Join 3,428 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Japanese recipes for the Anglophone
August 6, 2013 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Cookpad is Japan's largest recipe site and cooking community. Yesterday, an English version was launched.

All the recipes are translated by humans, not machine-translated.

The company, which was first established way back in 1997, is no ordinary foodie site. For one thing, it’s been listed on the Japanese stock exchange since 2009, and it boasts an impressive 1.5 million-plus recipes that have been created by its base of over 20 million users. The new site has been translated into English and initially features just 1,500 recipes. That’s just a small slice of its total, though there are plans to ramp the figure up to 30,000 in “the coming future,” Cookpad says.

(not a self-link - I have nothing to do with this project)
posted by Tanizaki (52 comments total) 154 users marked this as a favorite

 
<3 thank you for this incredible bounty you have placed before us, love you x <3
posted by ominous_paws at 8:13 AM on August 6, 2013


Thank you for this!
posted by Lemmy Caution at 8:13 AM on August 6, 2013


Oh, I have to make this. Thanks for this post. Awesome treasure trove.
posted by zarq at 8:15 AM on August 6, 2013


20 million users

Whoa, isn't that something like 15% of the entire population of Japan?
posted by gwint at 8:17 AM on August 6, 2013


Also, this is awesome. Thank you!
posted by gwint at 8:17 AM on August 6, 2013


When flagrant, add the meat and onion.

Good for cooking and good for entertainment. Bonus!
posted by pipeski at 8:24 AM on August 6, 2013


Lovely - the kids love learning new things (as do I) ...
posted by tilde at 8:26 AM on August 6, 2013


Oh, man, thank you so much, this is awesome!
posted by KathrynT at 8:28 AM on August 6, 2013


i'm'a go hard on these recipes
posted by scose at 8:30 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is great!
posted by dismas at 8:32 AM on August 6, 2013


Yes, this is mega-good. Thanks for posting Tanizaki.
posted by jonnyploy at 8:33 AM on August 6, 2013


Oooh, I like the liberal use of yuzu kosho in these recipes. I'm always looking for more ways to use it.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:34 AM on August 6, 2013


thank you for this incredible bounty you have placed before us, love you x

Seconded. Yum.
posted by sweetkid at 8:35 AM on August 6, 2013


I like the use of emoji: " It can be served with ketchup to give it a milder flavour(^O^*)♪"
posted by dismas at 8:37 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fry the other side while shaking the frying pan again. When the meat is cooked through it's done. ♡

Serve with tonkatsu sauce. ♪
posted by scose at 8:42 AM on August 6, 2013


The Japanese version of the site has long been a staple in our house. While you have to separate the wheat (or rice) from the chaff, there are some gems there. It can let one know what Japanese home cooking is like, which is quite different from the fare in the west's Japanese restaurants.

P.S. thank you for your kind comments
posted by Tanizaki at 8:43 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


so much sugar in everything though :(
posted by sweetkid at 8:43 AM on August 6, 2013


I know that's nonponysterical
posted by sweetkid at 8:44 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


pipeski: these people are a lot less fun when flagrant, turn off the heat. But at least you get a fried egg on top.
posted by epo at 8:51 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have just figured out "flagrant" by looking at an original recipe. They mean to say "fragrant".
posted by Tanizaki at 8:54 AM on August 6, 2013


Where the heck am I going to get a tamagoyaki pan?
posted by Gin and Comics at 9:04 AM on August 6, 2013


Tamagoyaki pans are not hard to find in Asian supermarkets or grocery stores. Now, finding a Japanese pickle press was a different story.
posted by needled at 9:13 AM on August 6, 2013


Gin and Comics, do you have a chinese, japanese, or korean grocery around?
posted by KathrynT at 9:14 AM on August 6, 2013


KathrynT: "Gin and Comics, do you have a chinese, japanese, or korean grocery around?"

