Slow Cooker Recipe for Kuromame (Sweet Black Soy Beans)

Slow Cooker Recipe for Kuromame (Sweet Black Soy Beans)

  Last year, my mom taught me a new osechi ryori (traditional food for celebrating Japanese New Year) dish that she learned from a friend of hers: kuromame, or sweet black soy beans cooked in the slow cooker. [Photo Credit: Hideki Ueha] This slow cooker recipe is a life saver, given I’ve burned my share of kuromame batches by forgetting about the beans simmering on the stove. The beans need to simmer for a while in order to achieve the...

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Spicy Konnyaku

Spicy Konnyaku

Konnyaku, is the Japanese term for the root vegetable (plant) or yam cake, also known as konjac, konjak, konjaku, devil’s tongue, or elephant yam. To me, konnyaku is a vegetable that was as common as broccoli at our family’s dinner table when I was growing up. It’s also a favorite of mine. I loved it, even before I knew what I was eating. I just accepted it as “konnyaku”, a Japanese food that my Mom cooked, and it...

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Kinpira Gobo

Kinpira Gobo

Kinpira gobo is a traditional Japanese side dish made of gobo (burdock root) and carrots. It’s both savory and sweet and sometimes has a hint of red chili spice, depending on the cook. While gobo is considered a mainstream vegetable as far as Japanese and other Asian cuisines are concerned, it is less common in Western cuisine, although in recent years it has gained more visibility. Growing up in a traditional Japanese home (albeit in Los...

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Kyuri Su Shoyuzuke (Soy Sauce & Vinegar Pickled Cucumbers)

Kyuri Su Shoyuzuke (Soy Sauce & Vinegar Pickled Cucumbers)

  Su shoyuzuke Japanese style tsukemono, or pickles, marinated in a vinegar (su) and soy sauce (shoyuzuke) mixture is one of Bebe’s favorites. She wouldn’t complain if all she found on our dinner table were a huge bowl of these pickled cucumbers for a one-dish (unbalanced) meal. Whenever we visit my parents, my Mom is certain to make a batch of these delicious kyuri (cucumber) tsukemono a day ahead of our arrival, or on the morning...

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Korokke (Japanese Beef Croquette)

Korokke  (Japanese Beef Croquette)

  Every culture has it’s own version of a meat-and-potatoes meal, and the Japanese are no different. (Photo credit: Hideki Ueha) In Japanese cuisine, a meat-and-potatoes meal just might present itself in the form of a beautiful round croquette filled with a mixture of mashed potatoes, ground beef, and onions. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the most basic of Japanese-style croquette that you will find in most Japanese homes, and ours...

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Avocado Wontons and Apricot Soy Dipping Sauce

Avocado Wontons and Apricot Soy Dipping Sauce

There are three things that I love at The Cheesecake Factory: 1. Vanilla Bean Cheesecake; 2. Mushroom Soup; and 3. Avocado Egg Rolls. Everything else on the menu is good and I have my favorites and not-so-favorites, but the three dishes I listed above are truly what get me through the restaurant’s doors. The first dish, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, I will never, ever, try to re-create. Ever. It’s just one of those recipes that deserves...

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My Great Grandmothers Egg Foo Young with Shrimp

My Great Grandmothers Egg Foo Young with Shrimp

  For over a month now, the ongoing debate in our home has been whether egg foo young is a Chinese dish or a Japanese dish. I asked my Chinese-American husband if he grew-up eating egg foo young, to which he replied, “No, I’ve never eaten that. I don’t believe that’s a Chinese dish.” I was quite surprised by this, to which I said, “REALLY? Your parents never made egg foo young? Or ordered it at a Chinese...

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Shoyu Tamago (Soy Sauce Eggs)

Shoyu Tamago (Soy Sauce Eggs)

  Shoyu tamago, or hard boiled eggs steeped in soy sauce is one of the simplest okazu (Japanese dish) that can easily be enjoyed as a meal, especially in a bento lunch, or on it’s own as a mid-day snack or even for breakfast. In my youth, my mom hardly ever made shoyu tamago for us, instead preferring to make tamagoyaki (sweet and savory egg roulade; my recipe available here). I enjoy eating both types of egg, but for lunch when...

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