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Japanese Baking Websites: Part 2

Soon after I began this blog, I wrote “Japanese Baking Websites” to share some of the resources I use for both Japanese language learning and new recipes for baking. Although it combines two of my favorite topics, I didn’t realize how popular it would be with people besides myself. 😛 As it turns out, I continue to have several visitors every day to this site, and I think it has been helpful for people learning Japanese and for people who enjoy baking.

Because of that, I have decided to make a new 2.0 version with similar sites that I have stumbled across since that post. These are not in any sort of order, and I enjoy browsing all of them–so make sure to check them all out!

1) ABC Cooking Studio

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This site has an enormous amount of information, and it is all put together in an organized, easy to follow, colorful way. In addition, there are always new additions to both the written recipies and the video lessons. This site is also much more than just a baking website, and has many savory recipes as well.

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One of the things I love about this site is how well it demonstrates the Japanese method of cooking–which is very unique from other styles of cooking around the world. For example, as I am writing this post one of the featured recipes this month is a Tropical Fruit Cake. I clicked on the link, expecting it to be like a French recipe, with dozens of ingredients and several components that need to be made in advance. However, the recipe has 10 ingredients and only 5 steps! Maybe this is partially due to it being a recipe that is made to be more accessible to the common baker, but I think it is clear just by looking at the recipe (even if it were written in English or another languge) that the origin is Japan.

2) Cook Pad

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Cookpad is another wonderful, all purpose (not just baking) website. For me and my level of Japanese, this one is a little more challenging to navigate than abc-cooking, but there are some very helpful navigation buttons on the left hand side which have small picture icons that match the words (and luckily for me, many of the things I look at are desserts, which are more often than not written in Katakana). One of the things I love about the search process on this site is that they have things such as “Man Food” and “Sports and Body.”

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Another thing I love about the recipes on this site is that there are pictures that go along with each step in the recipe. This is great for language learners, because it gives you the ability to check if you are on the right track as far as your level of understanding goes. There are times when a sentence uses a lot of kanji, which leaves me reliant on dictionaries and translation devices. It can be a challenge to then find the correct meaning, as words often have several definitions. For the more experienced baker especially, it is easy to then look at the picture and know the general idea of what you should be doing during that step–which then guides you as you are reading the passage and looking up unfamiliar terms.

3) Wagashi Maniac

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I have searched and searched for websites and cookbooks with recipes for wagashi. I find these traditional Japanese sweets intriguing and inspiring, and my goal is to be able to create some even 1/4 as lovely as the ones you can find in Japan. This site is not written in Japanese (it is, in fact, written in German and for me requires the use of google translate in order to read it in English), but I do think it needs to be shared with people looking for Japanese recipes.

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The wagashi recipes are for the most part lumped into two categories, and need to be searched through in order to really know what is out there. However I think this is enjoyable, and I love looking through all the recipes. Unfortunately the blog hasn’t been updated in several months, but there are enough recipes to get you going and peak your interest in these unique Japanese sweets!

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