Japanese cooking has been big news in Australia of late, widely perceived as being a ‘healthy’ cuisine. The Japanese use a wide variety of vegetables and legumes, and are one of the very few cultures to use sea vegetables, which are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with minerals. Fish is widely used in Japanese cuisine also, as are fermented products (think Miso) and beneficial floras that are kind to the digestive system. Shirataki noodles and other such foods make great alternatives to pasta, being relatively “guilt-free” as they are low in carbohydrates.
The Japanese are big fans of variety when it comes to cooking, in fact Japanese nutritionists recommend the consumption of at least 30 different foods per day. But in a society that largely centres itself on the meat and two veg concept, such variety can seem a little daunting to the average Australian home cook. To help you out, here is a list of the top 5 Japanese cooking Youtube channels:
Cooking with Dog
Cooking with Dog features a mysterious Japanese chef (her name is not disclosed), and a cute miniature poodle ‘Francis’ that calmly sits next to ‘Chef’ and translates recipes step-by-step in English.
Cooking with Dog has a strong cult following and has been a popular Youtube channel since 2007. It features hundreds of Japanese recipes that are easy to follow, and plenty of tricks to make tasks, such as mincing garlic, much easier. Tutorials are presented almost like a TV series, as opposed to a homemade video. Tutorials run for between 4 and 10 minutes.
Some great videos to get you started include: Homemade Pineapple Ice Cream, Japanese-Inspired Carbonara, and How to Make Strawberry Christmas Cake.
Mosogourmet features just about everything, from cute bento lunch boxes to desserts, arts, crafts, and even toys! If it’s Japanese, it’s here, and the clever videos make this a very fun Youtube channel to watch.
Mosogourmet is a family affair and is run by a husband, wife, and their daughter and two sons. It’s a channel that has to be seen to be believed as the videos are nothing short of mindblowing. The sheer creativeness behind each featured dish is staggering. Clicking the ‘read more’ button will display the ingredients – sometimes in English, sometimes you may need to use an online translation tool – but its worth it!
Some great videos to get you started include: Trick Recipes: Ice Cream Cupcakes, Fake Sushi Bento, and How to Make a Rilakkuma Rice Cooker Cake.
Create Eat Happy – Japanese Home Cooked Meals
Create Eat Happy is not only a fantastic Japanese cooking Youtube channel, it’s a fabulous food blog too. The blog is Ochikeron’s (Ochi) daily food diary and has been popular for a number of years. The Youtube channel is quickly gaining momentum as one of the best channels out there for kawaii (cute) recipes and Japanese home cooking. The fact that Ochi speaks English makes her step-by-step videos easy to follow.
Some great videos to get you started include: Taco Rice (Okinawan Cuisine), Yaki Edamame, and How to Make Bento Lunch Box.
Taro is a 30-something Japanese man who speaks great English and has a cute, boyish face. Having been inspired by Cooking with Dog, he decided to begin his own Youtube channel in 2008, and over the years he has become good friends with the mysterious chef. What separates Taro from Cooking with Dog is that he explains his recipe process in English, with the option of Japanese subtitles. His blog is a mixture of both Japanese and English, and his tone in both writing and presenting is lighthearted and funny. He even takes requests!
Some great videos to get you started include: Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki, Pizza Gyoza, and How to Make Miso Ramen.
EmmyMade in Japan
Okay, so this one’s not technically about cooking. EmmyMade in Japan is more about trying interesting candies and snacks from Japan, but she does sometimes post tutorials for homemade eats. She’ll also share some handy tips with her viewers, such as How to open a Pomegranate. Essentially, Emmymade in Japan gives the opportunity for Japan to show off some of their more unusual products.
Some great videos to get you started include: Halloween Apple Cider Doughnuts, Dim Sum-Style Black Bean Pork Ribs, and How to Make a Cute Chick Bento.