I am 90% certain I could find all three. Japanese might be harder. My consternation was only mild. ^_^;

I do have serious question though. A lot of these recipes say, "Fry in oil". Is it safe to default to olive oil? Or is something else more typical in Japan?
posted by Gin and Comics at 9:20 AM on August 6, 2013


Gin and Comics, if the location in your profile is current, I suggest trying the H Mart nearest you. It's a Korean chain but they carry many Japanese ingredients and cooking implements.
posted by needled at 9:21 AM on August 6, 2013


Is it safe to default to olive oil? Or is something else more typical in Japan?

Vegetable oil (which is often called "salad oil") would be used in Japan. I would recommend using canola or a similar oil that will not impart its flavor to the food.
posted by Tanizaki at 9:22 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tofu and Soybeans 218 recipes

squeeeeeeeee!!!
posted by slogger at 9:46 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love all the emoji -- hearts and musical notes and whatnot -- sprinkled throughout the headlines and recipes.

Also, "A Nostalgic Reminder of School Lunch! Lemon Chicken" looks nothing like what my schools ever served for lunch.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:55 AM on August 6, 2013


Their about page says "... 20 million monthly unique users, including 80% of all Japanese women in their 20s and 30s." I'm suitably impressed.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:01 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


That lemon chicken recipe looks pretty great.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:08 AM on August 6, 2013


This whole "add the * ingredients now", "mix all ✩ ingredients in" system is brilliant. Is this a common feature of Japanese recipes? Why do we not copy this? I love it.
posted by AmandaA at 10:36 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


PRAWN MUMMY!!!!!
posted by Ennis Tennyone at 10:51 AM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


No more burning my experiments while looking up that last kanji? This is my happy dance. I love cookpad and this makes it even more awesome! Thank you for sharing.
posted by whatzit at 11:08 AM on August 6, 2013


"add the * ingredients now"

I hope the recipe writer wasn't a Kurt Vonnegut fan.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:18 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am so glad that I didn't miss this post. Thanks, Tanizaki!!
posted by lakersfan1222 at 11:29 AM on August 6, 2013


Finally, I know what to buy at the various supermarkets I'll need to hit!
posted by droplet at 12:04 PM on August 6, 2013


Simple interesting recipes! Love this.
posted by Locobot at 12:37 PM on August 6, 2013


Gin and Comics: "Where the heck am I going to get a tamagoyaki pan?"

I was thinking the same thing, but it looks like a regular metal sheet pan could be made to fill in. (I suspect an experienced cook could probably just use a flat grill and control the egg spread with a spatula, but I'm not that confident.)
posted by Karmakaze at 1:39 PM on August 6, 2013


A tamagoyaki pan is not hard to come by. We have a pan that is quite similar to this, although with sides that are a bit higher. I think we brought ours back from Japan.

I think you really need those perpendicular sides. I can't imagine doing it on a sheet pan because the pan is far too big to handle (you need to lift and tilt the pan to make tamagoyaki) and the sides are too small. A griddle would be a nightmare.
posted by Tanizaki at 2:21 PM on August 6, 2013


Great site. Thanks.

Strange, but in my fairly large city there are many Asian supermarkets the size of Walmart which have items from every Asian country you can think of except for Japan. For some reason we have to go downtown to our two-block Japantown to the small market there for Japanese food. Is this just Denver?
posted by kozad at 2:39 PM on August 6, 2013


For some reason we have to go downtown to our two-block Japantown to the small market there for Japanese food. Is this just Denver?

I live in a southern city with enough Japanese to support a government-sponsored Japanese language school for expatriates, and this is the case here as well. The larger Oriental supermarkets tend to have very little in Japanese things and have to go to a smaller Japanese market to get certain items.
posted by Tanizaki at 3:15 PM on August 6, 2013


Yum! I'm looking forward to trying some of these!
posted by snorkmaiden at 3:28 PM on August 6, 2013


I am unbelievably delighted by this! My grandmother is an amazing cook (of Japanese food; her Western food is a totally different story), but she never learned enough English and I never learned enough Japanese, so I've never really had a chance to learn how to cook Japanese food properly beyond a few dishes. I see lots of bento in my future, and maybe there's still a chance I can take up the New Year's mantle and do osechi ryori up right.
posted by Diagonalize at 3:47 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seems like a good complement to Cooking With Dog, a compelling video series narrated by a dog with a Japanese accent on preparing Japanese dishes.
posted by greasepig at 4:50 PM on August 6, 2013


