Humble Beginnings

I love Japanese food for its simplicity and ability to meticulously compliment the natural flavor of its ingredients. You could say this is a matter of personal taste, but Japan has an undeniably high standard when it comes to food. You don’t need a Michelin guide to tell you—it’s hard to find a bad meal in Japan.

And I’m not just talking about the foods typically associated with Japan—sushi, ramen, oden, katsudon, shabu shabu, yakitori, and so on. I’m also talking about Japanese Italian pizzas and pastas, Japanese French pastries, and Japanese Indian curry. These other cuisines, filtered through the Japanese lens, have come out the other end deliciously. It gets me really excited.

Left: Pastry horn with matcha cream and adzuki paste at Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki at Tokyo Midown Right: Yuzu soba at 暁庵 (Gyōan) in Hakone;

Left: Pastry horn with matcha cream and adzuki at Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki, Tokyo Midtown Right: Yuzu soba at 暁庵 (Gyōan) in Hakone; Above: Sōmen at 貴船ひろや (Kibune Hiroya) in Kyoto

I grew up with my mom and grandma’s cooking, so I equate Japanese food with home, comfort, and culture. But as an adult, I’ll cook it occasionally, maybe once a week. Living in Los Angeles, I have access to specialty ingredients and know the basics of Japanese cooking, so the process of reflection began: given my love and passion to eat it, why don’t I cook Japanese food regularly?

Enter Humble Bean.

As a site to explore and encourage Japanese cooking, Humble Bean is a way for me to learn more about and maintain my culture’s traditions in new ways. Japanese food is accessible and I’m determined to transform the way I approach cooking on a day-to-day basis and share my discoveries along the way.

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  1. Posted September 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Hello Azusa, I just found your site and I’m thrilled. So many great-looking recipes (some that I already bookmarked, to be cooked hopefully soon!) and mouthwatering pictures, and I completely agree with you on japanese cuisine. As I am facing the same situation that you were, not living in Japan anymore and missing all the flavors of my childhood, I feel so glad to have found Humble Bean. Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful recipes!

  2. Posted September 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Jojo, thank you for your comment—I’m happy to know some of the recipes here remind you of your childhood. I just recently visited Japan and feel refreshed and inspired! Happy cooking!

  3. Posted April 30, 2016 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    “It’s hard to find a bad meal in Japan.” – never was there a truer statement spoken! I’ve never had the fortune to visit Japan personally (it’s like, number one on my travel wanderlust bucket list) but I’ve heard so much and dreamt so much about it. I think with all the sushi, yakitori, teppenyaki, ramen – and if you’re lucky, kaiseki – it really is hard to find a bad meal indeed! Even the convenience stall food sold at places like 7-Eleven or Family Mart look good! You guys are so lucky, haha!

    I’m really glad you started this website though, because I am absolutely grateful to you for sharing all these wonderful Japanese recipes with me and the world. <3

  4. Posted April 30, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Avery! Hope you have a chance to visit. Let me know if you need any recommendations, when you go!

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