I recently met Rie McClenny at the home of Our Place founder, Shiza Shahid and immediately knew she’d make a great fit for our series, My Favorites. Rie’s impeccable taste seems to stem from her Japanese-rooted, but California-based lifestyle and echos her beloved style of cooking, as seen in BuzzFeed’s “Make It Fancy” series and her debut cookbook, Make It Japanese.
In celebration of the new book, filled with recipes that Nobu himself claims “taught me new things about familiar ingredients”, we asked Rie to join us. Here’s all she’s shared below from raw silk t-shirts to the rice cooker of our dreams…
My Favorites with Rie McClenny of Make It Japanese
Food + Drink
Fridge staples: Yellow miso from Omiso, berries for my son, and barley tea. Barley tea is called Mugi Cha 麦茶 in Japanese. It’s a summer staple drink growing up. It’s caffeine-free. My three year old son loves it, too. You can find it at a Japanese grocery store.
Smoothie of choice: Pressed Tropical Protein Smoothie.
Condiment: Homemade chili crisp.
Snack always on hand: Homemade matcha granola.
Favorite cocktail: Paloma and Lambrusco.
Favorite recent purchase: Wooden miso soup bowls.
Favorite inspo: Zuahaza. They are a Colombia-based textile and home goods company. Their textiles are so beautiful, and I love how they make their home goods by hiring female local artisans and using traditional techniques. Their pillowcases are the softest!
Candle: I use Aesop room spray instead. I’ll use a candle when my son grows up a little older!
Kitchen goods: I love my Vermicular rice cooker. It is a rice cooker but versatile enough to cook other dishes. I love their minimalist design, too.
Cozy detail of choice: I was born and raised in Japan, so using Japanese ceramics makes me feel at home. Most of my tableware is from Miyake ceramics.
Fave shop: Now Serving LA (cookbook store), Korin and Toiro Kitchen for Japanese cookware and tableware.
Uniform lately: Linen jumpsuits.
Fave T-shirts: Ozma of California’s raw silk tees.
Go-to brands: Ozma of California for everyday clothes and Kaarem for dressing up.
Never without jewelry: Satomi Kawakita’s rings and Kinn’s oval locket necklace.
Recent obsession: I love mascarpone cheese and fruit-topped toast for breakfast.
Weird wellness habit: Drinking hot water in the morning. It helps warm up my body because I get cold easily.
Fave reading/podcasts: For podcasts, I listen to Good Food, This American Life, and This is Taste religiously. For books, The Margo Affair and Crying In H Mart are my favorite books I’ve read recently. I pick up a few Japanese books whenever I return to Japan. Mieko Kawakami is my favorite Japanese author.
Favorite clean skincare products: I’ve been using Annemarie Borlind Rose Dew Cleansing Milk and Toner for more than 10 years now.
For the hair: Japanese camellia oil helps smooth my frizzy hair.
Clean makeup staples: Japanese sunscreen. I love them. It’s not greasy and doesn’t leave a white cast.
Skin tool or mask: Refa S Carat Ray. This facial roller was really popular a few years back in Japan, and I love it.
Spa/treatment of choice: Facial acupuncture.
Perfume: Aesop Karst.
Read Next: My Favorites: Pritika Swarup On Ayurveda, Lemon Water + The Perfect White T