This is my jam! Tip: Replace beef with an equivalent amount of burdock root (on top of the original burdock root, natch) and add as many mushrooms as you can find. Maybe some konnyaku.
posted by No-sword at 5:22 PM on August 6, 2013


I like CookPad; besides the recipes, the company is actually more forward on open source than many large Japanese companies and they like to host a lot of small technical meetings. What I find really interesting, though, is that they have a business model that I can't imagine working in America.

Becoming a member is free, as is posting and searching recipes. The catch is that certain functions you might think of as basic are only available in the premium version: sorting recipes by rating is the big one, but automatically generated nutritional information, having more than 20 favorite recipes, and viewing the recipe of the day farther back than yesterday are also reserved for premium members, which costs ~$3 a month. The thing is, these features are already standard on the big English-language sites like Food.com and AllRecipes, as well as sites from professional magazines like Cooking Light and Epicurious.

I know Metafilter members aren't uptight about paying for things, but given the competition I'm not sure how it would work abroad if they launched their full site instead of the stripped-down version they have now.

On a different note, one thing I really appreciate about Japanese recipes that isn't particular to Cookpad is marking ingredients that go together with a symbol (◎☆■△) and then giving directions like "When it comes to a boil, add ■". So much clearer than listing half the spices again.
posted by 23 at 6:35 PM on August 6, 2013


The cookpad app for iPhone, etc., has been absolutely instrumental in our household dinners. I had no idea it was so big, but it's been one of those shining spots, like Wikipedia, where you just think "that's great".
posted by Metro Gnome at 7:16 PM on August 6, 2013


Vegetables category has a lot of non-vegetables in it.
posted by unliteral at 9:39 PM on August 6, 2013


Yeah, vegetarianism of the kind common in the States often results in puzzled looks here in general. The point of the "vegetables" category appears to be "things with vegetables" rather than "things without meat" (the beef-wrapped gobo is the highlighted recommendation on the Japanese site in the "vegetables" category as well as being near the top of the English list).
posted by 23 at 9:47 PM on August 6, 2013


いただきます
posted by trialex at 9:55 PM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is really great. I'm looking forward to shining the five year old on by cooking one of the chicken recipes in English and showing it to her in Japanese. Only after dinner though. This is a kid whose favorite meal is spaghetti but won't eat any other shape of pasta served with an identical sauce.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:11 PM on August 6, 2013


I had this on my desktop for like 2 weeks and I finally got around to looking at it. Wow. But I realize why I was hesitant to look at it.

When I took Japanese classes, my teacher suggested I read manga. I told her I hated that crap. So she gave me old copies of one of her favorites: Oishinbo. At first I was like yeah, food. Real food. I had just come back from Japan and as an exchange student, I had almost starved to death, I lost 65 pounds while living in Hakodate, a tourist destination for food. And when I came back to the US, I kept losing weight because I couldn't eat any of the fatty, sugary foods. I got used to Japanese food (what little I had of it).

So I started reading Oishinbo and I would feel like I was starving. And then I'd look at the dialogue, it was about searching the country for elaborate dishes that included rare ingredients with baffling names. Lots of that stuff, I had already eaten, but didn't know what it was called. Oh, so that's what it was. This would be really great if there was a decent Japanese foods store within about 500 miles of me. Now that I know what to call it, I could buy it. But even the everyday items in stores in Japan, are almost impossible to get in the US, or at least, around where I live.

So that's what the recipes look like to me. Wow that looks good, I am starving to death. Someone give me this luscious food. No it's impossible. Go a million miles away, to that tiny village in Japan where it's the local specialty, then you can have it. It is like a mirage in the desert, taunting the dehydrating man with visions of water.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:57 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older "Just to describe you: You're a large man, a big b...  |  Four months ago, Philly reside... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments