ll serve you shojin ryuri or Buddhist cuisine so you can get a taste of vegetarian Japanese food in Japan. How about that?   

And then the fifth thing about plant-based Japanese food is that it’s healthy. So if you’re not looking to expand your plant-based cooking repertoire or your cooking knowledge in a healthy manner, then perhaps plant-based Japanese cooking may not be for you. But if you are looking to be a little bit healthier and interested in trying something new tasty, delicious and that makes you feel good, then this might be something worth giving a try or continuing if you’re already doing it.  

Thanks for joining us today from wherever you’re watching or listening from. And if you haven’t yet, it means a lot to me if you can share your thoughts in a review on iTunes to let me know what you think of this new video podcast. Then I can take that feedback and make things better for next time. And to celebrate the launch of this brand new video podcast we are going to be doing a little giveaway. All you got to do to enter is subscribe and send us a screenshot of your review. Make sure to check out the link in the description or show notes for all the details. And I’d encourage you to share this with a friend or a loved one because if you’ve gotten value out of it, chances are they will too.    

Want to try cooking Japanese food at home from scratch? Head over to alldayieat.com/aisatsu to get started today. And if you’re new here, make sure to check out all alldayieat.com/daidokoro for all the show notes, bonus materials, resources and more.    

If this episode inspired you in some way, take a screenshot of you listening on your device and post it to your Instagram Stories, and tag us, @alldayieatlikeashark


Are you new here? Here are your next steps:

  1. How would you like to discover how to cook plant based Japanese food, the EASY WAY? Get on the waitlist for my next LIVE video training and you’ll also get a FREE sample from my latest cookbook!
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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese teas now in stock!!

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