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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Shio Koji Salmon

Shio Koji Salmon

Here’s a super easy and quick shio koji recipe that’s great on a busy weeknight, and perhaps better than getting take-out. These days I’ve been so busy fully engrossed in our summer that I haven’t had much time for “fancy” cooking (or blogging – boo). Thankfully, shio koji seems “fancy” but it’s actually a super-easy short cut for “fanci-fying” any meal. If you missed my...

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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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Mame Gohan (Brown Rice with Green Peas)

Mame Gohan (Brown Rice with Green Peas)

Mame gohan, or Japanese rice with green peas, is a very simple dish that requires few ingredients and it’s often served during the springtime. This dish made a frequent appearance during my childhood because it is one of my Dad’s favorite rice dishes. Not surprisingly, mame gohan is a dish that his mom, or my obaachan (grandma, pronounced “oh-bah-ah-chan”), used to make for him and their family. This dish brings back...

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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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Okaka (Dried Bonito Flakes with Soy Sauce)

Okaka (Dried Bonito Flakes with Soy Sauce)

Okaka, is a Japanese seasoning that is often associated with rice. It is a simple mixture of dried shaved bonito flakes gently tossed with soy sauce. The flavor can be as light or salty as you wish by simply adjusting the amount of soy sauce. The best thing about it: it takes less than two (2) minutes to make. Okaka can be used as a seasoning (or topping) for rice, or it can be used as a filling for onigiri (rice balls with salmon filling or...

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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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