Posts tagged ‘Japanese food’

Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory meat and vegetable pancake) お好み焼き

Have you ever had Japanese okonomiyaki? It’s a very common food in Japan.

The name basically means “grilled as you like it” “what you want grilled”, and it’s basically a savory pancake of sorts. The batter and toppings vary according to region, but it’s basically a batter of flour and water or broth with finely shredded cabbage, green onions, and whatever meat or seafood you want in it. There’s a lot of variations, but that’s it in it’s most basic form.

On top of the finished okonomiyaki is usually a layer of okonomiyaki sauce (available in most Asian markets), a sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce, but thicker and sweeter, aonori (finely crushed seaweed flakes), katsuobushi (bonito fish flakes), and Japanese mayonnaise.

If you’re unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine, you may be thinking, “Seaweed flakes? Fish flakes? The heck?!” But the seaweed flakes have great flavor. To get bonito flakes, the beheaded, gutted, and filleted fish is simmered, smoked, and then dried. It becomes hard which makes it easy to cut very thin flakes off of it. They have the flavor of smoked fish. Very tasty. Trust me.

Also, if you want to be really authentic, get Japanese mayonnaise for this. You can find it at most Asian markets. The most famous brand of Japanese mayonnaise is “Kewpie Mayonnaise”. Japanese mayonnaise tastes different than American mayonnaise, so if you’re feeling adventurous, want your okonomiyaki to be really authentic, or you’re like my husband and think American mayonnaise tastes icky, get ya some Kewpie mayonnaise.

For this recipe I made a pretty standard okonomiyaki with shrimp in it. Unfortunately, I was out of aonori (that’s why there’s no green on top of my finished okonomiyaki), but I’ve included it in the recipe.

This makes two large okonomiyaki (probably enough for 3 – 4 people), so feel free to adjust the amounts for the number of people you’re cooking for.

First mix 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of dashi (Japanese broth – you can find them in powdered form in most Asian grocery stores) or water. Mix it all up until you have a nice, lump-free batter.

Like so. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter. If it’s too thick or too thin, feel free to add more flour or water as necessary.

Add 3 cups of diced cabbage, 3 or 4 diced green onions, and about 1 1/2 – 2 cups diced raw shrimp (peeled and de-veined), and mix.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and spoon half the batter onto it. Use a spoon to smoosh it out into a circular shape about 1/2 – 3/4 and inch in thickness. Cook the okonomiyaki until it’s golden brown on one side, then (very carefully) use two large spatulas to flip it over and cook it on the other side until it’s golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Hint: If you don’t think you can flip it, and it is a bit tricky, use a spatula to cut it in half, then flip each half over.

If you want to give it a little extra something, add a little sesame oil along with the olive oil when you cook it. If you’ve never had it, sesame oil has fabulous flavor and aroma. Don’t use nothing but sesame oil though, as its flavor would overpowering the okonomiyaki, and sesame oil doesn’t handle high temperatures well.

Remove the finished okonomiyaki to a plate, drizzle some okonomiyaki sauce on it, spread it into an even layer with a spoon, sprinkle some aonori and katsuobushi (the bonito fish flakes) over it (if you want of course), and then drizzle some mayonnaise on top (again, optional), and dig in.


(makes two large pancakes, enough for 3 – 4 people)

  • 1 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. dashi broth or water
  • dash of salt
  • 3 c. diced cabbage
  • 3 – 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c. diced raw shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (plus one tsp. sesame oil – optional)
  • okonomiyaki sauce
  • aonori (seaweed flakes) (optional)
  • katsuobushi (bonito flakes) (optional)
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, a dash of salt, and dashi together until smooth. Add the cabbage, onions, and shrimp, and mix until well combined.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon half the batter into the skillet and use a spatula to form it into a circular shape about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. Cook on one side until golden brown, then use two spatulas to flip it over, and cook on the remaining side until golden brown. Remove to a plate, and repeat with the remaining batter.
  3. To serve, drizzle okonomiyaki sauce over the finished pancake, then spread it around evenly with a spoon. Sprinkle aonori and katsuobushi over it, and then top it off with mayonnaise drizzled over the top (if using).



