Sometimes I search things online in another language, or change the language on a site I frequent—like Amazon—to something other than English. Sometimes it is just a free-for-all, with me clicking on anything and everything to see what it means. However, sometimes through this method of language….experimentation, I stumble across some great things.
Some of my favorite sites are Japanese cooking sites. Here are a few I have particularly enjoyed, both for their baking inspiration and for the language content. Two of the sites have video components, which are really fun to watch whether you know any Japanese or not.
1)ひろこ先生のスイーツレシピ or Professor Hiroko’s Sweets Recipes
This website has several videos of ひろこ先生—either alone or with some of her students—cooking. The recipes are very short, and are simple step-by-step instructions about creating each dish. I don’t know if it is because ひろこ先生 is so calm and adept at baking or what, but everything seems absolutely effortless and simple!
2) ケーキシェフ aka Cake Chef
I love this site so much! There are short videos with different pastry chefs from different bakeries in Japan, each creating a certain entremet or pastry. What I love about this site is that while the videos are great and the pastries are always spectacular, there is a write-up of the dialogue in each video on the same page. This is really helpful as a language learner, especially in a language such as Japanese, as it helps you know if what you think you are hearing is correct or not, and provides you with the kanji.
3) 簡単お菓子レシピ aka Simple Dessert Recipes
This site is great because it provides recipes and often step-by-step picture instructions. There are a TON of recipes on this site, many of which are clearly Asian inspired desserts which use unique ingredients or techniques not found here in the US. I really like this site because the recipes are manageable for someone with a regular kitchen who doesn’t live in Japan. In addition, there are often links to other sites on the recipe pages.
Even if you don’t know even the basics of Japanese, take a look at these sites. I think there is something fun about exploring things you don’t understand, and these websites can act as a portal into a new, mind-broadening world.
As always, I hope my resources are helpful to you. Happy learning!