Category Archives: Spring

Guest Post: Krispy Kreme HARU! Doughnuts Taste Test

Image courtesy of Alice.

Image courtesy of Alice.

The hardest part of researching and blogging about Japanese food trends from the US is not being able to eat them! Today we have a guest post about Krispy Kreme’s HARU! Doughnuts by Alice of Super Happy Awesome. You may have seen her posts on seasonal foods, especially Starbucks’, linked on the social media for I’ll Make It Myself! (see side bar). All images are by Alice.

By the way, if you ever have a tip about interesting seasonal food or observe new food trends or food localization in Japan, especially if it’s related to imported holidays like Halloween or national cultural events like sakura, leave me a comment on contact me on social media!

Spring has sprung in Tokyo! The cherry blossoms have just burst forth and brought with them waves of celebration, frivolity, and carefully branded marketing opportunities. Every company with something tasty to sell has stuck a cherry blossom on or in their product. American companies in Japan are no exception, and have embraced this trend full throttle. Continue reading

Food Report: Sakura Season 2014, Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

I didn’t mean to turn this blog into a tribute to cake and sakura sweets, and yet here we are with another sakura pop-culture chain-food post. I do have a curried stew recipe in the works, and I swear it’s sugar free.

Back to that sakura food for a moment: one of my readers alerted me to McDonald’s sakura burger a few posts back, and I’d be remiss not to share this fast-food phenomenon.

Image courtesy of Super Happy Awesome

Image courtesy of Super Happy Awesome

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Food Report: Sakura Season 2014, Part 2

Part 1 here.

At the risk of being all doughnuts all the time lately: While Mister Donut may not be bringing back the sakura donut for 2014, Krispy Kreme is! (But only until March 31, so  you’ll have to hurry!)

Image via Krispy Kreme.

Image via Krispy Kreme.

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Food Report: Sakura Season 2014

Part 2

First, I’m very jealous of you all in Japan enjoying or about to enjoy the sakura food! I like to follow food trends, so, for posterity, here are some foods from cherry-blossom season 2014. Most of these are from international brands and chains that localize their products for Japan.

Delicious yae-zakura (八重桜) Photo: マリマリ on Wikipedia.

Delicious (too) fresh yae-zakura (八重桜) Photo: マリマリ on Wikipedia.

Just a heads up: I’m not sponsored or compensated by any of these brands (or any brands at all), so if you’re reading my review of a product, it’s either my opinion or FOR SCIENCE.

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Bamboo Coconut Curry with Kabocha, Lotus Root, and Soy Beans

I’ve noticed a lot of people find my blog by searching for bamboo shoot recipes. This year, I wanted to develop a new recipe to add to the list and to make something other than bamboo-rice with the shoot I bought. My friend and temporary roommate mentioned that she had seen a bamboo and kabocha curry at a festival over the weekend, and–

 

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What I Ate in Nagano, Day 3: Matsumoto, Miasa (長野の名産を食べる旅の第三日:松本・美麻)

What I Ate in Nagano, Day 1: On the Road to Yudanaka Onsen (長野の名産を食べる旅:第一日)

What I Ate in Nagano, Day 2: Yamanouchi (長野の名産を食べる旅の第二日:山の上)

On our last day in Nagano, we went to see Matsumoto Castle and drove through Hakuba and Miasa on the way back to Kanazawa.

長野の旅の最後の日には、松本城に見に行くために松本市へ行って、白馬・美麻経由に金沢の方に戻りました。

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Sakura Matcha Muffins

One hell of a storm blew through Saturday night and Sunday, ruining the weekend for hanami. Luckily, we’d had decent weather all week, including Friday night, when I went to Rojô Park in Komatsu for nighttime cherry-blossom viewing.

Of course, hanami wouldn’t be hanami without food and drink, and what better to bring than two Japanese classics together in a super portable form?

Sakura Matcha Muffins @I'll Make It Myself

I especially like that this recipe uses the leftover sakura flowers from the Sakura “Latte.” No waste and more sakura flavor.

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Homemade Sakura “Latte” (Sakura Steamer)

Sakura in Kanazawa @I'll Make It Myself

Nothing heralds spring like seasonal menu changes! Starbucks’ sakura latte (henceforth not italicized) is much like the pumpkin spice latte in the US: people go crazy for it and it sells out long before sakura season is over. Or, in Kanazawa and the rest of northern Japan, before it even starts.

This year, the latte was replaced by a sakura white hot chocolate, which I really liked, but unfortunately it’s been gone for a month and the sakura only started blooming this week. Luckily, a sakura “latte” (technically it’s a steamer since there’s no coffee) is really easy to make at home. All you need is preserved edible sakura, boiling water, and milk.

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Broiled Sawara with Paprika

While at Omicho Market a couple weeks ago, I spied a fish-seller with sashimi-grade sawara (サワラ, 鰆), Japanese Spanish mackerel, on sale–for 250 yen, I could get a plate of huge filets much bigger than the ones I usually get at the store–about 500 grams’ worth.* “Two, please,” I told the clerk (the fish monger?). “Onê-san,” he said, “I’ll give you 3 for 500 yen.”

This was probably the only time I’ve had a whole kilo of fish at one time. I don’t know how to gut a fish (it’s on the to-do-in-2012 list, promise), so my choices are more limited than chefs braver than I am. Still, since moving to Kanazawa, I’ve found my supermarkets carry a great selection of filets caught locally, so I’ve finally really learned how to cook fish.
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My Favorite Bamboo-Shoot (Takenoko) Recipes

Early May means fresh bamboo shoots are in season again here in Ishikawa, and I received not one but three lovely shoots from my friends and coworkers this year! 2012 is apparently a bumper year for bamboo in the forests and in my kitchen.

Whether you purchased or received fresh bamboo, one large shoot can seem like a lot to cook up. The best English-language resource for cooking bamboo is, in my opinion, Makiko Itoh’s Just Hungry. The reason why I have only one bamboo recipe on this site is because I always use hers! What I do have to offer is how to cook raw bamboo, my master list of bamboo recipes, comments, and my own photos. Enjoy! [Updated 5/18/2013]

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