October 10, 2012 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Japanese Tofu Hamburger Steak (豆腐ハンバーグ)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s Japanese tofu hamburger steaks (called “tofu hanbahgu” or tofu hamburg).

Heck, there’s a lot of things I love from Japanese cuisine. Teriyaki salmon, inari sushi, sushi in general, grilled eel, curry rice, korokke, tempura, chestnut rice, kabocha… I could go on and on, but I’d probably start to drool. And then I would probably drive to the other end of Houston to the Japanese grocery store, buy half the store, rush home, and spend the rest of the day creating an elaborate over the top feast with enough food for 10 people… for my husband and I. So, I shall desist…

The best way to eat tofu hamburger steaks, in my opinion, is with daikon oroshi (simply, grated Japanese radish) and ponzu (a citrus-infused soy sauce condiment). If you’ve never seen a Japanese radish, they look like this…

They’re generally about a foot long, but their size and shape can vary immensely. You can find daikon at most Asian supermarkets. To make grated daikon, wash your daikon, peel off the outside layer like a carrot, and then….grate it….with a grater. Easy right? Just kidding. You don’t want strips of grated daikon like grated cheese, you want a finely minced daikon mush. Sounds yummy, right? Trust me, it is.
I use my Microplane zester, which works great, but you could even throw some daikon in your food processor and whiz it to a pulp (literally).
Once you’ve successfully grated as much daikon as you think you’ll need, drain off some of the excess liquid, and you’re done.

If you can’t find Japanese daikon, or you don’t want to be bothered to go to an Asian supermarket (or if you don’t have an Asian supermarket), you can use regular ol’ American radishes. Just be very careful when grating/zesting them, as they’re so small, you run a much larger risk of accidentally zesting your fingertips (yes, it can be done). Not a pretty picture. Exercise caution.

OK! First things first! Here’s the ingredients you need: 1 block of firm tofu, 1/2 onion (which I forgot to put in the picture; he’s anti-social), minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil (also anti-social), ginger paste, an egg, salt and pepper, and panko bread crumbs.


Mince the onion as finely as you can (you can even whiz it in the food processor to a pulp; that seems to be a theme today…), and saute it in a skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. After 2 – 3 minutes, add the garlic and continue sauteing until the onion is translucent, another 2 minutes or so.


Meanwhile, swaddle wrap your tofu block in paper towels, place it on a plate or in a bowl, and place another, heavy dish on top, like so. Microwave it all for 3 – 4 minutes. This will help get rid of the excess water in the tofu.


Carefully unwrap the tofu, as it will be very hot by this point, and add it to a large bowl. Add the cooked onion and garlic, the ginger paste, the soy sauce, and a light dash of salt and pepper. Mix everything, crumbling up the tofu as much as possible. The best way to do this is with your hands. Go on. Get in their and get dirty! Just make sure you wash your hands before and after the tofu mushing. And make sure the tofu is sufficiently cooled, so you don’t burn your hands in your eagerness to smoosh it.


Once everything is well mixed, and the tofu is well smooshed and crumbly, add the egg, and mix it in. Then, add the bread crumbs, and mix it yet again. A spoon works fine for these last two additions.
Now, at this point, you can either cover and refrigerate the mixture for an hour; form it into patties, place those on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate that for an hour; or form it into patties and and cook them immediately. I recommend one of the first two methods. By refrigerating it for an hour or more, it really allows the flavors to be absorbed into the tofu and will taste better as a result. If you’re in a hurry though, by all means, go for it!

Once you’re ready to cook the patties, add a little olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Form the mixture into patties (if you haven’t already), and cook them, about four at a time, until browned on one side. Flip them, and continue cooking until they’re golden brown on that side as well. Remove the patties to a serving plate, and repeat with the remaining patties.


