Happy Girls Day! Hinamatsuri Party Ideas 2015

Happy Girls Day! Hinamatsuri Party Ideas 2015

  Happy Japanese Girls’ Day! Today, March 3rd, is Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day or Doll Festival. Since Bebe was born, this Japanese holiday is one that we celebrate annually in my family, and is something my daughter looks forward to each year. Many years in my childhood, my Mom would host Hinamatsuri parties for me and a handful of my friends, and now I in turn have the pleasure of doing the same for my...

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The Magic of Kinako (Roasted Soy Bean Flour)

The Magic of Kinako (Roasted Soy Bean Flour)

As a kid, one of my favorite Japanese foods was sweetened kinako, or roasted soy bean flour. Of course, back then, I had no clue as to what the dry, golden brown, powdery flour-like substance called kinako was, other than the fact that my mom said it was made from soy, but to me, it was magical. It was the most delicious food ever, especially when my mom dusted fresh warm mochi with sweetened kinako. The sugary sweetness of the kinako, combined...

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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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Mini Katsudon

Mini Katsudon

Mini katsudon is the epitome of a quick weeknight meal that will fool everyone into thinking you slaved over your stove for at least an hour or two. I like to let my family think I’ve slaved over a beautiful Japanese meal once in awhile, even though I really haven’t. But they’re starting to catch on. I guess you could say I’ve been having a hard time finding time to blog, writing for work, consulting for a new client, and...

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Shio Koji Asparagus

Shio Koji Asparagus

Shio koji asparagus is fresh asparagus sautéed with shio koji and olive oil. It’s a really easy side dish for enjoying fresh asparagus and goes great with almost any seafood or protein. Summer is still in full swing and we’re still as busy as ever. With our schedule full of activities and fun, I haven’t had much time to spend in the kitchen, other than to throw together quick and easy meals.  Shio koji works great for quick...

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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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