In Japanese culture, there’s something called kintsugi: the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The idea is to allow breakage – and the process of repair – to elevate beauty and wholeness, rather than treating damage as something to disguise. The concept of kintsugi is the inspiration behind Kintsugi Wellness The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit — a new book by chef, author, wellness blogger, and prolific TCM contributor, Candice Kumai.
Growing up with a Japanese mother, Candice’s approach to wellness is infused with influences from Japanese culture. Balanced by deep nutritional knowledge and squeaky clean kitchen skills, Candice’s perspective on holistic health is unique, and one we’re always thrilled to learn from.
In celebration of Kintsugi Wellness, we’ve asked her to join our classic In My Fridge series. If you’ve tried one of her recipes, you already know what you’re in for: from ginger kombucha cocktails and avocado beauty toast to a ramen-in-bed fantasy we can get behind, here’s what we learned exploring Candice’s kitchen…
Food philosophy in one sentence:
Cook more like your ancestors did and eat greens everyday!
Always in my fridge:
7 recipe staples always on hand:
Miso paste, kale or red leaf lettuce, kombucha (Health Ade, GT, or Kombrewcha), apple cider vinegar , coconut oil (Spectrum), matcha (Matcha Love), MBP (my matcha beauty powder! It contains tocos, dehydrated coconut milk powder and matcha – of course).
Dark chocolate chips, my famous vegan chocolate-chip matcha cookies!
Miso! Tamari soy sauce, sriracha sauce.
Ingredient that makes everything taste better:
Miso paste (non-GMO + organic).
Oats in bulk, nuts in bulk, dark chocolate chips in bulk.
Best label-reading tip:
The fewer ingredients the better.
Fave veggie + what you make with it:
Kale: My miso kale caesar salad in Kintsugi Wellness.
Must-have pantry staples:
Matcha Love, gluten-free oats, dark chocolate chips, coconut oil.
Craziest thing I buy:
So many avocados , natto (sticky fermented soybeans) and lots of coconut oil.
Sweets and other indulgences:
My vegan banana matcha cookies!!
Dairy or non-dairy faves:
Unsweetened almond/coconut milk.
Skip labels that read:
“kjvekjfc anslkcjwolkc mlvkwhjflekmcakjbjd” (Exactly.) Sh*t you can’t read.
A hot guy over for ramen or sushi in bed.
For last-minute entertaining:
Belvedere ginger zest flavor -it’s new and all natural!! No sugar added! Served on the rocks, splash of ginger kombucha.
Favorite places to shop:
I hang out at the Japanese store for fun! Marukai, Sunrise Market + matchalove.com, farmer’s markets, matchamasterclass.com, Whole Foods.
Simple go-to recipe:
Mushroom avocado beauty bowl and vegan matcha chocolate chip cookies!
Best food memory:
Cooking with mom and my great auntie in Japan + toasting with baachan, for the last time, all together. Truly, I miss her. My legacy is to carry on our Japanese traditions.
Discover three Japanese-inspired recipes from Candice Kumai here.