After cooking, they should look something like this.


To eat, spoon some of that delicious daikon oroshi you worked hard to get on top of a patty, then pour a little ponzu over the top (not too much, as it’s strong stuff). Then, enjoy.


Serve with Japanese steamed rice, miso soup, and any other Japanese side dishes you want.

Japanese Tofu Hamburger Steaks

(makes about 10 patties)

  • 1 (16 oz.) block of firm tofu
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking the patties
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • light dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 – 1 c. grated Japanese daikon (optional)
  • Ponzu (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Wrap tofu in paper towels and place on a plate. Place a heavier dish on top of the tofu, and microwave it all for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Carefully unwrap tofu and add it to a large bowl. Add the cooked onion and garlic, ginger paste, soy sauce, and a light dash of salt and pepper. Mix everything well with a large spoon or your hands. Add the egg and mix again, then add the bread crumbs and mix again. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for one hour.
  4. Heat 1 – 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Form the mixture into patties and cook, about four at a time, until browned on one side. Flip the patties cook on the remaining side until well browned. Remove to a serving plate, and repeat with the remaining patties.
  5. Serve with grated daikon and ponzu.

July 18, 2012 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Yakiniku – Grilled Meat Japanese Style

Hello all!

Last night, Hisa’s family took Hisa and I out to a yakiniku restaurant (there’s a grill in your table, and you grill meat right at your table and eat it) for dinner. It was fun, and the food was great, but I’ve only been to a yakiniku restaurant in Japan once before that I recall, so I found myself a bit lost when it came to yakiniku etiquette. I managed to discover a few things in the process of dinner last night, however.

1) Yakiniku restaurants will make your clothes, hair, and very skin smell of grilled meat and smoke. I Febrezed my coat last night and hung it up to air out, but I think the smell is still lingering…

2) There’s no niceties with yakiniku. It’s eat or be eaten. Everybody would continually add meat to the grill when some was eaten, and I found myself not really knowing what meat was done cooking, and what meat was still a little raw (beef I’m okay with generally, but under-cooked pork and especially chicken freak me out). As a result, while I was a bit confused and hesitating, much of the meat was eaten up by my husband and sister-in-law. Opps.

3) I’m not a big fan of either cow tongue or cow liver. The was it works is you order whatever cuts of meat you want, and they bring them out on plates (it’s always cut into thin slices), and you grill it at the table. My husband ordered the cow tongue, so I thought I would try it. It looks like regular beef when cooked, but it tastes slightly different and is a bit….chewy. Not bad, but I think I’ll stick to more familiar cuts of beef in the future.

My father-in-law, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law

Me, Hisa, my adorable niece, and her mom (my sister-in-law). My brother-in-law was still at work and couldn’t come unfortunately.

Grillin’ away!

Adding meat, flipping meat, eating meat. I was a bit lost.

Next time (whenever that is), I think I’ll have a better idea of what to do. Or I can just steal all my husband’s meat, haha!

December 5, 2011 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

Teriyaki Tofu Burgers


This one word can arouse all sorts of feelings in different people. Delight, hunger, indifference, curiosity, and for some, disgust and revulsion.

I love tofu. I’ve been eating it ever since I was a kid (thanks Dad), so it’s nothing new to me.

Due to its very mild flavor, tofu is rarely ever eaten plain. But because of it’s almost nonexistent flavor, it’s extremely versatile. You can add it to just about anything.

In case you don’t know, tofu is made from soy milk (which is made from soy beans). The soy milk is coagulated so that curds form (much like when you make cheese from milk), and the curds are then pressed into cakes.

It originated in Ancient China (although exactly when and where in China is a bit fuzzy), and then spread to Japan and Korea.

