Yuji Haraguchi's Tips for a Zen Kitchen

© Scott Gordon Bleicher
"Mottainai 
is about more than just food—it’s 
a way of appreciating and utilizing everything you have.”

You could call Yuji Haraguchi the Marie Kondo of the food world. The Brooklyn chef takes the art of decluttering and resourcefulness 
to the next level by championing the ancient Japanese philosophy of mottainai—which means “waste not, want not”—at his hot spots Okonomi, Yuji Ramen and his new sustainable fish market Osakana. He’s bringing such attention to the mindful approach that the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Kanagawa, Japan, has invited him to serve his zero-waste ramen there in March. Here are three ways to bring a little mottainai to your kitchen.

1. Use it all.

Haraguchi suggests buying 
whole fish so you can make stock from 
the bones and head.

2. Streamline.

Use 
one tool for everything. He suggests a double-edged, eight-inch gyuto chef’s knife. 


3. Beautify.

Handmade dishes (his come from Connecticut potter Jordan Colón) honor the food on the plate.

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