© 2011 katrina


Otousan means father in Japanese. Really, it’s the word that kids use to address their own father. When I’m telling curious strangers in Japan that my father is Japanese, I say that my chi chi is Japanese. Otousan is the name I call him at home, for instance, in the kitchen.

We’re embarking on a new project. My otousan is an amazing chef and he wants to teach me all the recipes he knows and loves before he dies. My dad isn’t dying in any obvious way, just in the way that all of us are, but we’ve been thinking about death a lot recently.

This is a recipe of his for Kamemeishi, a traditional Japanese rice dish with fresh Takenoko (bamboo shoots). You could use canned, but they have a metallic preserved flavor and aren’t nearly as good. This one’s Kyoto style.

Oh, and preparing the fresh bamboo has to happen the day before. You peel off its crazy brown layers. Past the dry layers it looks like fur, silky baby animal fur and past all the fur, it’s yellow and shaped like a horn. Once you’ve shaved the brown bits off, you cook it in rice-water, the water you wash your rice in (you do wash your rice, right?), for a few hours.


  1. Posted December 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm | #

    very cool. wonderful job with the pictures and the handwritten instructions:)

  2. June
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 10:40 am | #

    I can almost smell it!

  3. Stephanie
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 10:57 am | #

    Yum! I love the handwritten instructions, too. Delicious and de-lovely.

  4. lbh
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm | #

    this is so gorgeous. you make me want to make things.

  5. takashi baba
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm | #

    looks yum, very traditional japanese rice that one of my favorite. good job

  6. Leah Z
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm | #

    Yum! I may have to attempt some of your recipes! 🙂

  7. Sonia
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm | #

    so you save the water you use to wash the rice?
    i love how you honor the subtleties.

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