In Japan, tofu is an extremely common food. It’s also very cheap, unlike its American counterpart. I’ve noticed that in the U.S., people usually eat tofu as an alternative to meat. This, however, is not the case in Japan. More often than not, tofu is used together with meat in a dish. It’s also usually added to miso soup, served as a side dish cold with some sort of topping in the summer, etc. But it’s not considered a meat substitute by most.

Enter the tofu burger. Many Americans will automatically consider this a vegetarian alternative to hamburgers made with beef. Tofu burgers (and tofu hamburger steaks) in Japan, however, almost always contain ground chicken. While most Japanese people think of tofu burgers as a healthier alternative to hamburgers, they don’t consider it a vegetarian alternative.

Honestly, unless your a Buddhist monk living in a monastery, Vegetarianism is not common in Japan (compared with the U.S.), and it’s very difficult to find real vegetarian food (even dishes that appear to be vegetarian dishes are often made with fish stock, fish flakes, small amounts of meat/fish, etc.).

My tofu burgers also have ground chicken in them. I think this not only improves the flavor, but it also helps them stay together a lot better. Feel free to leave out the chicken if you want a real vegetarian tofu burger.

Also, I find it’s easier to use two skillets when making these. That way I can cook all the burgers at once (rather than in batches), so it goes much more quickly, and everything is hot when it’s done.

Teriyaki Tofu Burgers

(makes 9 – 10 patties)

  • olive oil
  • 1 package firm tofu (drained)
  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/3 onion, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • good dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • hamburger buns

for the teriyaki sauce:

  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. mirin
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking sake
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrot, and garlic until tender, about 4 -5 minutes. Turn of heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine tofu, chicken, onion mixture, ginger paste, soy sauce, salt and pepper, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix well.
  3. Using your hands, form tofu mixture into patties, and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (this will help the patties stay together when you cook them).
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the tofu burgers and cook until browned on one side (about 5 – 6 minutes), then flip and cook until browned on the other side (another 5 – 6 minutes). Place burgers on a paper-towel lined plate, and then cook the remaining burgers in the skillet, adding more oil if necessary. After cooking the remaining burgers on both sides, remove burgers to the plate. Use a paper towel to quickly wipe off the excess oil in the skillet (being careful not to burn yourself; use a spatula or wooden spoon to move the paper towel around the skillet if necessary).
  5. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce.
  6. Return skillet to stove over medium heat. Add half the burgers to the skillet. Pour half the teriyaki mixture over the burgers. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and move the burgers around in it. Flip them once so both sides of the burgers are well coated with the sauce. When the sauce is almost completely gone (it will reduce, thicken, and stick to the burgers until there’s almost no sauce left in the skillet), remove the burgers to a serving plate. Repeat with the remaining burgers and the remaining teriyaki sauce.
  7. Serve with toasted hamburger buns, mayonnaise, and any condiments you want.

November 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Oyakodon – Simmered Chicken, Onion, and Egg Over Rice

It’s turned chilly here since yesterday. It finally feels like November I would say. Coincidentally, yesterday was officially the first day of winter according to the Japanese calender. Despite the colder temperatures, it still doesn’t really feel like fall to me quite yet. More of a late fall feeling.

On a different note, Hisa and I decided to cancel our honeymoon trip to Thailand. If you’ve been watching the news, then you’ve probably heard about the horrible flooding that’s been going on there. It’s the worst flooding in Thailand in 50 years. It started up north, and has been gradually moving south. It finally hit Bangkok, and has pretty much gone from bad to worse, with no improvement in site.

Although the island in Thailand we were planning on spending the second half of our trip has not been effected by the flooding, we were planning on spending the first half of our trip in Bangkok. Plus, the international airport is in Bangkok, and in danger of being flooded as well.

We realized that there was a very good chance that if we went to Thailand, the airport could flood and close while we were there, consequently leaving us stuck in Thailand. We would then probably miss our flight back to the U.S., Hisa’s visa would expire, and we would have to do the whole visa process again <insert horrific blood-curdling scream here>. There is no way in heck I’m going through that visa process again, filling out all that paper work, paying all that money, making all those trips to the U.S. Embassy. Heck. No.

