Cooking healthy and hearty meals using a single pot is possible.
Machiko Chiba, famous Japanese food author and chef, presents her genius invention Cook-Zen.
In one of the kitchens of Center for Asian Culinary Studies, Machiko Chiba brought her team and set of Cook-Zen pots to demonstrate the magic behind this cooking pot.
What is Cook-Zen?
To simply describe it, Cook-Zen is a cooking pot specially designed microwave ovens.
If you ask me, there was no love at first sight with this cooking pot. A plain-looking pot that doesn’t have any fancy functionalities turned me skeptic and curious. I wouldn’t take out my cash for this pot. Well, those comments were just running on my mind before seeing the pot in action.
Pages from Cook-Zen recipes were handed over during the cooking demo. I was in the middle of levelling up my curiosity while browsing through the pages and finding out that most dishes have only 2-5 steps. Other than that, most recipes stress out the fact that these dishes could be cooked in a jiffy. I couldn’t believe the recipe book until I witnessed the real power of Cook-Zen when Machiko started to work in the kitchen.
Green Beans and Fried Tofu
Machiko started to put out her Cook-Zen pots and prepared the microwave ovens. Two important items to complete her clever meals. For appetizers, she didn’t make us wait long since most starter recipes took more or less 5-10 minutes to cook all in all.
Broccoli with Sea Kelp and Ginger
How long do you steam your broccoli? For Machiko, it only took 2 minutes, with medium-high temperature inside the microwave oven, to prepare broccoli with sea kelp and fresh ginger.
Simmered Kaboocha
To make this easy simmered kaboocha, all you have to do is peel and seed the kaboocha and cut into 3cm chunks. After, place the kaboocha, sugar and soy sauce in the Cook-Zen. Cover with medium-high heat inside the oven for 5 minutes, you’re all done.
It looks so plain. The plating doesn’t even entice. But once you use your spoon to taste, you wouldn’t want to stop for more.
Mussels Steamed with Wine and Garlic

Would you believe this charming mussels only took around 6 minutes to be completed? I saw it with my very own eyes. And I tasted them myself. I’d say ‘delicioso!’ for this effortless plate of steamed mussels!

These two microwave ovens were Machiko’s best buddies aside from her Cook-Zen pots.
Grilled Eel Rice
My spoon was on fire to keep on scooping from this bowl of Grilled Eel Rice. Cook-Zen brought out the natural flavors of eel absorbed by the rice.
Salmon with Yozu Soy Sauce
Healthy cooking of any meat with Cook-Zen since it reduces the need for oil. This means, lower numbers on your calorie counter.
Miso Simmered Sea Bass
Sparerib Curry
Through dishes like this Sparerib Curry, it proves that Cook-Zen traps the natural taste of all ingredients as it enhances flavors including its aroma.
I call Machiko a genius for making cooking life less complicated.
5 Benefits of Cook-Zen:
Cook-Zen comes with a recipe book of over 40 dishes that’s trouble-free to follow.
I missed O that day. Good thing, I still felt his presence through his achi (also a chef) who came to Cafe Ysabel with me.
Through Chef Machiko’s Cook-Zen, there is hope for everyone in being a cook.
Hassle free and healthy, it’s the type of pot I’ll invest on.
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout