Nothing goes to waste in the KANSHA Kitchen

Using food fully means re-thinking your kitchen habits, focusing special attention on what might be saved, rather than discarded.

I hope you will be inspired to develop your own no-waste recipes that I can share with others.

Download the KANSHAcooking CONTEST entry form

WINNING entries
will be sent a pair of KANSHAcooking tee shirts

Practicing KANSHA in your kitchen

 IDEAS from Elizabeth...

Start several save-the-scrap piles, each in its own lidded container or resealable bag. Separate by what you are likely to use the scrap for eventually.

Put a label on the outside of each bag or container with the contents and mark the DATE. Cross out items as you remove and use them; add notes as you put new items in. Decide upon a day of the week that you will regularly check on your scrap piles (to be sure the food is not left to languish, unused).

Start one bag for soup, stock and purees: a STOCK PILE. Misshapen or bruised vegetables and fruit can be put to good use this way. Onion skins, celery tops, broccoli stems, ginger peels... all sorts of trim can add flavor and nutrients to stocks and soups.

Start another bag with strips that could be sauteed or pickled: a BITS & PIECES PILE. Peels from radishes and carrots, outer leaves from cabbage (even the tough core if sliced tissue-thin) can be used.

Yukari & Shinji SAKAMOTO

Recent Winners in the KANSHAcooking Contest

From winners Yukari & Shinji: spicy kimpira 

made from tops of colorful sweet peppers


Mottainai, a uniquely Japanese word with Buddhist origins, entered daily, secular speech long ago. Most often heard when someone is being chided, mottainai describes the squandering of time, energy, talent, money... also food. The closest English language equivalent would be: What a waste!

I prefer not to scold. Instead, I want to encourage and enable people to use food fully – thereby avoiding waste. Need a few hints or suggestions? Take a look at the workshop lessons posted to this site, and to my companion site, WASHOKUcooking. Then join me in no-waste cooking. Enter the KANSHAcooking Contest. Winning entries will be sent a pair of KANSHAcooking T-Shirts.



Your ideas!

In kitchens where fish, meat & poultry is consumed, remember that trimmings and bones from various creatures can be used to make flavorful, nutritious stocks (for soup and sauces) and dumplings and sausages.

Lesson Four at my companion site, WASHOKUcooking offers two classic recipes for fish dumpling soup that I hope will inspire you to creative interpretation.

The kansha concept of no-waste appreciation applies to all foods. INTEGRATING KANSHA with WASHOKU is simple, and satisfying. Each complements and enhances the other.

Key elements of WASHOKU
(Japan's native culinary culture):

  • balance colors (red, green, yellow, white, black)
  • balance flavors (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, spicy)
  • balance methods (boil, sear, raw, fry, steam)
  • source foods from both land and sea
  • source local foods (seasonal, regional)

(First winners) Tom & Gail Jolley

From winners Tom & Gail:

One way of using bits and pieces left from other meals is to make a PRESSED SALAD, such as the one pictured above. Thinly slice and/or shred a variety of vegetables; salt and wilt, then apply pressure.

Tom & Gail's festive-but-frugal, Red & White Pickled Turnips.