So, we decided it would probably be safer to cancel our trip. Instead, we’re going to be traveling in Japan. Neither of us has ever been to Kyushu (the large southern island of Japan), so we’re thinking of flying to Kyushu, and traveling back up north via bullet train, stopping at various cities along the way. It may not be as exciting as visiting a foreign country (I no longer consider Japan as a foreign country. It’s just home #2), but it’ll still be a lot of fun I think.

Oyakodon, is one of my favorite Japanese donburi dishes (donburi is basically something served on top of steamed rice).

“Oyako” translates as “parent and child,” and “don” is simply short for “donburi”. It’s called parent and child donburi, because it’s simmered chicken and egg on top of steamed rice. Get it? The parent is the chicken, and the child is the egg. … Is that kind of morbid? Maybe. But it’s still really good!

This is a very simple, but delicious and filling dish. The egg is usually added at the last minute, and the dish is served with egg only partially cooked, but if semi-raw egg grosses you out, or you don’t have access to very fresh eggs (U.S. supermarket eggs do not count), then you can cook the egg completely before serving it.

Heat a little oil in a skillet. Add one chopped onion, and one large chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces. I like to add a little bit of carrot, cut up into matchsticks, but that’s not normally in oyakodon. I just like adding a bit more vegetable to the dish.

Cook everything over medium heat until the onion is translucent, and the chicken is almost completely cooked.

Add 2/3 c. bonito fish soup stock (Japanese dashi, or you can use veggie or chicken stock), 2 Tbsp. cooking sake, 2 Tbsp. mirin (sweet cooking sake), and 2 Tbsp. sugar. I actually added a little too much stock here, so yours will have slightly less liquid in it. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and continue simmering for another 2 – 3 minutes.

Fill two deep serving bowls with white steamed rice (enough for one person in each bowl). In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs together. Slowly drizzle egg mixture over the chicken onion mixture, and turn heat to low.

Let egg cook briefly on a low heat. If you’re using very fresh eggs, turn off the heat when the eggs are not quite completely cooked, cut the mixture in half, and gently scoop one half into each bowl, on top of the rice. Spoon as much of the remaining liquid over each bowl as you want. You want some liquid to reach the rice, but you don’t want it soupy.

You can serve this with thinly sliced green onions on top, but as I don’t like raw onions (eww), I don’t.

Enjoy you’re chicken, onion, eggy, rice mixture of joy!



(serves 2)

  • 2 servings of steamed rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 c. matchstick carrots (optional)
  • 2/3 c. bonito fish stock (aka dashi) (or chicken stock or vegetable stock)
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking sake
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly for garnish (optional)
  1. In a medium sized skillet, heat a little oil over medium heat. Add onion, chicken, and carrot. Saute until onion is translucent, and chicken is almost completely cooked, about 5 – 6 minutes.
  2. Add bonito stock, sake, mirin, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  3. Add soy sauce, and simmer for about 2 – 3 more minutes.
  4. Add steamed rice to two deep serving bowls.
  5. Turn heat down to low, and slowly drizzle beaten egg in evenly over the chicken mixture. Let cook briefly.
  6. When egg is almost completely cooked (but still partially raw*), turn off heat. Divide mixture in half, and gently scoop half into each bowl, on top of the rice. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.

*If you do not have access to very fresh eggs, or you’re not sure if you’re eggs are fresh or not, I recommend you completely cook the egg before serving this dish. If you chose to serve the egg partially raw, you do so at your own risk. In Japan it’s quite common to eat raw egg in various dishes, but Japanese eggs are MUCH fresher than eggs in the U.S.

November 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm 2 comments

Japanese Curry Soup

They were showing “Star Wars – Return of the Jedi” last night on TV.

…in Japanese.

