Okazu: Side Dishes

O (honorable) + kazu (countable nouns) = stuff you eat with rice

Any side dish you eat with rice and soup qualifies as okazu. But add ’em up and the sum total of okazu is certainly greater than its parts. A meal with two or three okazu is an impressive array of colour, texture and flavour.

Only a handful of simple techniques provide the basis of all okazu. Think of each technique presented here as a very basic recipe that you can apply to any meat, fish or vegetable. Use the main recipe to practice the basic technique, and the variations on the following pages to guide you in applying it to other ingredients. The idea is to take whatever is fresh, cheap or easily available, match it to the recipe of your choice, and come up with something easy and delicious – making your “side dish” into the main attraction.