Cooking With Marie

With two young kids and busy schedules, eating as a family can be challenging – but it’s always rewarding. When it comes to cooking, my husband Takumi and I keep things simple: We use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible – including herbs and veggies from our garden – and prepare quintessential Japanese dishes for our daughters to enjoy. Before eating, we set an intention to enjoy the meal and express gratitude for the person who prepared it – and for the food itself. To keep the kitchen tidy, I make sure every item has a home – and clean up in one shot at the end (Takumi prefers to clean as he goes!). A joyful kitchen starts with cookware you love – and these are my cooking essentials.

01

Traditional Earthenware Smokeless Grill

+ Shop Products

The design of this indoor grill is ingenious – it really sparks joy! Made from clay, it retains heat incredibly well and cooks food like a charcoal grill – but it heats up on the stovetop. It doesn’t produce any smoke, so the air in the kitchen stays clean. I use it to prepare vegetables – carrots, bell peppers, eggplant and onions with just a touch of salt. Simple and delicious.

02

Authentic Ceramic Donabe Pot

+ Shop Products

Donabe are a staple of Japanese kitchens, and I use mine daily – specifically to cook rice. It’s more common to cook rice in a steamer, but something about cooking in a clay pot stirs up a sense of longing and nostalgia for me – it’s so romantic! But truly, rice prepared in a donabe is infinitely more delicious – each grain becomes perfectly plump. My trick is to soak the rice in water for 30 minutes before cooking it – try it! I do use a steamer to make amazake, a fermented rice drink I’ve loved since childhood.

03

Cast Iron Japanese Hot Pot

+ Shop Products

I use this cast iron pot for boiling water, preparing tea and cooking shabu-shabu, a traditional Japanese hotpot dish. Shabu-shabu is fun because it requires active participation – everyone has to cook their own meat and vegetables in a steaming hot broth. I love the detailing on the wooden lid – it’s been preserved with the traditional Japanese method of yakisugi, in which wood is slightly charred to make it waterproof and fire retardant.

04

Stainless Steel Pot

+ Shop Products

Growing up, my grandmother had a traditional pot like this – they’re common in old-school Japanese restaurants. I use mine to make miso soup for our breakfast every morning. It’s lightweight so it heats up quickly, but the handle doesn’t get hot – plus, it’s so cute! I recommend washing it by hand for a long and happy life.

05

Solid Hinoki Wood Cutting Board

+ Shop Products

I prep for the day’s meals each morning by chopping fruit and veggies. To keep food odors from lingering – and to protect the beautiful hinoki wood from scratches – I dampen the surface slightly before using and wipe it down with cloth when I’m done.

06

Japanese Carbon Steel Wok

+ Shop Products

Although woks are associated with Japan, they’re not something you’ll find in most households – but they’re always included in manga illustrations! I use mine for meat and vegetable tempura – my family loves Japanese-style fried chicken. The naturally non-stick surface makes it easy to clean – I like to rinse it immediately after use to keep it in pristine condition.

Shop the Story

Gifts That Spark Joy

Gifts for everyone on your list – from the host with the most to the Marie Kondo devotee.

SHOP NOW >

Shipping, taxes, and discounts will be calculated at checkout. Proceed to Checkout