Usually when they show movies on TV in Japan, they’re bilingual. Most TVs have the option of changing the language to either the original language (for non-Japanese movies) or the dubbed Japanese version.

I have nothing against dubbing, but personally I would much rather see movies (and TV shows) in their original language with subtitles.

So you see, I’ve always been highly appreciative of the language change function on TVs, and I’ve always used that function, as seeing a lot of Hollywood movies dubbed in Japanese is just not my thing. Especially when it’s a movie I’ve seen many times and that is dear to me, it just weirds me out seeing all the characters speaking Japanese.

Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, when Japanese television switched to digital from analog this past summer, our TV mysteriously lost the ability to switch languages for foreign movies and TV shows.

Thus, Hisa and I ended up watching the second half of “Return of the Jedi” on TV last night in Japanese.

At first, I thought it was just too weird to watch, but after awhile, it began to turn amusing for me. I actually burst out laughing the first time I heard Darth Vader speak, and Luke sounded extremely girly.

The only character whom the Japanese voice over worked really well for was… you guessed it, Yoda.

Sadly, after the movie I went to bed, had weird dreams, and slept badly, again.

I blame the Japanese-speaking Darth Vader.

Japanese curry soup is a wonderful, hearty, spicy stew that’s absolutely perfect for a chilly fall night. It’s also a nice change from your thicker regular curry.

This soup is full of rich vibrant flavors, but a small warning. This soup is not something you can whip up 30 minutes or even an hour before dinner time. This soup takes time. Around three to three and a half hours to be precise.

If you want to prepare something a little special for someone, or you’re home on a cold cloudy day with time to spare, this is the recipe for you. You won’t be disappointed!

And now, one word of caution. If you use a regular blender to blend the soup in batches, be sure you let the soup cool sufficiently before you blend it! If you try to blend it while it’s still super hot, it may splatter out of the blender all over everything, including you. The first time I ever made this soup I made that mistake, and I still have the burn scars on my arm where the soup splattered on me to prove it. I recommend making this soup early in the day, and then turning the heat off and letting it cool after it’s finished simmering for two hours. When dinner time rolls around, you can just blend the soup and then re-heat it. Easy peasy.

I definitely need a bigger pot.

Serve with steamed rice or fresh nan bread.

Japanese Curry Soup

(serves 6)

  • 4 onions, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 dried chili, diced
  • 1 chunk dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried coriander
  • 2 tsp. tumeric
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 – 2 tsp. garam masala  (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Any meat and vegetables you want (recommended: chicken, potato, carrot, bell pepper, sweet potato, squash, broccoli, etc.)
  1. Heat olive oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until amber brown and paste-like in texture (about 20 minutes).
  2. Add ginger, garlic, and apple to pot, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, mashing well.
  3. Add spices, chocolate, chili, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and mix. Continue cooking until thickened to a heavy paste. Add stock and increase heat to boiling.
  5. Lower heat to simmering and add carrot, celery, and bay leaves.
  6. Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. Use an immersion blender to blend soup, or let cool and then blend in batches in a blender. Return to pot and re-heat.
  8. Boil, fry, or roast chicken and vegetables. Add to serving bowls, and pour soup over meat and vegetables. Serve with steamed rice or nan bread.



October 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm 2 comments

Today’s Lunch

Have you ever had (or heard of) Japanese takikomi gohan?

The name basically means “mixed rice”, and it’s just that. The uncooked rice is seasoned, usually with some type of stock and soy sauce, and then vegetables, mushrooms, meat and/or fish are added, and it’s all cooked together. It’s a nice change from regular steamed rice every now and then.

You can add basically anything you want to it. For mine, I added carrot, shiitake mushrooms, burdock root, and small pieces of chicken.

Today’s lunch: Japanese mixed rice (takikomi gohan), griled salmon, stir-fried burdock root and carrot (kinpira gobo), and a persimmon


October 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12 other followers

July 2018
« Dec