All posts tagged: cooking

Chickpea Journey: to Japanese Homemade Miso

She is very intelligent, creative, sweet, classy and smart.  She grew up in Hiroshima in Japan and teaches Japanese at private elementary school in Seattle.  I met her for the first time through our mutual friend about month ago.  We hit it off right away and her stories sounded so interesting to me.  She mentioned making miso at her home when we first met and I thought she was my kind of people 🙂 Today she and I got together for brunch at Terra Plata in Capitol Hill.  She brought me a jar of her miso, made with chickpea!  When I opened the lid of the container, it smelled so vibrant. That was the first time for me to try homemade miso ever.  I decided right there to prepare cabbage miso soup tonight. This is tonight’s miso soup, made with miso that she poured her passion and love into.  It came out SO delicious.  It reminded of her.  Sweet, wholesome and healthy.

Guilt Free, Calorie Free (not quite but still): Quinoa Salad

After eating “dirty chips” (it’s basically nachos.  Potato chips are used instead of corn chips with pull pork, gorgonzola cheese and BBQ sauce) at Maison Tavern (nothing to mention here…I am not a big fan of this place) last night, my stomach has not been happy.  It was too late to regret it when I left the place. So here is my “feeling guilty” lunch.  I ate oranges and apple for breakfast and quinoa & arugula salad dressed with nutritious yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, white wine and salt for lunch.  This should even out 5,000 calories that I had last night, right (I am trying SO hard to feel better about myself)?  You all agree that I can consume more calories at tonight’s dinner since I was being good all day, don’t you? Happy Friday 🙂

Mother and Child over Rice: Oyako-don

Not human mother and child.  This is not going to be weird, spooky story at all. It’s one of many Japanese soul food dishes.  Oyako means “parent and child(ren).”  This dish is made with chicken and egg and that’s why it’s called “Oyako”-don.  Some Oyako-don restaurants are very serious about what they serve, like this very famous and beloved Oyako-don restaurant called Tamahide in Tokyo, established in 1760.  This is something my mom barely made when I was growing up.  I felt I was struck by thunder when my kindergarten class mate’s mom (our neighbor.  My mom and she were so close) made it for me one day.  Nostalgia… Oyako-don for 2:  Chicken (I used breast, cut in bite size), 1/2 x  onion, 2 x eggs, sugar, sake, mirin (sweet wine), soy sauce, dashi (bonito stock).  Mix all the liquids, then cook onions for a few minutes and then add chicken. Cook until chicken is tender.  Turn the heat off.  Then add beaten eggs and cook about 3 minutes with low heat or until eggs …

Alphabet Questions: M-S (especially R)

M – Most favorite book?:  Tokyo Bandwagon N – Nicknames?:  Mimi Gomez O – One wish?:  All animals get saved P – Person who texted me last?:  Vivienne Q – Question you’re always asked?:  Where did I put that? R – Reason to smile?:  Chocolate, my overweight chihuahua, many, many, many good books, Billie Holiday records, my mom’s cooking, quote like ““Maybe we should all just listen to records and quit our jobs.” by Jack White, smell of freshly opened bag of Sun-dried Ethiopia Yirgacheff coffee beans, oranges, dog paws, depressing music grabs my heart, English accent, movie like Liberal Arts, independent bookstores like Shakespeare & Co., tasty pastries at Crumble and Flake,  Joseph Leonard, New York City especially East/West Village, Rent, Stomp, handwritten letters, text message saying “i love u,” holding hands, Paris, Paris, Paris, Staub pots, vintage housewares, Bangkok, warm and cozy bed, sound of rain drops, sound of cello makes, Picasso painting, Maria Kochetkova, point shoes, stylish looking glasses, snow,  flower bouquet made by Ayako, Emily Dann, the Corson Building, Autumn, claw-foot tubs, old …

If You Are So Brave: Natto Eating 納豆

Fried eggs and bacon?  French toast with loads of syrup?  Steak and eggs?  Or Green eggs and ham? What Japanese people eat in the morning is a little different (we definitely read “Green eggs and ham”, but “I would not eat them here or there”).  What I grew up with, for example,  a bowl of rice, miso soup, grilled fish, homemade pickles, and seasoned vegetables.  This kind of meal however takes time and preparation.  When I want to energize quickly in the morning, this is what I have;  natto over rice. Carbs give you energy as you know.  But what is Natto?  Natto is fermented soybeans in short.  Yogurt, vinegar, pickles, kimchi, miso, sourdough bread (gasp!), kombucha, wine (what?), Worcestershire sauce, cheese to name a few.  Natto is in the same family.  Like cheese, it has a STRONG smell and taste like…hmmm…natto?  It also has a slimy texture.  You simply add a bit of soy sauce (my dad’s favorite) or sweet soy which is my favorite then mix really well to make it even more …

Get The Sand Out!: The Ocean Stew

Ocean.  Waves, salty water, sand, surfboards, ocean smells, sunset…I love the ocean.  I like lakes, rivers, mountains but I love the ocean.  The ocean and I have a very personal relationship.  It’s deep.  Ocean produce seafood, especially shellfish…my love.  There’s only one downside of shellfish.  Picture this; you have this gorgeously prepared plate with all types of fish and shellfish.  Your favorite is clam and you dive into it.  Then, as you’re biting into it, this hard, weird, most unpleasant texture you’ve ever experienced.  Sand. My mom grew up in Shizuoka prefecture which is located about 2-3 hour drive from Tokyo near Mount Fuji and beautiful pacific ocean.  My grandma and mom moved to Tokyo 15 years after the World War II ended but they never forg0t how great the seafood was in Shizuoka.  They taught me how to gut and filet the fish, how to clean and prepare fish and shellfish.  One particular lesson I am so appreciative having been taught is to soak clams in salt water and for (at least) a couple …

Yakimochi: Grilled Rice Cakes

Tonight was one those nights that I didn’t want to slice or cut anything.  Basically I didn’t want to “cook.”  The fact is I am hungry, so I decided to make myself “yakimochi (grilled rice cakes)”  Yaki means grilled and mochi means rice cakes, as you might have guessed it. I used to grill mochi in a small frying pan but since I got this “yakiami” which is a simple yet essential tool made with ceramic and metal. You can grill vegetables, meat, fish, and of course food like mochi over the stove with it.  I sometimes grill “onigiri (rice ball)” with this yakiami so I can add more flavor.  Adding soy sauce while grilling onigiri makes you salivate quickly. Anyway, over low-medium heat, you cook both side of mochi until it gets golden brown (I like a little burnt).  There are so many ways to eat grilled rice cakes.  For example, you can dip them in ponzu sauce, in shredded radish (mizore-oroshi) and soy sauce, sprinkle soy power and sugar, fry them, spread butter …