This Week on Good Food: Inside Tsukiji Market, Ivan Ramen, Japanese Soul Food

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From the Tsukiji Market’s tuna auction, to Japanese soul food, to dashi– we take a look at Japanese cuisine.

Highlights from this week’s show:

1. David Kinch, chef and owner of Manresa in Los Gatos, is deeply inspired by the food and culture in Japan. He has been visiting Japan frequently over the last 8 years and stops by Tsukiji Market every day during his visits to Tokyo. He shares a snapshot of the market with us.

Beth Reiber is the author of Frommer’s Japan and Frommer’s Tokyo. She is also an Ambassador for Visit Japan. She says 30 years ago there were little to no foreigners at Tsukiji but today, tourists are loving the market to death. They now limit the number of tourists who can visit the tuna auction, but Reiber suggests skipping the auction in favor of a sushi breakfast at one of the many stalls that line the outside of the market.

Professor Theodore Bestor is the Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard where he teaches anthropology. He’s also the author of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World. He discusses the future of Tsukiji which is due to move in 2016, in advance of the 2020 Olympics.

2.  Sonoko Sakai is a food writer, author and cooking instructor based in Los Angeles. She is also the founder of Common Grains, a project to deepen Americans understanding of Japanese culture and cuisine.

She describes how to make dashi, a simple stock that is a staple of Japanese cuisine. Try her dashi recipe, as well as a soup with broccoli and wakame.

3. Cortney Burns is co-chef with Nick Balla at Bar Tartine in San Francisco. Burns talks about the process of making koji and why it is such a crucial ingredient for everything from meat marinades to ice cream on the menu at Bar Tartine.

4. Ivan Orkin owns two eponymous ramen shops in Tokyo. In November he opened his first stateside outpost in Hell’s Kitchen, and New Yorkers are anxiously awaiting his 50 seat Ivan Ramen to open soon on the Lower East Side.

His new cookbook is Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Shop. Find a recipe for his Dashi Maki Tamago on the Good Food Blog.

5.  Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat explore the comfort food of Japan in their latest book, Japanese Soul Cooking.

6.  Jonathan Gold  reviews the new branch of Sushi Zo in Downtown LA where the $145 omakase, or chef’s tasting menu, is the only option.